Our recent trip to Newfoundland has me inspired to look for some of the less advertised and/or marked trails in our neck of the coast. Some of our more memorable moments and beautiful scenery was found on some of the community maintained paths that we found in the areas we visited. The first three here were not even trails we were looking for but because we had some time to explore and because they weren’t too long, they were just right for our family. It was fun to see new places and not be too worn out doing it! Because this trip is so fresh in our minds, I hope you don’t mind if I indulge in documenting some of these trails to inspire you to maybe look for trails in your area that maybe only the locals know about !
The first place we loved was at Bottle Cove in Lark Harbour. There were trails here maintained by OBIEC (Outer Bay of Islands Enhancement Committee). These are panoramic photos Mark took of the “Bottle Cove” . The second photo is showing what we saw when we hiked out the furthest point you see on the right side of the cove.
When I wrote about the new Shorebird Discovery Centre at Mary’s Point and the view of Grindstone Island you can see from the new trail there it reminded me that I hadn’t featured Grindstone Island on the blog yet. The Friends of Grindstone Island is a group of volunteers that was first started by Kelly-Sue O’Connor in 2015. I have the great pleasure of introducing Melanie Shaw as our guest this week. She is the current Lead Steward of The Friends of Grindstone Island. With Melanie’s involvement with the Island and her attachment to the area I knew she could do a better feature on it than I could. The first photo is by my husband Mark looking at Grindstone Island from up the hill behind Broadleaf Farm, It gives you an idea of it from far away of where it sits out there in the Bay of Fundy across from the Harvey banks. The rest of the photos are from Melanie from some of her visits to the Island. Read on to hear more about this magical place and how you can be involved in helping to preserve it. There is a special treat at the bottom of the post to enjoy at your leisure.
Exciting news for locals and tourists alike, especially all you bird watchers! If you were down to Mary’s Point last summer, you would have noticed a new building that was erected beside the old interpretive building. This new Shorebird Discovery Centre is beautifully situated to take in the expanse that is the Shepody Natural Wildlife Area (NWA). The Shepody NWA includes Mary’s Point, New Horton and Germantown Marsh. We were excited to see it and even more excited to hear it would be opening in 2019. We headed down there this past weekend and was pleased to see one of the interpreter’s we had met last year, Denis Doucet, and his team settling in to the centre and getting ready for the grand opening which is happening July 16th at 1 pm.
Do you know where to find Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum Falls? Have you heard of the Dragon’s Tooth? These are just 2 of the 50 Amazing places you can find to explore around the Fundy Biosphere Reserve. “As a non-profit organization, the Fundy Biosphere Reserve is a community-based initiative comprised of individuals and representatives of various stakeholder groups, organizations and local communities working to promote the sustainable development of the region by enhancing the research and innovation capacity and by creating a forum for various groups to share information, knowledge and best practices.” The UNESCO-designated biosphere comprises 442,250 hectares in the upper Bay of Fundy coast, stretching from St. Martins to the Tantramar Marsh near Sackville and inland to Moncton. As Dr. Jennifer Dingman, the Executive Director of the Fundy Biosphere Reserve, explained in part of the talk at the Riverview Winter Carnival this past weekend “Engage with Nature”- it is all the watershed that falls into the upper Bay of Fundy area including the Petitcodiac and the other little estuaries that contribute to the Bay. This biosphere is unique and was nominated by the planning committee to be a UNESCO site back in 2007 ,after 8 years of planning ,because of these 3 reasons:
Recognition of a special piece of the Atlantic Canada maritime landscape and the uniqueness of the Bay of Fundy;
Recognition of the area’s history and its cultural identity in the region and within Canada;
Recognition of the past and continued commitment of residents, policy makers, resource sectors and scientists to seek continued improvement in intergenerational sustainability.
It was the hope that being designated as a UNESCO site would also bring local and international investment and interest to the area. At this time many organizations we heard from at the workshop are hoping that the Tourism department will see this designated site as a worthwhile investment for our province to engage people to visit our province. There are 18 designated areas in Canada with 3 right here in Atlantic Canada- 1 in New Brunswick with the Fundy Biosphere and 2 in Nova Scotia.
The Fundy Biosphere Reserve designated 50 Amazing Places to explore ,that are found along many already established trails and destination spots. The 2 places I mentioned above were ones I had never heard of so I had to look them up! Wouldn’t you know they are on the most strenuous trail in the area- the Fundy Footpath. Have any of you hiked this strenuous trail? Don’t be discouraged if you’ve heard how daunting it is! There are many other beautiful accessible sites like Dickson Falls in Fundy Park or Cape Enrage and of course our beautiful Waterside and Dennis beach made the list! You can see the whole map on the Fundy Biosphere’s website along with videos and articles about some of the areas.
I encourage you to look them up and tell me how many you have been to! If you don’t know where some of them are or how to get there- check out Hiking New Brunswick’s website– a great resource for all trails in New Brunswick. Here are some photos of some of the places we’ve been on the list:
Hopewell Rocks in Hopewell Cape.
Mary’s point in Harvey.
Squaw’s Cap Look-off on the Coastal Trail in Fundy.
Dickson Falls in Fundy.
Herring Cove Beach in Fundy.
Sea Caves in St. Martin’s.
Speaking of trails, we also had the pleasure of hearing from Marc Leger, the new Regional Trails Coordinator for the Southeast Regional Service Commission. Marc has a long history with trail making with his Dad Alonzo on the Fundy Footpath and Dobson Trail. He gave us some interesting insights about trails that I had never thought of. Not only are trails great for connecting us to nature, relieving stress, and helping us stay fit they also connect people, communities, culture and businesses. Using the example from the Trail Town program of the Buddha Bear Cafe in Riverview, he showed how a trail can get people in touch and investing in small business right off the trail and making a huge difference in communities when the trails are accessible and easy to use. According the Trail Town philosophy , a trail is successful if they have the following qualities: 1) It creates economic growth, 2) Grows local business and creates jobs, 3) Compounds the trail’s economic potential, 4) Improves infrastructure in rural areas, and 5) Protects the trails and surrounding nature. Buddha Bear Cafe is right on the Riverfront Trail facing the Petitcodiac river. It is easy access for people to stop for a drink or bite to eat while they are also using trail. I know they have even had events where people come for a drink while watching our famous Tidal Bore. This kind of use of trails attracts locals and tourists alike to invest in our small businesses and communities!
I was excited to hear about the most recent project Marc is working on. I had heard rumours about it lately but Marc confirmed the rumours are true! He is working on a huge project called The Shore-Line trail. It is a proposal to join Alma to Shediac via a 150 km trail. It would connect the provinces 3 largest attractions- Fundy National Park, Hopewell Rocks and Parlee Beach – as well as all the attractions along the way. Here is a little description of the trail from their proposal : The Shore-Line could be almost entirely off-road and will utilize abandoned rail corridors, dykes, undeveloped Department of Transportation and Infrastructure corridors and Crown Land wherever possible. Every possible effort will be made to locate a route that will follow coastline and waterways because trails users generally prefer trails to be close to water. Isn’t that awesome! How many have cringed when they hit the 114 outside Riverview? The narrow road with no margins makes us nervous in our cars let alone ever trying to walk, run or bike there. If you have been following my blog since last year, you remember the story of meeting a lady from Alberta who biked all the way to Newfoundland. She said the stretch from Hopewell Cape to Moncton was one of the scariest stretches she had driven in her whole drive across the country ( Thankfully she did get picked up for that stretch and didn’t have to drive it). It would be wonderful to have a trail that is safe, accessible and easy to manage for the average person.
For those who are interested in this trail or anyone who lives along this route, there is a meeting Feb 26th at the Riverside- Albert Recreation Centre with a drop in from 1-4 and information meeting from 6:30-8:30. Representatives from The Fundy Biosphere Reserve, Nature Conservancy of Canada and Regional Service Commission will be there for the presentations.
The last person we heard from at the workshop was Sarah Lord. Sarah has been the wellness coordinator at Jean Coutu in Riverview for the past 10 years. She has a passion for helping people get active and lead healthier lives. She has led various groups for walking, nordic walking, hiking, snowshoeing, etc. She has started her own business to lead people on tours and hikes especially if you are nervous about going alone. You can find her on her Facebook page Maritime Detours for all her latest news.
I had such a great time meeting some new people in the world of outdoor trails and pursuits. Other honourable mentions I heard were the Outdoor Enthusiasts Club and the Women of the Wilderness if you are looking for groups to join- they are on Facebook as well.
Next week will be 1 year in the blogging world. It has been fun to share places, businesses and creativity along the Road to Waterside. Be sure to tune in next week for a chance to win a Valentine’s basket to thank you for all your support!!
Just when you think you can’t take the weather and the roads anywhere, you take a break in the weather and head to Fundy. What Mark and I found this weekend was a renewed hope for enjoying more of winter. Since the kids have gotten older and my hands have gotten worse in the cold with Raynaud’s disease, we really have gotten away from doing anything outside in the winter. This past weekend though was gorgeous and tolerable! I could actually see myself enjoying it (when the temperature and wind were just right 🙂 ). We wanted to show you this week all the ways Fundy is making it more inviting to enjoy the park in all seasons. Enjoy some of these photos Mark took while we explored all the options available to you.
I have been wanting to write about this next business for a while now. I heard about this unique business back a few years ago when I heard on the news that the owner was going to have to put it up for sale after being in his family since 1922. You can see that news story here. Sadly this owner passed away while it was still for sale but it has been rejuvenated in the past year by his niece and great granddaughter of the original owner Sterling Moffett. I asked Natasha to share some of the history and story behind her family’s store and how she came to be a part of it. Here is her story behind Moffett’s Hardware Store in Sussex, New Brunswick:
Remember our trip to St. Martin’s and The Fundy Trail a few weeks ago? Well you have to go through Sussex to get there so of course I had to check out a few places while we were there! These 3 places are on the same block and beside one another on Main St. so you don’t have to go far to check them out. They are all working together in one way or another to support each other’s businesses. Read on!
The last time I shared some memories of the Fundy area we ended at my teenage years. When I was getting ready to graduate from high school, I had a moment of feeling depressed because I was sad about all my activities ending and that I felt my life would be changing forever. The summer I graduated was when I met Mark and well, I was no longer depressed after that 🙂 . A lot of our dates were spent in Fundy park and the Fundy area. I was even able to work as a lifeguard at the Fundy pool for a couple summers in university which was fine with us, more time in Fundy! The Fundy region is special to us because of the memories we’ve had at different times in our lives and this time was extra special.
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.