Moderate with Difficult Sections
The Breadalbane Nature Trail is located in the community of the same name at the geographic centre of the province. The 1880 Atlas notes the last settlers came here in 1858 from the Isle of Skye, and prospered notwithstanding the drawbacks of the location. The community lies athwart the Confederation Trail, and the Nature Trail has two entrances from it. There are in addition, two other entrances to the Nature trail: all have signs.
The Nature Trail follows a diverse terrain, combining access via steep ravines, rim walks, and meanders through the flood plain of the main and a smaller branch of the Dunk River. These create the site of an old mill pond. Two major foot bridges cross these waterways.
The Trail of about 6.5 km is made up of 2 loops crossing at the central bridge. Both loops include ravine sides and flood plain. The ravine sides offer a good workout. On the plain, very wet spots and small streams are spanned by boardwalks.
On the ravine and sides, the trail runs through typical dense white spruce and more open hardwoods. Mature white spruce stands also open up nicely. There are also some neighbouring cultivated wood lots which the trail skirts. (The trail is built entirely on private lands, and gets extensive use by locals.) On the well watered flats, ferns and marsh grasses abound, as well as thickets of wild raspberry canes.
Careful observation will locate frogs, salamanders, and red spotted newts. Bird species include various song birds, jays and belted kingfishers. Squirrels and hares are running about, and you may see evidence of muskrats in the damp banks. At the eastern end there is a long standing beaver lodge. You will see trees chewed and downed by the beavers on your walk.