Mill Falls and Beech Grove trails are a great riverside hiking experience near the Visitor Centre at Kejimkujik National Park. Mill falls get their name from a portable steam mill that was setup there in the early 1900s. Beech Grove is aptly named for the large stands of old-growth Beech trees that ecompass part of the trail.
Mill Falls trail can be accessed near the Visitor Centre area, or further on down the road at a designated parking area. I would recommend starting from the Mill Falls parking area to take in the full trail. The 1km Mill Falls trail has lots of great views of the slate lined falls and Mersey River. Interpretive panels along the trail touch on the river ecosystem, geology and history of the area.
A covered picnic area and other benches and viewing areas make it a great place to take time out to relax by the river. It’s a popular swimming area for locals, though discouraged for its obvious dangers.
The river ecosystem is full of birds, reptiles and fish, including brook trout which can be seen swimming up the falls in the Fall.
Beech Grove trail connects on to Mill Falls trail via a very cool floating foot bridge, similar to the one found at Jake’s Landing. The 2.2km loop is nestled in a bend in the river and goes up a drumlin into large stands of old-growth hemlock and beech trees. The trail is a great combination of picturesque forest scenes and elevated views of the river and falls.
Doing both trails together is about 5km return, so it’s short enough for a half-day outing. Biking is not allowed on either trail. Be sure to pack bug spray and watch for ticks.
Recommended Reading: “Formac Pocketguide to Nature: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.”