The Billys Hill Trail Society was
formed to help improve and maintain the trails, the waterways, and the
ecosystem around Billy's Hill in the southern Tobeatic Wilderness Area of Nova
Scotia. The Society is a non-profit group of local residents, businesses,
and visitors who utilize the trails starting at the East Branch Road in East
Kemptville. Membership is open to all interested.
Presently the rudimentary trails at Billy’s Hill are an asset for those who use them, but to date they are an under-utilized resource for both local and provincial residents, and as a eco-tourist attraction. As they currently exist, they offer the hiker numerous difficulties, including lengthy wet or boggy areas, stream crossings, and deep ruts. Overgrowth prevents easy identification of a trail's path, there is no signage, and there are no easily identifiable loops or guides to trail length and destinations.
The proposed Billy’s Hill trails provide access to a beautiful and diverse topography, including stands of old-growth boreal forest and hardwood, unique glacial features, upland bog, hills, river, stream, and lake all within a fairly small and well-defined area.
The Tobeatic Wilderness Area is a large natural area that spans five counties and more than 104,000 hectares of central southwestern Nova Scotia. Nine major rivers flow from the Tobeatic and over 120 lakes are found within the wilderness area. The wilderness area is available to the public for canoeing, birding, and other outdoor pursuits for the enjoyment of nature. In combination with Kejimikujik National Park, this is the largest protected wilderness area in Atlantic Canada and a UNESCO Biosphere Preserve .
However the Tobeatic has a limited number of potential points for safe public access. The East Branch Road entry area--starting point for the Billy's Hill Trails--is one of the most easily accessed and important within the region. From this point, trails go to the Napier River, Billy’s Hill, and Churchill’s Lake. This access point has been identified by the Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour as a priority for improved user information and recreation opportunities.
At this time there
are no developed hiking trails in the wilderness area, thus presenting an
opportunity for the Billy’s Hill trail to be the first route in this nationally
significant natural area.
The trail network near Kemptville needs improvement for several reasons. The trails originated in the 19th & 20th centuries as ox, logging, and hunting
trails, but were developed before people were aware of the impacts trails can have on wildlife or sensitive habitats. Recent use by off-highway
vehicles, and less frequently by truck and tractor, has created significant rutting leading to drainage problems in lowlands and erosion problems on
The Billy's Hill Trail Society
7 Trout Point Road
East Kemptville, Nova Scotia B0W 1Y0