5 Must-see Sections of The Great Trail in New Brunswick
Fundy Trail. Photo by Fundy Trail Parkway.
Fundy Trail Parkway
The Bay of Fundy is renowned for the world’s highest tides. The Fundy Trail Parkway offers magnificent views of sparkling water, rocky crags, a five-tiered waterfall and a white-sand beach where seals sunbathe. On a clear day, you can see across the bay to Nova Scotia. This trail is designed to preserve the fragile ecosystem of the Fundy Escarpment while making its unique beauty available to all. The journey on foot or bicycle is strenuous as the route winds and undulates, hugging the cliff edge, then curving inland to cross gorges and ravines. Parallel to the trail is a road that runs mostly out of sight. The Trail links eight access points and offers shortcuts and wheelchair access to many of the lookouts. Visit the Big Salmon River Interpretive Centre and Suspension Bridge.
Dobson Trail to Fundy Footpath
If you’re looking for a rewarding hike in the wilderness with spectacular views and opportunities for camping along the way, this 90-kilometre greenway is for you. Dobson Trail connects the Town of Riverview to the Village of St. Martins along the Bay of Fundy, then on to the northern boundary of Fundy National Park near Alma.
The trail surface includes gravel, mud, sand and lots of roots with some challenging sections, but mainly intermediate to easy sections. The trail winds through softwood and hardwood stands, crosses a beaver dam, touches a lake and ascends slopes to reach magnificent look-outs, including Prosser Brook Ridge, the new Kent Hills power generating windmills and the spectacular Hayward Pinnacle.
The Dobson Trail meets Fundy National Park and turns into the Fundy Footpath, another challenging wilderness trail that starts at the suspension bridge at Big Salmon River and hugs the coastline to the boundaries of Fundy National Park.
Valley and South Riverfront Trails
New Brunswick’s capital city of Fredericton is home to more than 85 kilometres of the Trail ideal for pedestrians and cyclists. If you want to experience an urban section of the Trail to take in the many tourist attractions and amenities the city has to offer, look no further than the Valley and South Riverfront Trails.
Starting from the west end in Silverwood, the South Riverfront Trail runs through downtown Fredericton over the St. John River and passes the Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge, one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world.
The South Riverfront Trail then connects to the Valley Trail, which follows the old CN rail line to the city limits at MacIntosh Brook, following an idyllic path up the St. John River through quiet suburban areas and parks.
There are lots of tourist attractions along the Trail in Fredericton, including Christ Church Cathedral, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly, City Hall and Government House.
Sackville Waterfowl Park and the Marshes
The quiet and quaint town of Sackville is home to world-renowned Mount Allison University, as well as the Waterfowl Park, which is now part of The Great Trail network.
For nature and wildlife lovers, this location is ideal for spotting fuzzy ducklings, muskrats and marsh birds, along three kilometres of winding boardwalks, trails and viewing platforms. From the Waterfowl Park, Trail users can continue along the Marshes Trail, a former rail bed that leads to Port Elgin, a small town that offers various amenities. Then it’s on to Cape Jourimain National Wildlife Area, and the Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island. This section of The Great Trail spans over 50 kilometres suitable for cyclists and walkers.
Petit Témis Trail
The City of Edmunston is located at the edge of the New Brunswick “panhandle,” nestled in the northeastern section of the Appalachian Mountains at the junction of the St. John and Madawaska Rivers in the northwestern part of the province. From downtown Edmundston, Trail lovers can hop on the Petit Témis Trail, regardless of their skill levels. Open from May to October, the Pétit Temis Trail runs along converted rail bed from Edmundston all the way to the Quebec border, passing rivers, lakes and towns, as it makes its way to Rivière-du-Loup. The Petit Témis Trail is suitable for all ages and abilities, as it is mostly flat and follows a route with many amenities.
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