Two National Parks in New Brunswick offer two very different experiences of the Atlantic coastline.
Kouchibouguac National Park on the northeast coast borders the Northumberland Straight. The land here is relatively flat so the several hiking trails are ideal for short or long walks that are quite easy for the novice. They range in length from less than a kilometre to the 11 kilometre Kouchibouguac River Trail. It is one way to access the wilderness Sipu Canoe Campground. Wilderness camping in Kouchibouguac National Park is available to hikers, canoe and kayak paddlers and bicyclists. For the drive-in campers during the summer, reservations are recommended as the popularity of the park often means that the campgrounds are filled to capacity.
Perhaps the most popular walk in Kouchibouguac National Park is the Kellys Beach Boardwalk. It that takes you through the fragile habitats of the marshes and dunes. These ecosystems support an abundance of wildlife including the endangered Piping Plover and the plentiful Grey Seals. For an unforgettable experience of the coastal wildlife take a guided Voyageur Canoe Adventure by the sandy coastal islands. You will see certainly see terns, ospreys, bald eagles and seals and, depending on the season and weather much more besides.
A more rugged coastline and dramatic environment will greet you when you arrive at Fundy National Park. The distance between Kouchibouguac National Park and Fundy National Park is just over 200 kilometres. Allow about three hours for the journey.
The coastline of the Bay of Fundy varies with the tide. At high tide you will see only the rocky cliffs that have been sculpted by the sea but at low tide an entirely different coast appears. Below the rocky cliffs extensive tidal flats are revealed. This is the habitat of mud shrimps, worms and clams that thrive on periodic submersion in the sea. When the tide is low you can also see on the rocky cliffs periwinkles, sea-slugs, barnacles and limpets, all animals that manage to survive being underwater in the cold bay of Fundy and then subjected to being baked by the sun. You can learn all about the intertidal zone on a guided walk offered by park interpreters.
Other walks interpret various aspects of the park including such fascinating subjects as fossils and beavers. Ask about interpretative talks on the subject of stargazing as Fundy Park has been designated a Dark Sky Preserve by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
Camping facilities in Fundy National Park are guaranteed to fill every visitor’s needs. There are large well laid-out campgrounds with facilities for tenters and RVers and there are 10 backcountry campsites for hikers. For visitors wanting more comfort the Park has heated yurts that provide basic amenities. They are also available in the winter months for those who want to ski or toboggan in the park.
Fundy National Park is more than a nature preserve. It has many of the facilities of a resort including a heated swimming pool, lawn bowling green, tennis courts, and a 9-hole par 70 golf course. Fundy thus provides a full holiday experience for everyone.