I don't know of anything else quite like this in the Nova Scotia. Although nothing much of it remains today, Roxbury can still be defined as an actual "ghost town". In the late 1800's Roxbury was a logging community with a population of several dozens, until a poor supply of lumber and harsh winters forced people to reconsider settling in the area.
Even to this today I find the location strangely isolated. The nearest neighbouring town of Lawrencetown is about 6 or 7 kilometres away, and I can only imagine how remote it would have been back in its day.
Kris, Matt S., Dave, Sheena and I started our hike up a gradual slope of the South Mountain. While not affording us too many views, the weather was favourable and the walking easy. The trail to Roxbury follows a muddy cart-track, something I like to think is possibly a relic from the time when it would have actually been used by the townsfolk. There's not much to note about the walk, as it was pretty uneventful.
After about 5 kilometres of hiking I noticed a sign welcoming visitors to the town of Roxbury. It's a bit of a strange sight. There is reportedly a hermit of sorts who lives in the area and went about placing signage for all the points of interest for the town. Of course we never saw this person, although we did notice a couple of modern-day cabins.
We took a moment to review and sign the guestbook that sits in a bucket nailed to a tree, and almost immediately I noticed a rock wall trailing off into the woods. Matt S. and I followed it all the way around. I was impressed that much of the wall still remains in good shape, and surrounded a fairly large area. Along the other side of the wall we found the first of many wells. These wells are perfectly round holes, dug out of the soil and lined with moss-covered stones. They all seemed to be pretty deep.
We tentatively explored a cottage complete with shed and outhouse. We called out a friendly "hello" but got no response. Not wanting to be too intrusive to any hermits that might be observing us, we left in peace. Sheena was certain she heard noises coming from inside the cottage...
We continued our stroll down the cart-track, pausing occasionally to explore another well. Along this stretch of road the rock wall ran almost the entire distance of what would have been the ride through town. I tried to imagine people living here day-to-day, but I don't think my imagination could do it justice.
Soon we came upon a clearing with yet another well, but also the collapsed ruins of a house. The house seemed not as old as I understood the town to be, but my knowledge of such things is pretty limited. If this house has been part of the town all along, then they must have been the most affluent people in Roxbury. This was a fair-sized house, now a heap of nails and shingles. We stopped here for lunch and then decided to take a short look further on to see what else there might be.
Soon enough the forest takes over again. To the right of the cart-track is a side trail, simply marked "cemetery". Making our way along this trail, it soon became overgrown with deadfall and brush. As I was about to try and forge my way through it I looked down and noticed a worn headstone. I was a little surprised. This was the cemetery.
It was choked with branches and fallen trees, but sprinkled throughout were several headstones. These graves dated back to at least the 1860's. Some where large and inscribed, others were small and simply displayed someone's initials. One was plainly labelled "BABY". I took the time to carefully prop up a headstone that had fallen over. It was still in pretty good shape. After taking several pictures of this bizarre scene, we returned to the cart-track.
Being satisfied there was not much else to discover, we made the return trip back to the trailhead. This was definitely one of the more unusual hikes I've been on, but it was enjoyable. Hiking often gives me a thrill when I know I'm in a place not many others have seen before, but this time the thrill came from knowing that I wasn't the first to visit Roxbury.
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Posted By: Mur-Dog & Jud-Cat
- Fri Apr 27 15:33:02 UTC 2012
CommentI have been to Roxbury a number of times and have spent at least three over nighters there. First there is no hermit putting up signs. There is a man from Bridgetown who has a camp in Roxbury (only privately owned land there) and he paints up signs during the winter and puts them up as needed. Dave Whitman who wrote the book on Roxbury (Lost In The Woods) is working on erecting information signs there in June/July 2012.
The house you describe was the Rosengreen house and it was used as a hunting camp for many years so it was the last to fall down. There is a pic of this house in Dave's book. If you look carefully you will not only find wells but stone foundations and signs of habitation such as old apple trees, rose bushes and lilacs. When we were there in April 2012 we found daphne which indicates Acadian habitation.
Paranormal activity, I doubt it but every time I go there my mind jumps back in time to the days of ox bells and wood smoke.
There is a second cemetery with only two stones but it is very hard to fine. Use a GPS. Dave's new signs will have directions.
Posted By: smburt
- Sun Mar 27 11:35:05 UTC 2011
CommentParanormal activity? Cool. I didn't know that. Hey folks, I posted this hike with permission, so I have not been there myself, but felt it a trusted source. Thanks to you all for your info, comments and updates. There is a wiki edit feature if you would like to improve upon the post, or if you can write a new one. Alternatively, you could post a new one, and I could take this one off line; unless it's still of some value.
Posted By: Cricket1072M
- Sat Mar 26 15:51:32 UTC 2011
I've been doing alot of research and exploring areas in NS regarding possible Paranormal activties. I have heard of Roxbury and have seen pics of the graveyards with images that cannot be explained. I am interested to see if anyone else has experienced anything out of the normal or have caught anything on film..
Any info would be greatly apprecaited.. This is mostly a hobby for me, but I am highly intersted.
CricketANSWERS are in this forum: Paranormal Activity?
Posted By: jbalsor
- Sun Apr 11 12:53:31 UTC 2010
QuestionI think you need a new GPS your coordinates are in the Ukraine.
here are the real Coordinates for the Cemetary:
N44 48.281 W65 10.087ANSWERS are in this forum: Coordinates
Posted By: quaddaemon
- Thu May 22 19:49:35 UTC 2008
UpsideGreat Location!! DownsideTo steep!!! CommentGreat printer toner and ink cartridge deals, discounts and coupons. Also, check out the latest printer reviews and technology news. <a href="http://blog.concordsupplies.com">http://blog.concordsupplies.com</a>
Posted By: JBloom
- Mon Dec 03 12:28:35 UTC 2007
UpsideLooks like a great trail and I'm looking forward to being able to get out on it. I now have a huge list of trails to try thanks to your work. DownsideSeems the directions are a bit off. This Lawrencetown is on the other side of the province then the one close to Halifax. I was trying to find it in the HRM area until I discovered it was in Annapolis County. Just thought it might want to be made clear for people not familiar with the area.