Second Falls

Waterfall Detail: In 1876, Daniel Gillmor built a watermill at Second Falls on the Magaguadavic River. Successive generations maintained mills on both sides of the river and as well other families established mills in the same area. The mighty river was used to drive timber to a common boom just above Second Falls Bridge, where the logs were separated according to individual markings. Over time the timber industry changed and the need for these mills diminished and all that remains is the beautiful waterfall.

The “Magaguadavic” or otherwise known as the “Mackadavy” is a native word meaning “River of Eels“. The river is the sixth largest river in the New Brunswick, measuring approximately 129 kilometres in length and has 103 named tributaries and 55 lakes in a large drainage area. The river begins as an outlet on the southeastern bank of Magaguadavic Lake and ultimately empties into the Bay of Fundy. The Mackadavy flows through numerous rural communities of which Bonny River and Second Falls are two. The river like many on the western side of the Saint John River empties into the bay through a waterfall. As well it is a very boney or rock laden waterway throughout its length except below Second Falls, a beautiful cascade that tumbles over a perpendicular rock, where the river is wider and deeper due to the dam located at First Falls.

The area is famous for Old Ned. The nearby Lake Utopia is connected to the Magaguadavic River and, from there, to the Bay of Fundy by one of the deepest natural canals in the world. Local legend has it that the lake is inhabited by a sea monster known as the Lake Utopia Monster. Sightings of an enormous eel-like creature approximately 12 to 15 metres in length, pre-date the arrival of Europeans. The story goes that long ago two Maliseet Natives were canoeing on the lake when suddenly the monster appeared and chased them from one end to the other. Since the arrival of Europeans to the area in the late 1700’s, the story has continued. Most recently, in 1996, Roger and Lois Wilcox were canoeing on the lake when they saw ripples break the placid surface 100 metres away from them. It was heading toward Cannonball Island, a common monster sighting spot. Wilcox reports the monster as being 40 to 50 feet long, undulating upward, not sideways.

Starting at the intersection of Main Street and the Bonny River Road (Route 770) in St. George, drive approximately 14.5 Km to the junction of Route 770 and the Red Rock Road.

Visit Detail: I was on my way home from a speaking engagement on Campobello Island and decided to take a known short cut by driving up the Bonny River Road. I was told that I could cross the Magaguadavic River at Red Rock Bridge and cut cross-country to Route 785.

The late afternoon sun spread long shadows across the hillside to the east in hues of orange and gold. The warm colours contrasted sharply with the cooler blues of the river. While enjoying the drive I was reminded several times that the Second Falls Bridge was closed for repairs. Not familiar with the area I was unaware that the Red Rock Bridge and the Second Falls Bridge are indeed one and the same.

The benefit of my mistake was a chance visit to Second Falls. Located just below the bridge is this wonderful waterfall and equally significant pool. On this particularly sultry day a group of teens were enjoying the cool water. Further down along the shore a lone angler was trying his luck. From the roadway I made my way along the granite outcrop to a location near the falls. It was a superb finish to a memorable road-trip.