Paddle Lunenburg/Queens

Lake Route 8: Ponhook Lake

Record #: LQR0043
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2019
Last Full Update: 07 Nov 2014


Public Bulletin
Neither South Shore nor the Lunenburg-Queens Recreational Coordinators/Directors Association own or control the canoe routes, portages or campsites listed in this guide, and assume no responsibility or liability for the safety of those using the canoe routes, walking the portages, or using the campsites. 
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. 
South Shore and Lunenburg-Queens Recreational Coordinators/Directors Association are not liable for any errors or omissions in this guide.


Located In South Shore Region
Where To Find Us
Caledonia, NS
Areas Served Lunenburg County ; Queens County (NS)


Phone 902-275-3490
Contact Chad Haughn, President, LQRCDA

Description & Services

One of the largest lakes in the two counties with big undeveloped islands, coves and beaches. 
Where: West of Bridgewater below Molega Lake 
Skill Level: Beginner 
Time: Day or overnight 
Distance: About 30 km around lake 
Click map to enlarge 
Ponhook is a Mi’kmaq word meaning “The first lake in a chain.” This chain is possibly the route to Lake Rossignol and on to Kejimkujik Lake via a string of eight lakes known as the Christopher Lakes (See Lake Route 3). Like Molega, Ponhook has pockets of cottage development but still has some wilderness areas in particular on the large islands in the middle of the lake. 
Also like Molega, the shoreline of Ponhook Lake is 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. 
The shoreline along the south end of the lake has sloping stony beachs and it gets rockier as you head north. On a fall day in Salmon Bay, we saw two large salmon jump and a bald eagle. The narrow passage between Big and Little Glode Islands with their steep hardwood slopes is a colourful paddle in the fall. A couple of beaches in this area (see B) are fine places for a picnic or swim. 
Water Safety Notes (See Lake Notes) 
Points of Interest 
1 Molega Beach - Gold was discovered at this isolated location in 1886 and by 1888, the population had grown to about 400. Four stamp mills were built and the 1930s and 40s were quite productive. During the boom days, a small steamer operated between here, Greenfield and near Brookfield. Today you can see old tailing piles and exploratory holes off the roads near the beach and an old foundation at the beach. (See The Gold Hunters Guide to Nova Scotia, by Tony Bishop). 
Access Point One - Greenfield Boat Ramp 
From Bridgewater: Turn north at Exit 13 off Highway 103 and travel 6.5 km. Turn left here onto the 210 to Greenfield.Go over the bridge and take the first right about one km. From Liverpool: Turn north at Exit 19 off Highway 103 and go north on Route 8 about 20 km. Turn right, continue to Greenfield and take the first left before the bridge. A steep paved ramp is on your left and a small parking area on your right. 
Access Point Two - Boat Launch just below Echo Lodge on the Medway River 
Turn onto the Echo Lodge Road off Route 8 between Liverpool and Caledonia. This road is 2.7 kms. from South Brookfield or 2 km past the Cameron Brook Provincial Park. Drive 2.4 kms until the road splits in three. Take the middle lane and then the right lane when the road branches again. Asmall loop and ramp give access to the Medway River. Park off to the side so not to block other vehicles. 
Access Point Three - Cameron Lake 
Park at the Cameron Brook Provincial Park off Route 8. Launch your boat on the other side of the highway south of the bridge into Cameron Lake. This lake connects to Ponhook Lake via St Mary Bay without a portage. 
Ponhook Lodge Camp and Trailer Park (902)685-2346 on Little Ponhook Lake (Short portage into Ponhook Lake) The campground at LaBelle has been sold and is no longer operating. 
Medway River - River Route 4. Flows into and out of Ponhook Lake 
Christopher Lakes - Lake Route 3
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

Special Information