Waterfall Detail: Deep in Victoria County, Odell Falls is located several kilometres up from the confluence with the Tobique River. Flowing in a northerly direction through this heavily forested region the Odell River continues to cut a ravine down through the mountains as it has done since the last ice age 10,000 years ago. The erosive power of the river ever so slowly pushes the waterfall further up the mountainside until it will eventually disappear.
The scenery along the Tobique River is breathtaking in all seasons, but particularly so in autumn as the ridges resonate in red and gold. The landscape along this peacefully flowing river gently rises to form hardwood ridges on either side. Very few New Brunswick residents have seen the waterfalls named for Jonathan Odell, the second Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick. The area adjacent to the river is undisturbed mainly due to the steepness of the hillsides flanking the river.
Access to the waterfall is by permission from Acadian Timber in Plaster Rock. The drive out is on a well-maintained logging road to the access road on the far side of Shine Mountain. Visitors can park alongside the road and walk down the access road or drive in until the path begins to descent into the ravine. From here the hike is not long and quite easy. Near the waterfall, there is a series of ledges providing an excellent vantage point. Almost ten metres high, Odell Falls drops straight into a large basin before tumbling down over a series of ledges on its run to the Tobique River.
Visit Detail: I contacted Robin Demerchant of Acadian Timber through a mutual friend, Danny MacLean of Plaster Rock, to find out information about Odell Falls. Robin suggested that he would take me out to the falls on my next trip to the area, so we scheduled May 25th on the calendar.
I met Robin at the Acadian Timber Woodlands office. A friendly, no nonsense fellow, we quickly set out. On the drive to the waterfall Robin and talked about the forestry condition in New Brunswick, in particular on how we need to strike a balance between the needs of the industry and protecting the environment. Especially during this recent downturn in the economy.
The drive appeared to pass by rather quickly and within 30 minutes we were turning off the main logging road just beyond Shine Mountain. Robin’s small Suzuki Sidekick is just the rig to travel through these narrow old logging roads. At a couple of locations he had to get his chainsaw out to buck-up falling trees blocking our route. We drove about 600 metres along the old road to Y. This is where we parked. Taking the right hand path we quickly descended towards the Odell River through a mixed forest of white birch, maple and dogwood. I was surprised to see clusters of Painted (White)Trilliums.
The Big Falls on the Odell is very engaging. Dropping almost 10 metres the roar is reverberates off of the ravine walls up into the forest. I slowly made my way down to a moss covered ledge to photograph and enjoy this special New Brunswick location.