The Cobequid Mountains trace their geologic history to the Precambrian and Devonian ages; consequently the mountains are composed of a combination of sediments, granites, and volcanic rock all of which has been crushed and folded by continental drift when this part of Nova Scotia was located at the centre of the Pangea supercontinent. Subsequent erosion over millions of years has resulted in the present-day low range of mountains and rolling hills.
The part of northern Nova Scotia which contains the Cobequid Mountains is believed to have been linked with what is now northern Europe. Its collision with a section from present-day northern Africa has resulted in the current landscape in the province; a remnant fault line from this event, the Cobequid-Chedabucto Fault, extends along the southern portion of the Cobequid Mountains, immediately north of the Minas Basin and Cobequid Bay east to Canso.
The Cobequid Mountains remain largely uninhabited (by humans), with the highest point being Nuttby Mountain (360 m (1,181 ft)). Other high peaks include Higgins Mountain (355 m (1,165 ft)), Dalhousie Mountain (335 m (1,099 ft)), and Mt. Thom.
The range contains an abundance of freshwater lakes and some springs which form headwaters that flow via a number of small rivers and streams south into the Minas Basin and north into Northumberland Strait. Several escarpments associated with the Fundy Basin have been formed from fault lines, resulting in a number of waterfalls on the southern mountain slopes.
Forests and mineral resources
Forests covering the Cobequid Mountains are mainly of hardwood species sugar maple (also known locally as 'rock maple') and yellow birch on mountain slopes, which present spectacular displays in autumn with the changing of the colours. Steep stream and river valleys are dominated by red spruce stands. The lower slopes consist of balsam fir, red spruce, black spruce, white spruce, paper birch, red maple and silver maple (also known locally as 'white maple').
The sedimentary deposits in the Cobequid Mountains hold several coal deposits in various basins, stretching across the northern slope of the mountains in Cumberland County (from Joggins through River Hebert to Springhill) and on the southern edge at Debert. Igneous rocks yielded iron ore at Londonderry.
- Geographical Names Board of Canada - Cobequid Mountains
- Ronnie Van Dommelen, Londonderry iron mining district, The Mineralogy of Nova Scotia