The sign says Truro – The Hub of Nova Scotia. From here a web of roads spindles outward and onward to Cape Breton, New Brunswick, Halifax and the South Shore. I think to myself: When you advertise that you are the jump-off point to other places, that is generally how you will be seen, from the car window on your way to other places. I reason this is why I am not that familiar with what Truro has to offer its visitors. That is about to change.
I take exit 17, NS-311 from the highway to Bible Hill. I have never taken this exit before, but I should have: it takes you into the heart of the town. Now that I am looking for the park, I see signs for it everywhere. Funny, how I have never noticed them before.
I make the turn onto Park Road. A playground comes into view, an amphitheater, washroom facilities. The gravel drive leads towards a generous parking area. A tingle of excitement filters though me and a smile creases my mouth. I like what I see on this initial visit to Victoria Park.
I study the trail map carefully, and select the Reservoir Trail towards Jacob’s Ladder. I watched a YouTube video of a people climbing the 175 stairs of Jacob’s Ladder to the tune of Gonna Fly Now, the theme song from Rocky, and it inspired me to come here.
The unwelcome spring snowstorm Nova Scotia received this past weekend is still evident on the ground in the forest, where it is protected from the late morning sun. I hope it won’t hinder my planned hike. I see a man climbing a path on the opposite side of the brook — it has received full sun and so his trail is clear. He rises up into the trees out of view. A lady runs past me, putting herself through her training paces. What a great place, and it has been hidden from me all my life.
My trail is flat and follows the brook. A small cascade ripples under the wooden bridge and I wonder if it is one of the waterfalls that is mentioned on the sign. I take some pictures and move off.
A moment later I come to the stair path. It doesn’t appear too difficult from the bottom so I start headlong upward with my first step. The stairs are narrow and caked with snow. After about ten steps I curse to myself. Damn, I was going to count them.
There is a landing and a walkway to a covered viewing area. You can watch others ascend the stairs. It is by no means The Grouse Grind of Northern Vancouver, but it was fun. Here is a little video of it.
I do the last flight of stairs to the top and I head in the direction the arrow points toward the waterfalls. The next juncture point is downward on another set of stairs. The treads of these steps have unusual spacing and with no risers, I can see the ground below through the gaps. The height plays tricks on my eyes and makes it a little intimidating to go down.
I focus on the roar of the falls I can hear but not see through the under-growth. Spring’s meltwater has the river flowing strong. I cross the walkway to the viewing platform and I am so pleased. I wasn’t expecting such an excellent waterfall.
I work my way down to the lower area but two gentlemen have cameras set up on tripods blocking my access. There is a rocky landing even further down, I station myself here while I wait my turn. Taking photos under the direct sunlight is challenging. I play with my camera setting try to get the best light and angle. My ISO setting is at 100 and at my largest aperture number, I am prevented from dropping my shutter speed below 1/30 so I can’t get the silky look I wanted in the flow.
One of the two photographers has moved up a side trail to a catwalk. I slip in beside the other man. ” It is such a beautiful day, I hate to complain, but the sunlight makes for bad photography.” He nods and agrees it would be better if it was cloudy. We exchange tidbits of info on settings. Satisfied I have some material to work with, I head up the next flight of stairs to the upper gorge area. Here I am again pleasantly surprised — the second falls is so accessible. I get one shot and my camera beeps and flashes a warning: Battery exhausted.
I start back down the hill to the parking lot. I toy with the idea of getting my spare battery and returning for more photos, but it is already midday and I still have three hours of driving ahead of me, so I set my sights on home. I must say I am impressed with Victoria Park. The address is 29 Park Road, Truro, Nova Scotia. If you haven’t been here yet, do go — it is lovely. I will look forward to returning later in the summer. Until then, please join me on my city-park series. Next up is Irish-town Park In Moncton.
If you missed the first one here is the link
Happy travels from Maritime Mac
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