Lake Route 7: Molega Lake
Record #: LQR0042
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2019
Last Full Update: 07 Nov 2014
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lt is recommended that users approach all canoe routes, portages and campsites in a safe and responsible manner. Conditions can change through fluctuating water levels, natural debris, and logging activity. Arrangements must be made directly with the owners of the portages and campsites.
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|Located In||South Shore Region|
|Where To Find Us||
|Areas Served||Lunenburg County ; Queens County (NS)|
|Contact||Chad Haughn, President, LQRCDA|
Description & Services
|Information||MOLEGA LAKE LAKE ROUTE 7
One of the counties largest lakes, Molega has big coves and lots of islands and although it is getting developed, there are still places to get away from it all.
Where: West of Bridgewater
Skill Level: Beginner
Time: Day or overnight trip
Distance: About 30 kms around lake
Molega is not a Mi’kmaq word but derived from Spanish, meaning a gold or silver mining town. The site of the old mine town, Molega Beach, is actually on Ponhook Lake (Lake Route 8). Like Ponhook and Lake Rossignol, this lake has that big sky feel. It is surrounded by steep little drumlins that make good landmarks when out on the water. It has four large islands and dozens of smaller ones. The largest, Round Island, is also a good landmark because of its distinctive shape.
Like many lakes in the area, the number of roads and cottages have increased considerably in recent years. An extensive road system has been built all around the lake though you can’t see it from the lakeshore which is still mostly forested. The cottages are concentrated in specific areas and it’s still possible to get out of sight of civilization for that wilderness feel. Four undeveloped areas where the canoeist or kayaker can explore undisturbed are outlined under Points of Interest.
Most of the shoreline is lined with boulders making it difficult to land but there are several
natural sandy beaches (see B). The shorelines of Molega and Ponhook Lake are also host to several species of rare plants including three endangered coastal plain plants that have an ecological niche between high and low water: Red Root, Goldencrest and Long’s Bull Rush. These species migrated from New England when the sea level was lower and this is the only area of Nova Scotia where they are found. About 40 sites have been identified on Crown Land and protected under Special Places and 70 on private land. These sites are not signed so take care when walking the shoreline not to destroy plant life. For more information see the Atlas of Rare Vascular Plants in NS, Curatorial Report Number 97; or call the Department of the Environment, Parks Division in Belmont 902-662-3030.
Water Safety Notes
Wind - (See Lake Notes)
Because of the size of the lake, wind and swells can be a problem for small boats. Pick your route according to the wind direction.
Boat traffic - Expect motor boats and other water traffic especially in the summer.
Obstacles - Watch out for rocks when the water is low.
Points of Interest
1 Long Cove - This protected cove has slatey shores and numerous little rock piles. An eagle makes its nest on nearby softwood island. Mint Brook, just west of here, is another ideal protected spot for the canoeist with a small beach and channel.
2 Black Rattle Lake - In the spring when the water is high, you can paddle up into the marsh at the top end of this lake and see the work of the beaver.
3 The southwest bay - The south east end of this bay has a hidden cove with islands that invites the canoeist in to explore as well as a grouping of small islands at the mouth west of Rockaway Island.
4 Big Brother Island - The area around this island is also undeveloped as yet. Big Brother has a small pretty beach suitable for camping or a picnic as well as an open forest.
How to get there
Take Exit 13 off Highway 103 and travel 6.5 km up route 325.Turn left here onto Route 210 toward Chelsea. Follow this road for 12.1 km and turn right on the Henley Road to Molega Lake. The road comes to a T after 2.4 kms. Turn right and go about one km to a small park called Chelsea Municipal Beach.
Access/Exit Point One - Chelsea Municipal Beach
The park has a small parking lot and is open all year. From here it is about a 30 m carry to the beach.
Access Point Two - Pleasant River
Put in is 1.5 km up stream from the lake. Some whitewater skills are required. Toget there, turn onto the New Elm Road off Route 208. Look for a sign saying “New Elm, Baker Point” and a white church. Travel 3.1 km and turn right to Baker Point down a private road that is rough but passable. After another 5.5 kms, the road comes to a T.Turn right here and continue 2 more km to the bridge.
Note: An extensive road system has been built around Molega Lake since the last topographic map was produced in 1976. Wehave added only the roads necessary to access this route. Exit will need to be elsewhere.
Access/ Exit Point Three - LaBelle-Molega Road
Turn off Route 210 toward LaBelle and travel about 5 km.Turn leftat the fork toward the community of Molega and travel about 3 km. Turn right here and take a short walk in along a driveway that crosses private land to a Crown Land property on the lake. The cove is sheltered with easy boat access. The site has been used for camping and there is a fire pit.
Beavertail Basin (about 3 kms) can be reached under a small bridge at the Narrows.
Pleasant River - River Route 7. Flows into Molega
Wild Cat River - River Route 9. Flows out of Molega - (Exit - Echo Lodge)
Ponhook Lake - Lake Route 8 via the Wild Cat River (Exit - Greenfield or Cameron Lake)
For multi-route trips that include this route see Lake Notes.
Topographic map - Bridgewater 21 A/7
|Eligibility||Ages: 16 year(s) and up
Children under 16 with adults - please use own discretion depending on skill level
|Tags||Canoe/Kayak ; Maps ; NS Trail Guide ; Recreation Categories ; South Shore Connect|