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My Favourite Place to Hike: Liscomb River

November 6, 2020

The Liscomb River has everything a nature-lover desires. It’s long and cuts deep into the wilderness, providing the perfect spot to canoe, fish, camp, hunt and explore. Or to escape the rat race and to breathe fresh air that will zap your energy after spending the day in it. Sometimes it’s a wide, meandering river. Other times, it’s rapids and waterfalls. Still other times, it’s a salmon pool or a lake.

I’ve been exploring the Liscomb River all my life. It’s where I caught my first fish with my first rod. While it’s beautiful any time of the year, the autumn colours paint a colourful landscape.

Below is the Liscomb River in pictures on October 7, 1990, with a few photos taken in other years for comparison.

Indiana Jones Bridge

Yes, here it is. The bridge we call the Indiana Jones bridge. You can see why if you’ve watched the film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

While this one is sturdier and shorter than the one in the movie, if you’re the slightest bit fearful of heights, you will not want to cross it.

This 1990s version has more substance than the one that preceded it. I’ve been across all of those that existed in my lifetime.

This photograph was taken down stream of the bridge.

Just past the bridge up stream is the falls. It’s only about 15 feet in height but after heavy spring rains, it is gushing water like a raging river.

The hiking trail along the river from the Liscomb Lodge connects to this bridge. Hikers need to cross it to continue or return to the Lodge by the same route, unless it’s during a dry spell. At which time, the river can be crossed by rock hopping at certain locations.

The Bridge Close Up

This is my nephew standing on the Indiana Jones Bridge. While camping (and at other times), he was my shadow, and I took him everywhere: out in a boat on the ocean at dawn, to the spring to draw water, along miles of shoreline, to the general store for little tubs of ice cream, to the graveyard at midnight and on just about every trip to the fish ladder.

As you can see, the Indiana Jones bridges is well constructed, and there are wires at boot-top level and elbow level to give those weary of crossing some security. A set of steps on either end make for easy on and off of the bridge.

It swayed when walked upon, but it wasn’t too bad. If it was stationary, all the fun would have been taken out of the adventure.

I’ve never heard of anyone falling off it or being injured because of it. I believe it’s because those who travel there respect the bridge. My kids have been crossing it since before they could walk, so they don’t think twice.

While this bridge has never made it into one of my stories, I already have a scene worked out for it. I only need to find the right story.

The 2020 Version of the Indiana Jones Bridge

The updated version (July 2020) of the bridge has a more detailed step getting onto and off of the bridge. The bridge swings less and the sides have netting to prevent slipping off the side.

Upper Part of the Liscomb River

This is a view of the river before it reaches the falls, Indiana Jones Bridge and fish ladder. Just up around the corner is where boats were launched for fishing expeditions or to travel much farther up the river. There were (and still are to some extent) several government camps located up stream where people from away hired guides to take them salmon fishing.

Top of the Falls

My nephew sitting on a rock at the top of the falls. The rails of the steps leading down to the bridge can be seen in the background.

Hydro Plant Pipe

This pipe that was once used to generate power by using water was installed in 1903. The oldest image I have of it was of my father standing beside it wearing a Toronto Maple Leaf jersey. He held a fishing rod, and his father, Will (born 1882), stood beside him.

Given my father’s young age (about 15), I’d say this was taken around 1937, two years before he enlisted in the Canadian Army.

The power plant was still in operation when I was a kid, but it was shut down a few decades ago. This is the pipe in October 1990.

We used to climb up and down the inside to challenge ourselves. I’ve heard many say not to do that because it was dangerous. My nephews and I rolled our eyes at this.

Safety is third. Adventure is first followed by knowledge. Without the adventure, knowledge can not be gained, nor better ways to be safe.

Here’s looking down the pipe this summer while hiking the area. It looks pretty solid to me. It’s now 117 years old. Incredible.

Fish Ladder

The observation part of the fish ladder crosses the river, creating a walkway for hikers. Below this platform, conservation officers captured salmon during certain times of the year. They measured, weighed and assessed the fish, then return it to the river. I believe they also tagged them.

On one trip to the fish ladder in the early 90s, my nephews and I talked with the conservation officer while he was working. It was pretty neat to see what was going on. I captured it with images, so perhaps I’ll make a post in the future about it.

This is what the fish ladder looks like near the bottom. The photo was taken in July 2020 when my son and I hiked to the spot.

Bear Bait

On the cool October day in 1990, we had drove to the Fish Ladder because the road was still passable. One of my nephews spotted this set up, so we got out and took a look.

We all agreed this was bear bait. It was filled with all sorts of smelly, tasty things for a bear. Once a bear developed a routine of feasting on the contents, the hunter would sit and wait during hunting season and bag himself a big ol’ bear.

Closing Words

I hope you enjoyed this tour of the Liscomb River. The lovely Liscomb Lodge sits on the mouth of this river, where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a wonderful place to spend a week enjoying the outdoors and exploring salt and fresh water excursions.

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