Black Hole, Endangered Atlantic Salmon
Please Note: If you are planning to access Black Hole along the Upper Salmon River Trail, be aware that two river crossings are necessary and may be unsafe if water levels are high. Also note the Forty-five Road and the Laverty Road are closed seasonally from November to May, limiting access to hiking trail parking lots. Cell phone reception to Bell and Telus service will fade as you descend into the river valley.
Each year in late summer, Atlantic salmon begin their journey from sea, up rivers, to gravelly egg-laying beds in the river channel. As the rain falls and water levels rise the salmon make their move. They must overcome surging waterfalls and furious rapids, and survive being beaten into rocks. They rest and recover in deep pools, where the water is cold and slower moving. Some of the most interesting pools on the Upper Salomon River are found at Black Hole. These river features were created thousands of years ago when receding glaciers likely triggered a massive landslide. This is perfect habitat for Atlantic salmon, but today very few return to this area to spawn; this short video explores the story of this endangered species in a habitat that should suit them perfectly.
Black Hole is deep in the wilderness and will take some effort to reach, but there are three approaches you can take. The most logistically simple access is the Black Hole Trail. To reach it you must drive outside of Fundy National Park along route #114 until you find the Forty-five Road. Four kilometers up the Forty-five Road, first along pavement, then along dirt, you will find the parking lot. Hiking from here, the trail winds through mixed wood and hardwood forests for 5.4 km, descending 250 m down into the Upper Salmon River Valley to reach Black Hole. Round trip will total nearly 11 km once you include exploring. There is some interpretative signage, a pit toilet, and a locked warden cabin here. Be sure to walk out around the cobble flood plain to reach the Black Hole portion of the river. This trail is appropriate for mountain bike travel.
Black Hole is also accessible as part of a longer hike along the Upper Salmon River Trail. Starting from Headquarters Campground and finishing at the Forks, or vice versa, you can travel the length of the river. Black Hole is roughly located in the middle of this 12.2 km long trail. There are two river crossings on this route that may be closed seasonally, depending on the water level. Your best bet is to check with park staff first.
Please take note of the following trail particulars: