Government of Nova Scotia
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Environment

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Protected Areas

Highlights

Economy River Wilderness Area

painting by Alice Reed Economy River Wilderness Area is a patch of forest wilderness in the heart of the Cobequid Mountains, between Economy and Springhill.

Hardwood forest uplands and conifer forest flats alternate with steep-sided, mixed forest ravines and canyons, with fast flowing streams and river. Highlights include Economy River and its renowned falls, several lakes, and showy spring flora such as purple trillium and trout lily.

These woodlands provide quality habitat for endangered mainland moose, fisher and many other species. The Economy River is considered critical habitat for the endangered Inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic salmon.

The wilderness area contributes to representation of Nova Scotia’s Cobequid Mountain Natural Landscape within the province’s protected areas network.

The scenic and hilly terrain is suited to four-season trail use and other outdoor recreation in a wilderness setting, including hunting and angling.

Much of the Kenomee Canyon Trail System is within the wilderness area, including the 18 km Kenomee Canyon Trail. This hiking trail system is managed by the Kenomee Trail Society. Portions of the trail system within the wilderness area are managed under an agreement with Nova Scotia Environment. Additional information on the trail system is available on the Municipality of Colchester’s website.

Several off-highway vehicle (OHV) routes are managed by the Snowmobilers Association of Nova Scotia (SANS) and All-terrain Vehicle Association of Nova Scotia (ATVANS) under agreements with Nova Scotia Environment. This includes River Philip Road (SANS and ATVANS) and route #104 (SANS only), where these pass through the wilderness area. Bicycle use is also permitted on River Philip Road.

A number of long-established campsite leases are scattered throughout the wilderness area.

Part of the Leamington Brook watershed is within the wilderness area. This watershed provides drinking water to Springhill. Protection of these lands supports Springhill’s efforts to protect its drinking water supply area.