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Deglaciation smoothed out the rough-edged mountains of central Nova Scotia and created the cool, clear pond known as Folly Lake. The glaciers left behind a pristine body of water surrounded by rolling hills and mineral deposits including salts, sand and silica. The area is generally rural, offering beautiful lake, woodland and pastoral views.
Folly Lake is a spring-fed lake of more than 200 surface acres. It is one mile long and a half of a mile wide. Folly Lake formed 10,000 years ago when melting waters from glaciers dammed up both ends of an ancient mountain pass with rock debris. Today the dams and a quarry that nearly surrounds the lake are an available source of gravel and rock for the construction of roads.
The name "Folly" came from early lake settlers' dislike of a neighbor. The word folly was given to a place described as an "unfortunate destination." In this instance, it was a reference to a man named Fleming. First the area was called "Fleming Folly" but later evolved into "The Folly." It also appears on old maps as "Fawleig" and "Folleigh."
In present times, Folly Lake is a popular vacation destination. Anglers are attracted to its deep, cool waters to fish for trout and perch. The lake is also stocked with Atlantic salmon. There are two public boat ramps, one at each end of the lake, where you can launch your motor boat. The Village of Folly Lake is on the west bank. Cottages are available around the lake for vacation rentals.
Folly Lake is one of the largest lakes in Colchester County and a popular spot for seasonal homes and tourist accommodations. Visitors come to enjoy spectacular views, boating, hiking, snow skiing and snowboarding at nearby Wentworth. The ski resort is a short drive from Folly Lake and offers winter fun for beginner and expert skiers and snowboarders alike.
Colchester County is home to numerous hiking trials that boast beautiful settings no matter what the season. The Kenomee Trail System is located in the Economy River Wilderness Area. The system's four trails offer river views from cliffs, a canopy of mature forests (maple, birch, hemlock and spruce), waterfalls, and copious wildlife including deer, moose, birds of prey, songbirds and wildflowers in the warmer months. The Thomas Cove Coastal Reserve Hiking Trails promise striking views of the Minas Basin, Cobequid Mountains -- Folly Lake is in the Cobequid Uplands -- and Five Islands.
Maples are prominent trees in the forests; in fact, the maple is a popular tourist attraction and important economic resource. Many travel to Colchester County in the spring for maple syrup camps and festivals and several area producers open their farms to tourists year-round. Spring is an especially interesting time, when the trees are tapped and vats are filled with sap that is then boiled down to the sweet treasure we know as maple syrup. Did you know it takes up to 11 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup?
The area is also steeped in history. The Intercolonial Railway, now the CN, came through the area in the 1800s. The Colchester Historical Society and Museum in Truro has an exhibit that details 100 years of steam history. For lake lubbers doing double-time as history buffs, Truro is just a 25 minute drive from Folly Lake. Years later, the Folly Lake area continued its story with trains hauling away iron ore from the nearby town of Londonderry. A short drive from Folly Lake will take you to old mines that were harvested from 1849 to 1906. The town once was home to 5000 people involved in mining and steel making; now the township has just 200 residents.
Any season is a great time to visit Folly Lake. Whether you are coming for the sweet taste of maple syrup in the spring, to reel in a salmon in the early summer, to take in the fall colors in September, or to hit the slopes in the winter, a beautiful destination awaits.
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