If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive vacation and you enjoy hiking, camping and seeing some of Canada’s natural wonders, then the New Brunswick Fundy Coast is the place to be. New Brunswick is near the eastern tip of Canada. It is bordered by Quebec, Nova Scotia, and the state of Maine. New Brunswick also connects to Prince Edward Island by the 17 km long bridge, called the Confederation Bridge.
Life on the East Coast
One of the things I always loved about living on the East Coast of Canada is the slow, relaxed pace of life. A drive in the country is like taking a step back in time. Most of the houses are heritage homes with a gorgeous Victorian style. It’s an uncrowded, soothing place, perfect for a relaxing vacation. If relaxing isn’t your thing, then there is still lots to do. There is a range of outdoor activities that include hiking, kayaking, repelling, spelunking and there are tons more.
The Fundy Coast
The Fundy Coast is one of New Brunswick’s most popular tourist destinations. There are definitely some places that should not be skipped. Highway 114 skirts the Fundy coast from Moncton all the way to Fundy National Park. The Fundy Coast has some of the most extreme tides in the world. These tides have created amazing natural sites all the way up the Fundy coast.
First on the list of must-see attractions is Hopewell Rocks, a provincial park off highway 114, which is open mid-May to mid-October. The Hopewell Rocks are huge tree-topped sandstone formations that were created by the tide after years of erosion. At low tide you can walk the ocean floor or you can take a kayak tour when the tide is up, with Baymount Outdoor Adventures. Since the tides are ever changing, check with a tide schedule to help plan your day. After enjoying a day in the park, you can enjoy a meal at the Log Cabin Gift Shop and Restaurant. If you would enjoy something a little more formal, then I would highly recommend the Old Shepody Mill Restaurant, they have excellent food and great service.
Next in line is Cape Enrage. To get to Cape Enrage you will want to take highway 916. You can access highway 916 from either Riverside-Albert or Alma. After that, just follow the signage. Highway 916 in itself is a small adventure with great views of the coast and beautiful countryside. I make a stop at Ha-Ha Cemetery for a picture every time I head through New Horton. You will also see a covered bridge and some gorgeous old churches. This landscape is even more amazing if caught in the early morning when the mist is coming off the shore covering the area in a thick fog from the ocean. Cape Enrage is a lighthouse turned tourist attraction. Here you can take a relaxing lighthouse tour or walk on the beach and explore the 150 foot cliffs. If you want something a little more extreme they also offer repelling, climbing tours and bike rentals. It is an amazing place to experience. Just remember, if you go walking on the beach, that the tide come in extremely fast. I’ve only been caught once, having to wade through waste deep water to get to the stairwell heading up from the shore, but it can happen easily.
Fundy Park and Alma
Fundy National Park and the town of Alma have always been the major attraction to the area. If you are going to be staying in the area, and not camping, I would recommend staying at either the Cliffside Suites or the Falcon Ridge Inn. Both have beautiful accommodations and a fair price. Please note, for both locations it is a very good idea to book ahead as they both fill up quickly.
While in Alma, you can enjoy beautiful views of the Fundy tides coming in and out and the New Brunswick country life. Alma is a typical small New Brunswick fishing village. Make sure to check out the town’s only bakery for some awesome peanut butter balls. They also apparently have amazing sticky buns which they bake non-stop all day. Every time I’ve tried to buy some they have been sold out, but you can add your name to a waiting list if you like.
If you want to exercise instead of eatting then Fundy National Park will not disappoint. There are hiking trails that will accommodate any fitness level. Many of their trails have amazing waterfalls to enjoy but be advised, some waterfalls are marked on the visitor maps, some are not. There are some awesome sites to see if you are up to doing some exploring. My favourite trail is actually a combination of two trails on the Fundy visitor map: Moosehorn and Laverty Falls. Both these trails share a parking lot so combining the two trails is pretty easy. My wife and I hike this trail whenever we get the chance. We hike Moosehorn until it meets up with the Upper Salmon River and then follow the river until it meets up with the Laverty Falls trail and walk the Lavety Falls trail back to the parking lot. There are lots of great hiking trails, camping, and picnic spots in Fundy. For a great map of the park and its trails check out the Parks Canada website.
If you are also visiting PEI on your travels be sure to check out this article on fun family things to do on PEI.