The beautiful Fundy Trail and a dedication

Before we get to the beautiful Fundy Trail Parkway which we visited this past weekend, I want to dedicate this post to my dear Aunt Diane Page who we  lost this past week to cancer. We celebrated her life on Monday in Quispamsis where she and her family have lived since the early 70s. She was a lover of family and photos. One of the last times I saw her she was still trying to get on her tablet and show me her most recent photos of her family. Her family had her albums out to view during the visitation time. I came across a couple of her and my uncle on the suspension bridge and with their vehicle crossing the Big Salmon River back in the day when all there was was a rough dirt road to get there. She also had some of her grand kids down to St. Martin’s  this summer so I knew she liked getting down to this area. It’s an easy quick trip from Saint John to get there and enjoy the day by the sea and in another couple years it will be an even easier trip from Alma to access this beautiful area. Right now it takes about 45 minutes from Saint John or  1.5 hours from Moncton to get to St. Martin’s and the start of the Fundy Trail Parkway.

Here is my spunky aunt with 3 of her grand kids at the suspension bridge a few years ago, playing on the beach at the Caves and this summer she was still willing to scramble up some rocks down at the Caves as well. She was always up for an adventure. I hear she liked to pull a lot of pranks on people too!

Her family will miss her so much but hopefully the love and time she has invested into them will be carried on to others. We love you Aunt Diane!

It is a much easier trip to get to Big Salmon River thanks to the vision of Dr. Mitchell Franklin and many other supporters as well as assistance from the Provincial and Federal governments that started developing the Fundy Trail Parkway back in 1993-1994 with its Environmental Impact Assessment. Thankfully that went through and construction started in 1995 with phase 1 opening in 1998 which included about 10 km. Phase 2 opened in 2010 with the bridge to cross Big Salmon River just in front of the suspension bridge that had already been there for many years . (This is also where the Fundy Footpath begins if you have heard of people undergoing this arduous “hike” that takes you along the coast to Fundy Park in about 4-5 days- not for the faint of heart! You must register before you attempt any part of this trail for your safety.) Phase 3 was completed in 2016 which gave direct access to Long Beach- this stretch of beach is a beautiful representation of how far our tides reach in this part of the world- you can explore a “Long” way- almost as far as our Waterside beach . The most recent Phase opened this year which ends at another facility and trails to see the Walton Glen Gorge and “Eye of the Needle” which previously could have only been seen if you had trekked on the Fundy Footpath. If you want to see and hear more about how the Fundy Trail Parkway was developed and how to plan your trip there please check out the website here.

These are the famous Caves in St. Martin’s that you can explore when the tide is out or you can go out in a kayak  or Zodiac with Red Rock Adventures when the tide is in. This spot has lovely views just from your car or stay awhile and get your lunch/supper at 1 of the 2 restaurants right on the beach. I hear one is known for their World Famous Chowder.

This is one of the 1st lookouts you can find on the Parkway looking at Flower Pot Rock. A lot of the lookouts or places on the map have little side trails to get down to see them. And did I mention you can bike or walk on a lovely multipurpose trail for 10 km until you get to the Interpretive centre. You can see a bit of it in the 2nd picture below from a few years ago. There is also a shuttle for $2 that will take you to different locations at certain times of the day.

These are some views from our visit this past weekend and in trips gone by. This is one of our favourite lookouts. It was the last day of the season and we had already planned this day so we went despite the weather. We saw amazing waves and peaks of sun which Mark says still made for an interesting day for creating moods in the pictures with the clouds and rain and fog.

This is the view from the interpretive centre looking out towards the Bay down the Big Salmon River. The interpretive centre has washroom facilities, snacks, lovely guides to give you additional information about the area and places to explore as well as a new video explaining the history of the area and the progress that has been made here so far.

The suspension bridge that crosses the river and takes you to the start of the Fundy Footpath as well as the hike to the Hearst Lodge:

A recent selfie showing the bridge and suspension bridge 🙂

One of the awesome views you will see where they had to cut into the side of the mountain and rock to make this roadway!

Looking out toward Isle Haute:

Some of those moody views and sun rays from this past weekend:

View of Martin Head in the distance and then zoomed in:

One view looking out over Long Beach with the tide partially out:

Another pretty view- reminds me of a watercolor painting with all the colors fading into each other. Just beautiful!

We had a BBQ at the the end of the trail beside the newest washroom and interpretive centre. We didn’t get a chance to go out to see the Walton Glen Gorge and Falls but we have something to look forward to next time!

We have had a lot of fun down in this area from camping in St. Martins at the Century Farm Campground to spending a getaway at what used to be the Quaco Inn but I think is now the Tidal Watch Inn. There are other campgrounds and Inns in the area to meet your needs as well.  Since the Trail opened we have tried to get down every time a new phase opened . Every time we come, we are blown away by the design, the quality, the view, the access, the trails , the history and everything that makes this wonderful Parkway an added gem to the province of New Brunswick. We are so fond of it that if  someone asks where they should go for a 1 day trip that really showcases the beauty of New Brunswick, we would recommend coming here! The daily rate is probably more than you would expect but check out the season pass which also gives you these discounts:

Your Fundy Trail Parkway season pass allows you a 25% discount on admission into Hopewell Rocks and some other attractions in New Brunswick due to a partnership. All Fundy Trail season pass holders receive a 25% off discount when they show their Fundy Trail season pass at the following locations. Please be prepared to show a picture ID with the pass.

  • Fundy Discovery Aquarium, St. Andrews
  • Village Historique Acadien, Caraquet
  • Le Pays de la Sagouine, Bouctouche
  • Jardin Kingsbrae Garden, St. Andrews
  • New Brunswick Botanical Garden, Edmundston
  • Kings Landing Historical Settlement, Prince William
  • Aquarium and Marine Center, Shippagan
  • Eco-Parc, Lamèque
  • Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton
  • New Brunswick Museum, Saint John

I am hoping that by the time the Trail opens to Fundy Park with links to Alma in 2021 that there will be a discount for there as well!!

Here is a view looking back towards the start of the trail where you can see the Quaco Head lighthouse out in the distance.

Thank you to my husband Mark for providing most of these photos!  I hope you plan a visit for 2019 to see this beautiful place!!

 

 

 

Let’s go glamping!

Down the road past the Hopewell Rocks and along the beautiful drive on route 114 that follows the coast with views of Grindstone Island, you will come to some idyllic pastures with views of horses out on  the marsh or you may see some horses and riders out for a ride near the Sawmill Creek bridge as you come to the entrance of Broadleaf Farm Ranch. I love seeing what’s going on at the ranch every time we pass to go to the cottage.

This ranch has been in operation since 1953. It was founded by Vernon and Joyce Hudson. Their 7 children have all played a part over the years in continuing their parents’ legacy and development of this beautiful property and company. Most continue to be involved in some way as well as their offspring. You can check out more about how the ranch got started here. We had missed the open house to tour the new Glamping units at Thanksgiving so stopped in this past weekend to see if we could take a few pictures around the ranch and of the new units. We got to have a private tour with one of the daughters Wendy who manages the ranch along with her brother Danny.

The Glamping units are located about halfway up the hill behind the main property. As soon as you come out on the road where they have been placed, you get a magnificent view of the Bay – you can see Joggins off to the left  and see all the way across the valley to the Shepody marshes, Grindstone Island, Mary’s Point and Nova Scotia. Mark took some great photos so this post will be photo heavy but it gives you a great feel for these units and space. You can click on the photos to enlarge them 🙂

The units all have a theme and are named after landmarks or livestock around the area. They have a Covered Bridge, Lighthouse or Chuck wagon unit to rent. Wendy told us about how these units were constructed and brought in by companies from Quebec, custom made and ordered right down to the paint colours.

The 1st one we checked out was the Covered Bridge unit: I loved the quality and great use of space in these units.  It’s a lovely place to soak in the view, hang out with family and enjoy the many activities on the property and the surrounding area.

The second unit is so unique, so iconic and fits in perfectly with its’ surroundings, as you can see from the view! Can you spy a little lighthouse in the distance 🙂

 

Look at this cute little space to sleep under the stars! There is room for up to 5 people in each of the units. The table folds down like a murphy bed and the couches turn into beds.

The 3rd unit is the classic Chuck Wagon- this one definitely fits in with a horse ranch and farm life doesn’t it? Its’ space is also strategically used with everything you need for a comfortable stay.  The only thing missing in these units is Wi-Fi but who needs that when you have all of nature to enjoy!

There are 2 of each of these Glamping units. They are available for year round use and available for booking on their website www.broadleafranch.ca .I think Wendy and her team have done a splendid job bringing these units in and hope they have great success and lots of bookings with them for years to come!

Wendy invited us to go further up the hill to see their Mountain Chalet that has been available since 1997 when they expanded their accommodations with the chalet and  their country cabins and dormitories. The chalet has a wonderful view as well and makes you feel like you are far from the hustle and bustle below. What a great get-away. The chalet can accommodate 24 people!!. It was recently used by a wedding party when they reserved the whole ranch for their wedding celebrations. It would be great for a family reunion or company function as well.

Back on the main property, we met these lovely fellows. I remembered I had 2 apples so ran to get them to feed these guys. I got a little scared and dropped one  so Mark broke my second one in half because I didn’t want either one to feel left out.

Here are some more shots of the main house with the fall leaves.

Thank you again to Wendy, Donna , Kathy and Danny for welcoming us and showing us around. We may have to do a part 2 to showcase the other part of the ranch which includes all their adventure activities like horseback riding, and adventure camps along with summer and winter activities. I have heard their Sunday Brunch is always popular that occurs from 10-2 every Sunday from May to October. As you can see, there is so much to do at Broadleaf!

Which Glamping unit was your favourite? Do you know what Glamping means?  Have you been to Broadleaf Ranch? Check out their website for more info, photos and for booking your next adventure- www.broadleafranch.ca

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin obsession

Hello! I have missed the last couple of weeks because we were busy with a fun fall giveaway and lots of DIY projects and crafts on my Facebook page plus we’ve had family visiting all this week. Be sure to stop by our page to see all the projects and like our page to stay in the know for future posts. Since we just had Thanksgiving, I wanted to share a few pictures of our week and some pumpkin inspired recipes and projects.

This is our front step decked out for fall with a few pumpkins :

For our other pumpkin inspired project I made a sign on an old cutting board from a Pinterest inspired project by printing the quote, transferring it to the board with chalk and painting it in. I sanded it a bit and rubbed in some finishing wax to bring out some luster. I am going to do a similar project on a smaller scale for our fall giveaway prize. The little fabric pumpkins were made a few years ago with some scrap fabric , gathering it and stuffing them . I use real pumpkin stems for the tops!

I tried out a couple new pumpkin recipes and a couple tried and true. The first new one was for pumpkin cookies from the blog” So much better with age“. You can find her recipe here. It is delicious and true to  pumpkin pie flavours. It has a raisin or chocolate chip option – of course I chose the latter.  Between me and my little nephew, they aren’t lasting too long.  I then made a pumpkin spice creamer for my coffee. I had tried a few of MacDonald’s Pumpkin Lattes this season but I like mine just as well with less additives and sugar in it. The recipe is from Dashing Dish here. This website is a membership website if you want access to more recipes but she does offer a lot of free recipes as well. I love her approach to clean eating and her wonderful Christian spirit with lots of motivation and articles as well as an emphasis on exercise in her content.

This next recipe is one I tried from her website as well that you can find here– Pumpkin breakfast oatmeal cookies- I think they ended up looking like owl faces after I took them out of the oven 🙂 . They will go well with this pumpkin butter I made last year and froze- I have some pie pumpkins I can’t wait to cook up and use for butter again and for baking throughout the year.

One of the tried and true recipes are pumpkin muffins from Armadale Dairy in Sussex , NB that they shared on their Facebook page last year.  I am sharing their recipe with their permission  I have used their Quark cheese they use for the icing  but cream cheese also works for the icing. They suggest that they are similar to the Tim Horton version. They are awesome but what makes them even better is knowing what is in them.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Quark Icing

2 cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
pinch of cloves
2 eggs
1 heaping cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1.5 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, divided

Quark Icing

250 g Quark
6 tbsp Icing Sugar
1.5 tsp vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 Celsius

In a bowl, mix together all dry ingredients and 1/4 cup of the pumpkin seeds. In a separate bowl, mix together wet ingredients. Combine dry and wet ingredients until just combined. Divide in greased or lined muffins tins. Don’t be shy to fill them full, they won’t rise excessively. Top muffins with the rest of the pumpkin seeds. Bake for 20 minutes.
**You may have a little bit of batter left over. I created this recipe myself, and couldn’t quite get the amounts perfected without affecting the taste. It was a good day to be a kid in the test kitchen though!

Mix together the 4 ingredients for the icing with a whisk or mixer and let set in the fridge until the muffins are cooled. Transfer icing to a cake decorator or piping bag. In the middle of each muffin, cut an X with a sharp knife. Insert your cake decorator (with your thinnest longest tip) into the muffin and squeeze some icing into each muffin, with a dollop on top. If you don’t have a cake decorator or something similar, you could just put the icing on top. Muffins should be refrigerated where they contain Quark.

The last pumpkin recipe is one I’ve been making for years since my colleague and friend from Waterside introduced it to me. It’s called Pumpkin Crunch- it’s like an upside down pumpkin pie with a sweet and salty flavour and you don’t have to make a pie crust. Bonus!

Here’s the recipe:

1 package yellow cake mix,16 oz solid pumpkin, 1can evaporated milk, 3 eggs, 1.5 cups sugar, 4 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 c chopped pecans, 1 c margarine or butter,melted. Combine pumpkin,milk, eggs,sugar, spices and salt- mix well. Pour into 9 x 13 pan . Sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin. Top with pecans. Drizzle with melted marg/butter. Bake at 350 for 50-55 min or until golden. Cool.Top with whipped cream! 

Here is our dining table all set for dinner!  We had 15 gather for dinner on Monday. So blessed to have family from all sides and special family from New York share a meal together. I got the cute little white pumpkins from the Green Pig Market in Salisbury.

I hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving and try out some of these fun and yummy pumpkin recipes.