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!!