MacFarlane Woods Nature Reserve protects an excellent example of a rich, old-growth Sugar Maple-Yellow Birch-Beech forest. It also hosts rare plants. It is located on a ridge in Mull River, in the Skye River Hills and Valleys natural landscape.
The hardwood forest of MacFarlane Woods is part of a virgin stand. The old-growth forest is surrounded by a variety of early successional stands which are utilized to promote natural history education for visitors.
The original 52.5-ha MacFarlane Woods Nature Reserve was designated in 1988 at the generous invitation of the landowner, Mr. James St. Clair, of Mull River. In 2001, Mr St. Clair offered to add more of his land to the nature reserve. Between 2001 and 2004, the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia purchased four adjacent properties, and in 2004, these plus Mr. St. Clair’s additional lands were added to the reserve, bringing it to its present size of 132 hectares.Map of MacFarlane Woods Nature Reserve (PDF:120k)