From the look off of Sugarloaf Mountain, Campbellton, New Brunswick. The town core is a lure and that is my next stop. I find Sam the giant Salmon in the town square. He has his own pond and fountain and lot of people mill about in the sun. A young girl slips her fingers in the pool and flicks water at her brother and giggles. Her brother jumps up on the side and starts flicking water back, getting his parents wet. Their mother turns and shouts, “You two stop it now!” I chuckle and snap a few pictures of the giant replica fish then wander over to the visitor center to find out if there are any hidden treasures, things locals know about that are not in the guidebooks.
“Bonjour, hello,” the attendant says and I return it with a “Hello.” After an appropriate amount of pause, I say, “I would love to see the start of the international Appalachian Trail, can you give me directions?” She gives me a local map and says, “It is in Tide Head, continue on 134 to highway 11.” She also says I may want to see The Battle of Restigouche national historic site, and the Miguasha UNESCO heritage site, less than an hour away in the province of Quebec. She circles them on my map and I thank her for her time and go back to my truck and head up the highway following her directions.
Within 10 minutes I am at Tide Head Beach park. I walk the shore from the railway bridge past the playground looking for a sign to tell me I am at the start of the International Appalachian Trail, but I can’t find it and a sense of disappointment sinks in. I was sure the lady at the visitor information had said it was right here. I cut my losses, shifting into the seat, shut the truck door and start the engine.
Pulling back onto highway 11 west, I come across an unexpected pretty space called Morrissey Rock Park and, checking my rear view mirror, make a quick decision to pull over and get out. It is a small, well-manicured park with a couple of benches and picnic gazebos, but the view is the main draw. I don’t linger long as the morning is waning. The inter-provincial bridge to Matapedia, Quebec, is only another ten minutes away and that is where I am headed next.
Please join me on my jaunt into Quebec. Happy travels from Maritime Mac
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