Dickson Falls

Fundy National Park, New Brunswick, Canada
Dickson Falls near W. Paris, Maine
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Dickson Falls (6/18/2009, 50 mm, f/22, 4 sec, ISO-100 hi res photo)
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Description

When planning our trip to Prince Edward Island and the Fundy Coast it was extremely hard to find information on waterfalls in the area.  Really there were only a very few good resources that I've listed on my New Brunswick page.  Anyway, Dickson Falls was one of the waterfalls that came up on my radar. It was within Fundy National Park.  The hike to the water is short and relatively easy (for my lovely wife), and the pictures of it were nice.

So did the waterfall live up to its billing?  Yesss ... and no. 

Indeed Dickson Falls is quite easy to reach.  The hike is nice and the trail/boardwalk well maintained.  The surrounding vegetation is lush with vibrant hues of green.  My only disappointment was in the magnitude of the waterfall.  I can see how the waterfall may be quite small in late summer.  Even in mid-June the flow was good but not great. 

Ok, so I may be a snob regarding waterfalls.  I live in Tennessee where we are blessed with many magnificent waterfalls, both in water magnitude and in height.  It was still a nice little waterfall.

Would I go back?  Absolutely yes.

Getting There

Entering Fundy National Park from the town of Alma, go up the hill and take the first left onto Point Wolfe Rd.  Stay right at all intersections/turns.  The parking area for the hike will be about 2.3 km on the left.  As a popular spot it is well marked.

Use the following link to customize your own directions to Dickson Falls.


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Hike Details

The hike is about a 1 mile - sorry 1.6 km - loop through the forest.  There is a boardwalk for maybe half the walk with several stairs.  Nevertheless I consider this an easy hike and kid friendly.

The trail signs at the beginning of the hike are a little confusing.  Since it is a loop you can go either direction.  Take your pick.

Oh, and don't forget repellant.  There were many mosquitoes as you can see in the video below.

Photo Tips

Ok, so once again I didn't follow my own advice.  I arrived at Dickson Falls around 12:30 pm - yes, the worst possible time for photographing waterfalls.  And it shows.  If you look very closely you'll notice a lot of "spotchiness" from the sunlight filtering through the trees.  I had lens glare problems, and the typical highlight overexposure on areas of the water.

In my own defense we're talking about a vacation trip here.  One is constrained to visit whenever possible (if you want to visit at all) so the timing was miserable for this particular waterfall.

Even after all these problems with lighting I still like the waterfall pictures I took.  They aren't great IMO but decent.  I think with the right conditions - that being overcast skies or early/late in the day - and good water flow, one could obtain some fabulously stunning photos at this waterfall.  Just so you know.

You will need a good tripod to get long exposures.  There isn't enough water to mess with fast shutter speeds.  If things work out hopefully there won't be much wind so the foliage and leaves don't blur as they did in my pictures.

As always I recommend the use of a polarizer to cut down on reflections.  I color-corrected the photos with Photoshop when I got home.

Composition - There are many possibilities here but you are somewhat limited by the boardwalk.  In general you'll need a wide-to-normal zoom lens here in the 18-55 mm range.

Video

Here you go.

Dickson Falls, Fundy National Park, New Brunswick, Canada from Randy Gardner on Vimeo.



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