Welsford Travel Guide

  • Trail map
    Trail map
    by Canuck5
  • Most of the trail is fairly easy to walk
    Most of the trail is fairly easy to walk
    by Canuck5
  • View of the valley from the Observation Point
    View of the valley from the Observation...
    by Canuck5

Welsford Things to Do

  • Canuck5's Profile Photo

    by Canuck5 Updated May 31, 2009

    If you like to hike, or perhaps your hobby is rappelling up and down the face of a rock wall, you'll find an opportunity to do this at the Cochrane Lane Cliffs. Although rappelling looked like a lot of fun, this was a day for watching those who already know the basics. I was there for the hiking.

    The trail is actually located on property owned by the Dept. of National Defence, so unless you're a member of the Univ. of N.B. Mountain Climbing Club, you're supposed to call the DND Range Control first. There's a big sign near the car park, displaying the number.

    I would say that the trail overall was of moderate difficulty, although there is a side trail (like the Waterfall) and the main trail beyond Joe's Garage, that are more challenging.

    The trail is not blazed very well, or consistently. I only noticed a few orange blazes here and there. The trail beyond "Joe's Garage" becomes confusing, and although I found a sign for the "Staircase", I wasn't sure I was taking an actual trail. I wouldn't have wanted to be on this trail at night. So, we erred on the side of caution, and turned back.

    One sign near the log-in book shows the trail looping around, while another says it's a "proposed hiking trail". We never found the campsite that is supposedly along the trail.

    Anyway, it was two hours well spent, really only stopping for about 10-15 minutes to eat a light lunch we had brought with us, at an observation point overlooking the valley.

    Start of trail from the road Trail map Most of the trail is fairly easy to walk View of the valley from the Observation Point Trail map One of the numerous rappelling locations Most of the trail is fairly easy to walk View of the valley from the Observation Point One of the numerous rappelling locations Trail map Most of the trail is fairly easy to walk View of the valley from the Observation Point One of the numerous rappelling locations
    Related to:
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Feb 24, 2007

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    Continuing along the trail from Pyramid Wall, we passed colourful mushrooms and toadstools shaded by the forest as we made our way along the face of Cochrane Lane Cliffs. The next point of interest was a fantastic lookout point over the Nerepis River valley. We lingered here for quite a while, looking across to Eagle Rock on the other side and even seeing a part of the Saint John River past the end of the valley. The kids had a great time here, getting close to the edge without pushing things too far.

    After leaving the lookout, we continued onward to the next overlook. However, it was there that we met a large group of young Army cadets carrying out rappelling activities on the cliff face that actually was indented from the ledge they were standing on. After a brief discussion with their leader regarding what we could expect further along the trail, we decided to return to our previous lookout point, since it was now time for lunch (see 'Restaurants') and we were not likely to find a better spot!

    Russ and the kids take a look down
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Sep 23, 2006

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    After the waterfall, going back down to the cars was easy. The original trail up through the woods now seemed like a virtual highway with its width, and the fact that we were headed downhill took all the effort out of it. We passed a number of interesting scenes on the way down, but this boulder totally covered in wild ferns especially caught my attention.

    A couple of the boys lived way off the beaten track in Queenstown, on the old highway running up the west side of the Saint John River. They said they would have to wait until 10:30 PM in Fredericton for a drive home, so, since we were in the neighbourhood, we decided to take the long way home by continuing south to Westfield and then up along the river highway instead of back through Base Gagetown. Wow, I thought as we drove along (after picking up ice-cream cones all around as a treat), what a day. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon for a slow drive with summer in full bloom beside the wide River. This is a really off-the-beaten-track part of New Brunswick, with quaint old villages perched beside the river as cows graze out on small islands and the odd cabincruiser plys the wide waters - what a tourist delight this would be if someone wants to take a leisurely drive!

    Russ and the fern-covered boulder
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Mountain Climbing

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Welsford Restaurants

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jul 26, 2006

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    When the group returned to the Observation Point we had stopped at briefly on our outward bound walk, everyone was ready for some food. The Case Managers had packed a variety of sandwiches (peanut butter & jam, ham and mustard, ham and mayo) as well as bananas and bottles of water and juice boxes. It all tasted great as we sat there in the breezes, with the sun now shining and the breezes blowing. We had a great view out over the countryside, and yet we had not managed to even get half-way up the cliff in our exertions. It made me appreciate that you don't have to go far from home to experience the wonders that nature has to offer - and at no charge.

    Enjoying the view while filling up
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Mountain Climbing

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Welsford Transportation

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jul 27, 2006

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    Highway 7 from Fredericton to Saint John passes through Base Gagetown, which was the largest military training area in the British Commonwealth from its opening in 1956 until 1971 (when a larger base was opened in Alberta, Canada). The base's territory measures 436 square miles (1,129 km²) and includes numerous live-fire ranges for infantry, armoured, and artillery units, as well as aerial weapons ranges. Many American National Guard and some British units have arrived here for exercises in this forested and rugged plateau area of New Brunswick.

    For our purposes, a simple call to the Base offices confirmed that there were no objections to our little group of 3 Case Managers, 5 Students and me making a day trip into the Cochrane Lane Cliffs area of the Base in our two cars. Just after passing through the hamlet of Welsford on our southerly drive, we turned left, crossing the Nerepis River on a single-lane bridge that replaced an old covered bridge that had been washed away a few years earlier in heavy spring snowmelt flooding. A short drive through the fields of this narrow valley soon found us at the start of the hike into Cochrane Lane. It was here that we dished out the lunch supplies and bottles of water before setting off to see what the hills had to offer.

    Supplies are handed out to the group
    Related to:
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Road Trip

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