Cochrane Lane Cliffs Trail
|Estimated Time||3-4 hrs return|
|Surface Type||forested, rocky|
|Elevation Change||240 metres|
|Trail Markers||directional skills required|
Note: this area is mainly used by rock climbers to access the cliffs. The onsite map shows the rough location of the cliff faces. The trails beyond these cliff faces are not well signed and sometimes hard to follow.
The trail starts by crossing a field along the edge of an old pit. The trail then continues through the field along a stretch of woods. At the back of the field the trail enters the woods. The trail then climbs, on what looks like an old road, to the trail junction near the first aid station. The first aid station and backboards are a reminder that this is a very rugged location with lots of boulder scrambling. That means lots of ways to hurt yourself so make sure you are cautious, prepared, and up for the challenge.
At the first aid station you have three options: go left along the bottom of the hill, go straight into the boulder field in search for Gollum's Cave, or go right along the bottom of the cliffs. The trail to the left doesn't go far and is not well defined. We went straight in search of Gollum's Cave but never found it. We climbed up through the boulder field all the way to the high cliffs above.
The trail to the right accesses most of the cliffs and trails. The first one you will come to is up to the waterfall. The waterfall side trail is another boulder scramble up to the cliff face where you will find the falls. I am not sure but it looks like it may dry up in the summer.
The best way to get up on the cliffs is through a steep ravine to the left of the waterfall. This will require more boulder scrambling and a steep climb up along the cliff face. Once at the top of the cliff you can continue to climb up to the left to the top of the highest cliff, or go straight along the top of the cliffs to where the waterfall flows over the cliff face. The trail continues along the top of the cliffs in this direction.
Caution: The cliffs are high and a straight drop to the boulder fields below, as you probably saw on the way up. Keep back from the cliff edges, stay safe, and enjoy the view.
If you continue on the trail below the cliffs, past the waterfall side trail, you will travel along the bottom of cliffs with names like Monkey Cliff and Pyramid Cliff. At the sign for the Pyramid Cliff you will find a side trail on the right that goes out to an amazing lookout. Continue on the trail past this lookout and you will soon come to a split in the trail. Keeping right will take you down around the lookout to the cliff face below. Keeping to the left will take you along the bottom of the higher cliffs. Eventually this trail climbs up narrow, exposed ledges to the top of the cliffs. At the top of the cliffs the trail turns back along the top of the high cliffs and eventually to the top of the waterfall.
There is a section of the trail above the cliffs that separates into several smaller trails. It's a bit hard to follow so as much as possible keep to the left and keep the cliff tops in site.
Note: Access permits are required for this trail. To get an access permit drive to the Range Control office in Camp Petersville located approximately 12 km north of Welsford at exit 51 on route 7. If there are no existing restrictions in the training area, you will be given a recreational day pass. You are also required to call when you leave the trail. If you forget to call you may get a bill from the fire department who went to look for you. Accessing this location without a day pass is strictly prohibited.
Once you have your permit, find your way to the Irving gas station in Welsford. From there turn right (south) on Eagle Rock Road. Drive for 1.6 kilometres and turn left onto Cochrane Lane. Drive to the end of Cochrane Lane, and just before the farm at the end of the road, you should see a large yellow sign on the left. This marks the start of the trail and serves as a warning to anyone without a permit.
From the Sign
No Trespassing / National Defence Establishment / CFB Gatetown
- It is unlawful to enter this area without perimission of the CFB Gagetown Commander.
- All persons are subject to removal or search while on a Defence Establishment.
- Punishment: Max 12 months imprisonment of Max $1000 fine or both.
- Authority: National Defence Act / Defence Controlled Access Area Regulations.
- For access contact Range Control building K-69 Tel: (506)422-2000 Ext. 2482 / 3121
- Danger: Weapons testing and training are conducted in this area. Do not touch suspect munitions or unknown item. Move away and report them to Range Control.
Trail Last Hiked: November 20, 2021.
Page Last Updated: December 25, 2021.