Moose Horn, Surging Water & Sculpted Rock
Please Note: Laverty Road must be open to reach these trailheads. The road normally closes in November and reopens in May. Cell phone reception to Bell and Telus service is possible at the trailhead but otherwise you will be inaccessible to the outside world.
In the rugged Broad River valley, crystal clear water flows by lush floodplains until it reaches a sudden change in bedrock. At this transition, the river cascades over boulders that have been worn smooth by powerful floods over thousands of years. Here we find scour pits, and plunge pools; they look like bowls carved in the middle of giant rocks. Some are basketball sized, while others are big enough to make great swimming holes. Despite the grinding force of water here, specialized rock lichens, and the empty dragonfly casings manage to cling to the sun blazed riverbed. Further downstream the raging Broad River falls is the last stop for spawning endangered Atlantic salmon. Through this valley water finds the path of least resistance and in its wake creates specialized habitat for a wide range of creatures.
The Moosehorn trailhead is found alongside The Forks and Laverty trail heads at the end of the Laverty road. Once you reach the end of the 6.5 km dirt road, you will find all three trails radiating out from a grassy field with pit toilets, a map and picnic tables. The Moosehorn Trail flows through beautiful Acadian Forest hardwoods as it descends 200 m over 2.2 km. The first 100 m of vertical descent is gradual, but the last 100 m descends rapidly following switchbacks to reach the bottom. Not far from the bottom, there is an unofficial side trail leading to a tall, mossy stream waterfall. Once the bottom is reached, it is likely you’ll want to continue up the Broad River at least 300 m in distance to see Moosehorn Falls. Along the way there are several small falls, as well as a giant’s kettle and lots of river sculpted rock. This portion of the trail can be treacherous as it is very rooty and requires some minor rock climbing. Nothing too serious and an able bodied person should pass by easily with a little extra attention to foot placement and the odd hand hold. The payoff is exceptional and the swimming is tremendous at the peak of summer. From here, you can climb back up the Moosehorn trail or continue up river, returning along the Laverty Trail, a 5 km total. Please see the Laverty Trail description for details.
The Forks trail branches off the Moosehorn close to the trailhead. It travels through stunning Acadian forests gradually descending 260 m over 3.4 km, one way, to reach the confluence of the Broad River and the Forty-five River. This is where the Upper Salmon River begins. In summer months you’ll notice how much warmer the Broad River is compared to the Forty-five. Swimming opportunities exist just meters from the trail on the Broad River. From here you can return back up the hill to the trailhead, or cross the river and continue along the Upper Salmon River Trail, eventually reaching Black Hole and then headquarters campground. This route will require two river crossings over the additional 8.8 km. The river may be unpassable if the water levels are too high. Transportation logistics could leave you stranded if you choose this route, unless you plan ahead.
Please take note of the following trail particulars: