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Little River Resevoir

Length:   10.5 km (6.6 mi) return
Hiking Time:   2+hr
Type of Trail:   grass, compacted earth
Uses (no snow):   walking, biking
Uses (snow):   cross-country skiing, snowshoeing
Facilities:   none
Dog Use:   off-leash permitted

Gov't Topo Map:   11F11 (Port Hawkesbury)
Rating (1-5):   2

Trailhead GPS Reference:    N 45 36” 08.6’, W 61 15” 53.8’

Access Information: From Port Hawkesbury and the junction (Exit 43) with Highway 4, drive 7.5 km (4.75 mi) on Highway 104 toward St. Peter’s. Park near the gate - completely off the highway.

Introduction: During the 1960s and 1970s government policy was to concentrate and develop a heavy industry park in southern Cape Breton. An oil refinery, a paper mill, and a plant to create heavy water for use in nuclear reactors were all situated near Port Hawkesbury. In addition to the construction of improved road, rail, and port facilities, large reservoirs of water had to be created to support these industries. The Little River was dammed and its water diverted by pipeline into Landrie Lake.

Most of these industries, such as the heavy water plant, have closed, reducing the need for water. The pumping station was closed; the pipeline has been removed, as have the power lines. Only the roads, the dam, and the reservoir it created, remains.

The road from the gate to the former pumping station, and along the earthen dam, is suitable walking for novices, and should constitute a pleasant Sunday stroll, especially in the fall. If you walk just this and the section by the dam, the total route is 5.5 km (3.4 mi). The railbed is a bit rougher, but one still enjoyable for average hikers. Adding this will bring the complete walk to 10.5 km (6.6 mi)

Cautionary Notes: Wildlife. No signage. Ticks.

Ratings are designated from 1 to 5 indicating suitability for all fitness and experience levels, with 5 being suitable only for experienced and very fit outdoor people. Novices should only choose level 1 and 2 hikes, and work their way up. Level 4 and 5 hikes have indicators associated with their ratings.

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