Folly Lake, Nova Scotia, Canada

Lake Locations:

Canada - Nova Scotia -

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.

Things to do at Folly Lake

  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Hiking
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Waterfall
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Museum

Fish species found at Folly Lake

  • Perch
  • Salmon
  • Trout

Folly Lake Photo Gallery

    Folly Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

    Surface Area: 195 acres

    Shoreline Length: 4 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 600 feet

    Maximum Depth: 110 feet

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    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

    You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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