Williams Falls

Waterfall Detail: Williams Falls are located in the north-central highlands of the province, within the Mount Carleton Park. The central feature is Mount Carleton (817m), the highest point in the Maritime provinces. The mountain range is part of the Appalachian Range, which extends from southeastern United States, through New Brunswick into Québec extends along the western arm of Newfoundland. The International Appalachian Trail, an extension of the famous Appalachian Trail in the United States, runs through the park on its way to the Gaspe Coast.

The headwaters of the Tobique and Nepisiguit rivers, part of a traditional canoe route, of the Maliseet people are located within the park. Archaeologists have discovered 2500-year-old artifacts used by these nomadic hunters. In the 16th century French explorers, missionaries and fur traders sojourned through the area and by the mid-1800s commercial logging intensified. The lumber industry, prospectors, outfitters and wealthy sportsmen followed the early visitors.

In the early 1930’s, caribou roamed throughout the region but their numbers diminished due to the increase in white tail deer population. The last remaining herd of caribou found south of the St. Lawrence River is in the Chic Choc mountain range on the Gaspe Peninsula.

The proposal for a park in the Mount Carleton area was made in 1833, it was not until 1970 that the park was proclaimed. Carleton is named after Thomas Carleton, who was made the first Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick in 1784. The park is a beautiful wilderness of large crystalline lakes, rounded mountains, and abundant wildlife.

William’s Falls Trail meanders through the forest for approximately 300 meters until it reaches William’s Brook just above the falls. There are some great viewpoints from here, from the bridge and from below the falls. The water is always cold and refreshing.

Visit Detail: So here I am walking along the William Falls Trail, with an umbrella in one hand and my camera and tripod in the other in the pouring rain listening to thunder reverberating off the mountains across the lake. On the drive around Big Nectau Lake, a heavy mist socked in and shrouded Mount Sagamook from my view. In this late afternoon the weather was dreary but I had resolved myself to the fact that there was nothing standing in my way to photograph the falls, except maybe a bear. By the time I reached the falls I abandoned the umbrella and used my raincoat to cover the camera. I was not pleased with taking a picture from the observation platform and decided to edge my way along the ridge of a rock outcrop. The heavy rain made the rocks along the base of the falls very slippery and I used extreme caution as I proceeded. The upside to the rain is great natural lighting to work with.

Mount Carleton Park is one the most beautiful parts of this province and we are very fortunate to have such a natural and rugged playground in our backyard. The sound of the water tumbling down the brook over mossy mounds and glistening tree roots was harmonious with the beautiful birch, poplar and beech trees surrounding me. The heavy rain pried me from my rapture and I quickly gather equipment and umbrella and made my way back to the car.