This is a description of a hike that will take you through some woodland with some bushwacking involved to a final destination that only a few people in Nova Scotia have seen. The final destination of the hike is a small fissure in a limestone cliff that most people would disregard in an instant. However if you decide to squeeze in the crack, you will be rewarded by a large solution cave called the Minasville Ice Cave. This is a fragile feature so again we need to make sure it’s well preserved so future generation of people can also be amazed by this sight.
As of April 2011, there is an outbreak of white nose syndrome in bats in the Maritimes. Since this syndrome can wipe out whole bat population and this cave is a known bat hibernaculum, I have deleted all the coordinates that lead to this cave. I hope you all understand.
Leaving your car, travel down the wide road that has been blocked off by a large tree trunk. Walk on this wide gravel road, which runs due south, for about 200m until you see a well defined wood road/trail on your left. Turn on this road and follow the main branch of this road which runs due east. This is an old logging road and you can see the large ruts of the heavy machinery. The forest is mainly coniferous and of average age. After 400m the road turn to the south, continue heading east though the forest and you will come out into a recently logged area. It’s been logged so recently that there are no small shrubs or raspberry bushes to impede your way. Traverse this logged section and enter the coniferous forest , again going on an eastern heading. After 100m or so in the woods you should come out into an old field which is slowly being invaded by alders in its the southern portion.
Once in the old field, start heading into a southeast heading and into the forest, coming out again within 150m, into a large cleared area with some logs piles. From then on, you can probably follow an ATV trail in a southeast direction or simply make your way to the pond located southeast of you. You can see the pond on a google earth map. At the pond stop at the large limestone cliffs on its southern end and climb up to a small niche which looks like it was carved out of the cliff by someone some time ago. I am unsure of the reason for this but it’s a cool little feature to see and I thought at first that it was the entrance to the cave
The unassuming entrance to the cave lies about 50m from the obvious limestone cliffs you just saw. The cliffs forming one of the wall of the cave is the continuation of the same cliffs that you saw in front of the pond. So just continue along the bottom of the cliffs and you should be able to spot a small fissure up about 25ft from the ground. A nice scree slope will take you to the caves entrance. Squeeze in the first few metres and then stand up because this solution cave has a high ceiling and continues downward a fair bit. There are a lot of rabbit tracks/droppings at the time I was there. This is an amazing and cool place to visit!
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