Fundy Trail Parkway: the Hidden Gem of New Brunswick, Canada
Fundy Trail Parkway is a marine wonder of the world and it is so less-traveled to the point that it is not well-known outside of New Brunswick. It encompasses 2,559 hectares with a 19-mile driveway with stunning views along Fundy Bay and a mixture of rugged coastline, cliffs towering over the ocean, secluded beaches, suspension bridges, flora and fauna, and a diverse ecosystem that fosters a deep connection between humans and nature.
I made an impromptu decision to visit Fundy Trail Parkway because I did not know this place’s existence until my last two days in New Brunswick. However, it was really one of my best trips in Canada’s Maritimes. The scenery there was serene, peaceful, and untouched. I spent a few hours there, walked to the waterfalls, watched the Fundy of Fundy tides, got to know the birthplace of the Atlantic Ocean, and was awe-inspired at the observation platform.
The best part is that unlike other popular attractions, like Niagara Falls and Banff, Fundy Trail severely lack crowds. In the hiking trails and the many lookouts, I was the only one there. If there were other people around, it was only a few and we always had casual conversations and helped each other take pictures.
If you are planning on visiting Fundy Trail Parkway, here is all you need to know about this place and the surrounding area.
Before you continue onto this post, please note that Fundy Trail (near Saint Martins) is not to be confused with Fundy National Park (next to the town of Alma), for two words doth a huge difference to make.
How to get to Fundy Trail Parkway
Driving is the best way to get to Fundy Trail Parkway as there are no shuttle or bus services going there. It is ten kilometers outside of Saint Martins and it takes a few minutes to get there. You do not need a GPS and map to navigate Fundy Trail because there is only one main road.
Saint Martins does not have a car rental service but you can get a car at Saint John Airport. Be sure to reserve your car two weeks in advance in the high season, as the car usually gets booked out few weeks ahead.
Admission and hours of operation
Fundy Trail opens to the public from mid-May to early October, and the rest of the year, the park is closed to vehicle access so visitors can only go there by foot. Admission is $9 per adult as of August 2018.
Fundy Trail Parkway – Marine Wonder of the World
As aforementioned, Fundy Trail is only 12 miles traveling along the Fundy coast and it can be easily driven through in a half-hour, but it is worth spending an afternoon there to surround yourself by nature and the water. I had three hours there, as I entered after 3pm and the park closes at 7pm. I did not have enough time to explore all the attractions inside the park, but I enjoyed visiting part of this amazing park and appreciating the natural wonder this place has to offer.
Flower Pot Rocks
The first place I stopped on the Fundy Trail Parkway is the Flower Pot Rocks, which is a short walk from the road through the forest. At first glance, the Flowerpot Rocks look similar to the Hopewell Rocks and it has a unique rock formation that was created by the erosion of the coastal region. The rocks themselves were formed 450 million years ago, but over time, they were broken down by the sea into fragments. Today, you can see these rocks on the ocean floor withstanding the pounding of the sea and creating a photogenic vista for landscape lovers and photographers.
Fuller Falls is one of the most visited attractions on the Fundy Trail. This waterfall does not have a large scale and height, but it is still amazing to visit as it belongs to the Fundy Biosphere Reserve Amazing Place. There is a cable ladder for you to get to the base of the waterfall, and a viewing platform for you to take in the gorgeous surroundings.
Black Point Lookout
The view at Black Point Lookout is astonishing and you can see sea cliffs separating Pangburn from Melvin Beach and other cliffs on the coastline of the Fundy.
Big Salmon River
Big Salmon River is a few minutes’ walk from the Interpreter Center and it represents an important era for the lumbering community on the Fundy coastline. Big Salmon River has the world’s finest woods and the early residents there used these woods for mill operations and to build ships that created employment opportunities and the potential of economic prosperity.
When visiting Big Salmon River, one thing all visitors did was to cross the 84-meter suspension bridge taking them to a beautiful and unsupervised picnic area. After you cross the suspension bridge, you can come back, or start a 4.4-mile walk to Long Beach or a few days’ trek on the Fundy Footpath to Fundy National Park.
A Secluded Beach without a Name
Although I did not find the Long Beach, as recommended by the other travelers, I found a footpath next to the Big Salmon River leading to a secluded beach and I spent an hour there. The seascapes there were quite serene and there was a short pathway leading to the viewing platform. There, you can also find a wealth of vegetable plantations, including peas.
The trail past the viewing platform is unpaved and is very muddy. It is impossible to get to the beach and walk on the seafloor without getting your feet wet (I gave up walking in the end), but it was the loneliest place in the park as it had nobody around when I was there.
Things to do at the Fundy Trail Parkway
Apart from the road trip, you can join a guided tour and kayak alongside the unique rock formations, big salmon rivers, drastic cliffs, and secluded beaches. Visit the Interpret Center to learn about the geology and communities of this area, and take an outdoor picnic at the tables inside the park with a world-class view.
Where to stay
You will not find any hotels inside the Fundy Trail, and the closest hotels are in Saint Martins. I stayed at the Salmon River B&B, which offers complimentary breakfast, a private room, and is walking distance to the beach and the sea caves. This bed and breakfast has a restaurant serving scrumptious seafood and fresh juice. It also has a beach in its backyard with beautiful sunsets and a view of the sea caves.
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