Top 20 Maritime Outdoor Escapes

I wandered to many new places in 2016. This list is mostly road trips. The activities are what are naturally occurring; free or minimal cost to enjoy. (I will let you know)  Intrinsic travel at its best. I will leave the guide books and your own personal taste in travel, to help you decide how to spend your dollars.

Some of the big tourist draws, normally on bucket lists are absent like Grand Manan Island, Fundy Park, Heartland covered bridge.  The Maritime s are a big place, with lots to see. Theses are new options.  Enjoy this list.

20. 845 HIGHWAY  HARDING POINT TO KINGSTON LOOP NEW BRUNSWICK

Take the West field ferry (free) to Harding Point campground.  Follow the road toward Kingston. Wineries, artist shops, rolling hills photographic areas, Shampers Bluff and a conservation area.  The other side of the loop Kingston to Harding Point is the more scenic part of the drive. A bluff on the right side and the Kennebecasis river on the left. The Milkish River covered bridge is here for those checking off the covered bridges in the province. Watch for kids jumping off the bridge into the river on hot days.

Milkish River Covered Bridge
Milkish River Covered Bridge

19 FREDERICTON, HISTORIC BUILDINGS, BIKE TRAILS and PARKS.

Military history, and historical architecture is everywhere down town. The Barracks, a Gothic church, old Post office, the Legislative Assembly building to name a few. The University of New Brunswick has some of the oldest buildings in Atlantic Canada; plus hiking trails. There are often free concerts in Officers Square in the summer. Bike or walk across the Bill Thorpe walking bridge for a mid-river view. Continue along on the river front trails.  The north side of the trail in Carleton Park, you’ll find a National Historic Site plaque marking the location of Fort Nashwaak.  The lighthouse green is an awesome place to sit and people watch or read a book. Enjoy a walk on the trails in Odell park.  A father of confederation is buried at Forest Hill cemetery.   You’ll need days to enjoy the many freebies of the area.

Christ church Cathedral
Historic Christ church Cathedral

18. CHANCE HARBOUR. SIT ON THE CLIFF AND LOOK OUT TO BAY OF FUNDY

I came here for the ducks and got some great views of the Bay of Fundy. A quiet place to collect your thoughts. Sit on a rock; dangle your feet over the edge and watch the waves. Dipper Harbour to Point Lepreau has many great bird watching areas

chance-harbour-_1269may-14th2016

 Eider Duck Chance Harbour May 14th,2016
Eider Duck Chance Harbour

17 SAINT JOHN REVERSING FALLS AND HISTORIC SITES. NEW BRUNSWICK

I love history and this is the place to find it. Fort Howe, Carleton Martello Tower (free in 2017 with Parks Canada Pass for Canadians). Old loyalist grave yard. Look for the Land Marks map, on the sidewalk out front of the entrance to the Saint John Market. It identifies all the historic locations in the city center.  Check out Irvin Nature Park for hiking and wildlife. Seals bask in the sun on the rocks in the spring. Rock wood Park has a lot of entertainment options. Stroll the towns downtown squares.  There are some outdoor art pieces. Sculpture John Hooper’s “People Wait” is on King street and again his work at the entrance to Market Place. See reversing falls(free) and whirlpool, (shoulder season is free).  Take a walking tour of famous interns around Fern Hill cemetery. Two fathers of confederation are buried here and a murder.

Reversing falls upper falls
Reversing falls upper falls

 

16 DALHOUSIE, THE MOST NORTHERN POINT IN N.B

A beautiful coast line and shorebird paradise. Sit on the rocky area in front of the Inch Arran Light house, and watch the wake spread behind fishing boats leaving the harbour.  Rise early to witness the sun burn the fog away, an reveal the south coast of the Gaspe. Look for Blue Heron hunting for their breakfast. Take a peaceful bike ride on the trails or walk the beach it’s lovely.

Camping Charlo  board walk and beach front view to Miquasha Qc
morning cycle stopped at beach board walk in Charlo

15. CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI SEARCHING FOR GRAVES OF FATHER’S OF CONFEDERATION.

Prince Edward Island is Confederation ground zero. There is always lots to see and do in the province. This is a little something different for the tombstone tourist and history buff. Check out my piece In honour of Canada’s 150th

Father of Confederation
Edward Palmer 1809-1889

14. HIGHWAY 6 WALLACE TO NEW GLASGOW,  THE JOHNNY MILES RACE WEEKEND N.S

The northern extension of the Sunrise trail. The views are best starting around Wallace. Shutter bugs will enjoy the plaque dedicated to the Master of Light, William Sterling Boyle. He invented the electronic eye of Digital cameras.. Jost winery often has live music on its outdoor patio. You can take a stroll around the grounds of the vineyard.  The main street of Tatamagouche, is picturesque with shops having pleasant facades.  Ruston beach provincial park has a warm water beach some hiking trails and bird watching area.  New Glasgow does it right with the Johnny Miles race weekend for runners or spectators. Always a great atmosphere; music and a big crowd full of energy.

Jost winery vines
Jost Winery vines
Master of Light, William Sterling Boyle
Master of Light, William Sterling Boyle

 

13.  GRAND LAKE AND JEMSEG  CORRIDOR WILDLIFE VIEWING, NEW BRUNSWICK

The Saint John River valley has an abundance of wildlife. I was luck to capture picture of white-tailed deer, great horned owls, nesting Osprey, Cormorants, Wood Ducks, Baffle heads, red foxes, beavers otters, painted turtles  etc. I got a call from a friend that lives in the area, about a moose in Swan lake. It was gone by the time I got there. Bring your camera and be quiet.

Grand Lake June 25th
Deer in Grand Lake
Osprey bring fish to Nest
OSPREY NESTING LOWER JEMSEG

 

12. ST GEORGE; GORGE AND FALLS  HISTORIC TOWN SITES

Most people head to St Andrews by the sea and it is nice but crowded with tourist in the summer.An alternative stop is St George, there is a beautiful Gorge and river that flows through the heart of the town.There is a historically noted Pine tree at top of falls; one of the oldest living trees of the province. A Ducks Unlimited preservation area has some lovely walking trails. Do participate in a tour of the down town core and stop in at the old Loyalist Burial Ground. Founder of the town Peter Clinch is buried here.St George gorge and Falls

11. CAPE ENRAGE, WALK ON  THE SEA FLOOR

You can walk the seas floor in many places along the Fundy coast line but Cape Enrage is a bluff of land that is impressive to say the least. It has great photography options from the lighthouse or beach.   There is a small fee to enter the area, I would say worth it. Check  before you go, it can be foggy here when clear everywhere else. Fundy National park is not far and Mary’s point beach is a must for birdwatchers in late summer. The majority of the world’s Semi-Palmated Sand Pipers stop here to fuel up for their long migration south.. Cape Enrage Fundy coast line. N.B

10. BATHURST. PICNIC AT PABINEAU FALLS. NEW BRUNSWICK

About twenty minutes outside of  the town is a spot on the river where you can walk the rivers eroded rocks.  It’s magical. Daily Park had some must do hikes that naturalist will love. Beresford beach park is not far, also the Sentier trail NB is never far away for hikers. Some historical monument, notable Nicholas Deny, a famous maritime entrepreneur has a dedication .Pabineau Falls, Bathurst N.B

9. MISCOU ISLAND INUKSHUK  BEACH AT THE LIGHT HOUSE .

When I see an island in a far off place on a map, I’m instantly drawn to it. Make sure to bring hard currency cash is king here if you want any nibbles or purchases. Pirate cove is a nice road side attraction.  Wilson Point beach offers a marsh walking trail worth following; sand pipers live here. Miscou Island Lighthouse is a National Historic Site but an oddity to see is on the beach. Visitors feel the need to show people they were here. The beach is filled with inukshuk. Shore birds and ducks are plentiful for photos.  Just before you reach the island along the road is a place to see colourful fishing boats in their cradles at dry dock.

Shippigan
Boast in Dry Dock
Inukshuk Beach Miscou Lighthouse
Inukshuk beach at light house

8. MIRAMACHI BEAUBEARS ISLAND BEACH. NEW BRUNSWICK

A national historic site. Have a look around the museum if you want, then pay the fee and take the boat over to the Island.  You can go for a hike on the spacious trails then spend the day stretched out on the beach; bring a picnic basket and blanket. Ritchie’s wharf often has free  outdoor concerts,  French Fort cove was a great place to hike; Out parliament building in Ottawa is made from stone quarried from this area.Two fathers of confederation are buried here in town. Metepenagiag Heritage Park, a National Historical Site, ( entrance fee) It is just south of the town in a beautiful location. It represents 3000 years of Mi’kmaq culture. Beaubears Island pines

Beaubears Island beach
National historic site

7. CAMPBELLTON-  CLIMB AN EXTINCT VOLCANO. NEW BRUNSWICK

If you are approaching from the Appalachian Range route there are mountains everywhere but Sugar Loaf Mountain is strikingly different. It actually resembles a volcano. That is because it is an extinct one.There is a perimeter road for walking or cycling and a trail that will take you to the top for a must see view of the city.  The hike is strenuous but well-marked.  Get a picture of yourself with Sam. A replica of the worlds largest salmon at the downtown water fountain along the river front. Tide head beach has the start of the International Appalachian Trail just outside of town.Morrissey Rock Park is a beautiful lookout stop for photos.  For history lovers  a billboard display of the 1760  Battle of Restigouche can be seen on top of sugar-loaf but the actual National Historic site is in Pointe a la Croix, Quebec. If you are up for a visit to the neighboring province  Miguasha UNESCO site is 40 minutes away.view of Campbellton from Sugarloaf Mountain top

"Sam"  worlds Largest Salmon Campbellton

6 SACKVILLE- WATERFOWL PARK.

Located on Mallard drive the waterfowl park is really special. Give yourself a couple of hours here. Trails link up with the Sentier NB trail. Black ducks and Mallards were the most common ducks  but plenty of other birds where around when I was here in May. The Scenery is great for photography and for those that enjoy botany,  you’ll have a feast here.The parks interpretative center has a walking/ cycling tour map; it numerically locates the historical places of interested in town. Just follow the map.The blacksmith shop and Campbell Carriage shop are fun and Acadian settlers monument on Main street. Mount Allison University campus is noteworthy too.

Sackville waterfowl park Sackville N.B
Sackville waterfowl park Sackville N.B

5. CAMPOBELLO ISLAND,  HIKE TO HEAD HARBOUR LIGHTHOUSE , NEW BRUNSWICK

A summer months ferry will take you from Deer Island to Campobello Island for a fee. It’s about a 40 minute journey. Roosevelt’s summer cottage is here. His home and the grounds are open to the public free of charge. If you arrive early you can get a free ticket for tea with Eleanor. It is a talk about Eleanor’s life. The tea and cookies are yummy and is about an hour-long so budget your time for it.  Herring cove provincial park has lots of hiking, biking and a beach to explore. There are two light houses on the island do both but definitely take in the Head Harbour light house. There is a fee to access the trail, which is down a rickety ladder bolted to the cliff. Then you walk across the slippery boulder-strewn sea floor at low tide. It is at your own risk. People with mobility issues should limited themselves to the look out area which is free. It is spectacular even from afar.Head Harbour Lighthouse Campobello Island

4. KOUCHIBOUGUAC NATIONAL PARK. HIKE AND BIKE TRAILS. NEW BRUNSWICK

Free access for Canadian with your Parks Canada Pass in 2017. I had no idea there were such large trees in Eastern Canada, till I came here.The white pines trail, is full of big specimens.  Catch the early morning light for a hike on the osprey trail. Lounge on Kelly’s beach all afternoon. Keep and eye out of endangered Piping Plovers they nest here. Then finish your day with a bike ride on the many trails. If it all sounds like to much just relax by your campsite, it can all wait till tomorrow. Kouchiibouguac White pine tree

 

3. MIRA, CAPE BRETON.NS  TWO RIVERS WILDLIFE PARK. PETTING A CARIBOU

As the song goes, “Out on the Mira on a warm afternoon…..”  if you don’t want to fish with a black line on a spoon, go to the Two Rivers Wildlife Park and pet an adorable Caribou. He has velvety lips as he gently takes a snack from your hand.  There are moose, beaver, eagles foxes and many more. Most are rescued and rehabilitating.  There is a small fee to enter but you can also leave a donation if you are feeling generous.Caribou Two Rivers wildlife Park, Cape Breton Nova Scotia

2. DEER ISLAND  OLD SOW AND MARINE WILDLIFE VIEWING N.B

I was completely awe-struck by the Old Sow tidal pool, and the volume of whales seals, porpoises, and seabirds so close to shore.They are here feeding on what ever gets churned up. Bring a camera, photography opportunities are outstanding. It was hard to pull myself away to go to bed. I stayed till the sun was gone and back up at sunrise to sit on rocks and watch the sea life. I will definitely be returning here. Great for divers.SUNSET DEER ISLAND POINT CAMPGROUND

1.HIKING THE HIGHEST PEAK, MOUNT CARLETON PROVINCIAL PARK, N.B

The highest peak in Atlantic Canada also boost the highest concentration of mammals in New Brunswick.  The park gives a great opportunity to see moose, bear dear and is a Dark Sky Preserve, for astronomy lovers. Bring an adventurous spirit and cash, there is no debt machines. There is a fee to enter and camping is extra. A cash only camp store too. There is unreliably cell service but millions of trees.If you are only a casual hiker, I will set your expectations for you; this is challenging. More of a climb than a hike. You will scramble and boulder at the approach. Going up I thought ” glad I didn’t wait till I was 60 to climb this” Wear solid footwear, I wore running shoes and wished I had on my hiking boots. Twisting and ankle on this remote path would not be fun. Bring plenty of water, snacks and a jacket to put on. You may have to wait a while for the fog to burn off to reveal the scenery.

Mt Carleton Provincial park
summit of Mount Carleton

I am planning new adventure for 2017. Happy Travels from Maritime Mac.

 

 

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