First Falls

Waterfall Detail: Magaguadavic is an Indian name meaning “River of Eels”. And of course the first inhabitants at gorge and falls were the Passamaquoddies who were scattered from the Passamaquoddy Bay to Point Lepreau. The French arrived in the area in 1604 and established the ill-fated settlement in the mouth of the St. Croix River. The St. Croix Seigniory was established around 1632 and many of the French names along this part of the bay were named. Names like, Isle Saint Croix, Letang, and Grand Manan.

In and around 1764 the Loyalist escaping the War of Independence in the United States settled along the Bay and the Charlotte County town of St. George was established in 1783 beside the roaring waterfall on the Magaguadavic River.

Once independence was achieved the United States began to establish boundaries between themselves and lands under the control of Great Britain. Based on misinformation from supporters to the American cause the Magaguadavic was claimed as the boundary. It was not until the Webster-Ashbuton Treaty that the official border was established at the St. Croix River.

The river has its beginnings at Magaguadavic Lake miles away in York County and drains a large portion of southwestern New Brunswick. A dam and mill were built by St. George Pulp and Paper, at the turn of the century and ceased operations in 1967. Since this time the structure is used to generate hydro-electricity. Shortly after the dam was built, the salmon ladder was installed to benefit stocks of wild salmon that migrate up the Magaguadavic River to spawn.

Locating the gorge and falls is relatively easy as it is located within the town limits in St. George. The route is well marked and if direction is required ask any of the town folk they well be more than pleased to provide information.

Visit Detail: The gorge and falls at St. George are spectacular. Open arriving we drove down to the bridge spanning the mouth of the Magaguadavic River. The vantage of the falls and hydro station is great. The authorities (DOT) established a vantage ramp for sightseeing. As well people slow down when they proceed across the bridge to respect the many visitors to the area. Photo opportunities abound from the lookout as the Magaguadavic basin meets the sea.

From here we drove to the top of the gorge and parked at the picnic site. While we looked at the gorge an eagle landed on a large pine tree to scan the river for prey. The water level was down at this visit but I imagine it must be wild and noisy during the spring freshet.

We enjoyed our hour stay at the area. I plan on returning next year during the freshet to embrace the power of the Magaguadavic.