Everyone knows the iconic hook from that TLC song: "Don't go chasing waterfalls.”
Benoit Lalonde sure didn't listen.
An avid hiker, he moved to Nova Scotia 20 years ago and explored the province's most popular trails relatively quickly. Driven by an urge to see new things in every trip, he set his sights on waterfalls.
While we had initially planned to go on a hike with Lalonde, the COVID-19 pandemic limited us to a video chat. But he also shared a number of his own videos, which can be seen in the report above.
"Waterfalls were always more special," he says. "I like hiking, [it] is great in the woods and I enjoy being out there. But with waterfalls, you get that outdoor experience, plus you get the bonus of seeing a waterfall at the midpoint of your hike. So there's a goal, if you will."
When he first started off, there were only a handful of hits when he Googled “waterfalls in Nova Scotia.” He did his research and discovered detailed maps from the 1800s that were created by geologists looking for gold and iron deposits.
Waterfalls in Nova Scotia. Photo: Benoit Lalonde.
"They created a series of maps for almost the whole province,” he says. “And for some reason or another, they actually marked off a lot of falls.”
He's now seen over 800 waterfalls in Nova Scotia alone, documenting his journey and leaving directions on a website called Trailpeak. He even wrote a book called Waterfalls of Nova Scotia: A Guide, but was limited by his publisher to only including his top 100.
"What's so special about Nova Scotia is I think is it's really small. So we live in a province that's maybe 800 km long by about 100 km wide. You can be anywhere in Nova Scotia and find waterfalls quickly. When you're in the middle of the province, you can actually access any waterfall in the province within a day and come back home."
He says the bulk of them can be accessed through micro-explorations, which you can do within a day without the need to backpack or sleep over.
In Nova Scotia, the rivers are quite short, he added.
"They don't drain a large area, so in the middle of the summertime you really want to go after a big rainfall. If you want to take a good picture, it might not be as nice as going after a big rainfall. "
Thumbnail courtesy of Benoit Lalonde.