The Fundy Trail
Bay of Fundy
Canada has many amazing outdoor trails for hikers; one of the best is the Fundy Trail. The Fundy Trail runs along the coast of New Brunswick and the Atlantic Ocean. The main trail is 16KM long and there are several other branches located along the route. The Fundy Trail opens up previously inaccessible areas of the beautiful Bay of Fundy region.
The Bay of Fundy region of Canada has the highest tides in the world. The Fundy Trail gives hikers access to many secluded beaches along the way. The famous Flower Pot Rocks are an example of the power of the tides and are located around the Fundy National Park at end of the trail. The Fundy Trail is very unique in North America as it protects the last stretch of undeveloped Atlantic coastline between Newfoundland in Canada and Florida in the United States of America.
The Fundy Trail
The Fundy Trail is accessible in three different ways, by hiking, biking, or driving. The developed light gravel trail runs parallel to the automotive parkway and is designed for easy navigation either on foot or by mountain bike. ATV’s are not permitted on the trails which wind their way from sea level beaches all the way up hills that are several hundred feet above sea level. Hikers and bikers will find the trail fairly difficult, but the stunning views are well worth the effort. The easiest way to experience the trail is by car as the roadway runs along side the hiking trail for much of the 16kM journey.
The Fundy Trail is connected by many look outs, rest stops, observation points and picnic areas. There are many free parking sites and each rest stop is wheel chair accessible giving everyone the chance to view the last undeveloped coastline of Eastern North America. Foot paths connect to the trail and pass over a suspension foot bridge and along water falls that have a 250 M (750’) fall to the ocean far below. The Bay of Fundy is home to many unique and precious marine animals including Right Whales, puffins, seals, and other special marine and plant life.
Interpretive Centre and Hearst Lodge
The Fundy Trail is centred around an interpretive centre located in Big Salmon River. The interpretive centre is open 8AM to 8PM from the Victoria Day weekend in May until the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend in October. The trail is also open during the winter months for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking although some restrictions do apply. The interpretive centre features displays and artifacts from the founding of Big Salmon River when it was a logging, fishing, and ship building town during the late 1800’s to early 1950’s. Lectures are available every 15 minutes for tourists. There is ample free parking and rest rooms. Guided tours can be arranged at the interpretive centre for motor coaches at an additional fee.
The Hearst Lodge is a converted log cabin that can accommodate small groups. Reservations are required but the experience this lodge provides is well worth the wait. Located approximately 3 KM from the interpretive centre the Hearst Lodge provides one night only accommodation in the log cabin original built by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. Luxurious meals can be included in the price of your stay. Access to the lodge is available by vehicle or hiking the 2.8KM Hearst Lodge Footpath.
Travelers can also stop at the Heritage Sawmill which gives demonstrates the cultural importance the logging industry played in the development of not only the St. Martins but also the Bay of Fundy and province of New Brunswick.
The Fundy Footpath
The Fundy Footpath is another trail that is associated with the Fundy Trail. The Fundy Footpath is partially located in the Fundy Trail park and starts at the suspension bridge in Big Salmon River and ends at Fundy National Park. The Fundy Footpath is a challenging path for hikers that takes 3 to 4 days to complete. The path hugs the coastline so much so that hikers may only cross Goose River and Goose Creek at low tide. The footpath is 41 KM long through continuous wilderness. Hikers are required to pay a small fee at the Big Salmon River interpretive centre to use the trail during the summer. Hikers are also encouraged to bring tents, water purification and a back pack stove as campfires are not permitted.
Operating in association with the Fundy Trail are several other small trails for hikers. These include the Sea Captain’s Burial Grounds, Flowerpot Rock Scenic Footpath, and the Pioneer Scenic Footpath.
How To Access The Trails
The Fundy Trail entrance is located 10KM east of the town of St. Martin’s on Route #111. Travellers from St. John or St. Stephen should take the Trans Canada Highway #1 east to exit 137A and follow route #111 east to St. Martins. If you are coming from Moncton or Nova Scotia take the Trans Canada Highway #1 west to exit 198 and follow route #111 west to St. Martins. For more information on he park and it’s trails, contact the interpretive centre toll free at 1-866-386-3987 or visit their website at www.fundytrailparkway.com