Fundy Trail Parkway an Unforgettable Oceanside Experience

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One of the greatest wonders among many that surround the Bay of Fundy is the Fundy Trail Parkway. It starts 10 km to the east of St Martins. Just follow the road after you have crossed the two covered bridges at the harbour in St Martins.

The Fundy Trail Parkway gives access to the wilderness environment of the coast of the Bay of Fundy. Numerous lookouts along the way have been developed with the intention of providing the best views of the coastline. You will find that when you stop at any one of these it is impossible to avoid picture taking. The red of the rugged sandstone cliffs topped with intense green forest, the brilliant pebble beaches and the intense blue of the sea make for a very special experience of the natural world. This wilderness was once the source of timber used in the shipbuilding industry in St. Martin’s and at Salmon River there are the remains of a mill where logs were trimmed and cut into shape for export to Europe. The story of the commerce in wood and the now vanished village that housed the lumbermen and their families is told at the Big Salmon River Interpretive Centre. Also at Big Salmon River you can walk across a swaying suspension bridge that with a ford once provided access to the trail beyond.

There are a number of guided walks offered from the Interpretive Centre any one of which will introduce you to the fascinating history and natural history of the area. For a very special experience try an overnight stay at the Hearst Lodge. Built by the American newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst , this lodge once used as a salmon fishing getaway, offers fine cuisine, excellent accommodations and a number of challenging hiking trails. The lodge is 2.8 kilometres from the Interpretive Centre and can be reached by a one-hour hike along the banks of the Big Salmon River. If you are staying the night (reservations are essential) you will are shuttled there from the parking lot at the Interpretive Centre.

Driving the Fundy Trail Parkway is the easiest way to discover the beauties of the Fundy coast but, for those who want a more leisurely experience, hiking the many trails into the forest and down to the beaches is highly recommended. A biking/walking trail runs next to the Parkway. Along the way are handy water stations and washroom facilities.

The most ambitious of hikers will find the Fundy Footpath that runs from the suspension bridge to Fundy National Park is just the ticket. It is 41 km (24 mi.) long and is rated as challenging. That means that it should only be attempted by experienced hikers properly equipped for a serious journey. The time frame for the hike is variably estimated at three to four days depending on tide levels at Goose River and Goose Creek. Stop in to the Interpretive Centre to pick up a map and register for the hike. There are lots of ups and downs as you traverse ravines that cut into the coastal cliffs. What you get for your effort is a chance to experience one of the last true coastal wilderness areas remaining on the Atlantic seaboard of North America.

Learn more about the Fundy Trail.

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