If you have never been to New Brunswick you are in for quite the adventure, especially if you love nature and scenic drives along the coast. This Maritime province that borders the United States is located in Eastern Canada. New Brunswick is home to the warmest salt water in the country, the world’s highest tides, beautiful sandy beaches, hiking trails, rivers, lush green trees, lighthouses, and the breathtaking Bay of Fundy.
Regardless if you take an airplane into the province or drive there, you will need a car once you arrive. And you will want one to explore the winding roads that will take you through small towns, gorgeous landscapes, and natural wonders. New Brunswick is Canada’s only official bilingual province and I immediately noticed signs in French and English and locals talking both languages. It was the perfect opportunity for my son, Noah, to practice his French over the summer and be ready for his French Immersion School in the fall. We started our journey in Fredericton, the capital city of New Brunswick.
After a good nights sleep at The Delta Fredericton we met up with Heather from New Brunswick’s Department of Tourism, Heritage & Culture. The 2017 white Ford Escape she picked us up in was the perfect choice for the two-hour road trip to Fundy National Park.
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Driving Map from Fredericton to Fundy National Park
White Ford Escape
We stopped at the grocery store for all the supplies we would need once we reached our final destination – Fundy Highlands Motel and Chalets.
Packing up the car for our road trip
If you travel to Fredericton in September you can check out the famous Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival running September 13th to 18th in the historic downtown area with over 400 musicians. However, we had our own tunes on the radio as we continued along the Trans-Canada Highway. Also known as Highway # 2 it runs 523 km through the entire province and winds through many cities and towns. It continues all the way to Nova Scotia, should you wish to visit another province. On either side of this four lane “twinned” highway are lush green trees and we passed by rivers and lakes
We stopped to stretch at Vail’s General Store where the cutest country ‘guard’ dog was taking a leisurely nap in the sun.
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Vail’s General Store and Dog
Back in the car we continued driving over lots of small bridges and more winding roads. We passed a huge logging truck stacked with trees, apparently a regular site when taking cross province road trips.
Logging truck on the road
We continued driving towards Fundy National Park where we would spend the night ‘getting back to nature’. When I told Noah we wouldn’t be using any electronic devices at our chalet he looked skeptical, so I was determined to show him that nature is better than television and tablets.
The park boasts over 100 km of hiking and biking trails, waterfalls, and freshwater lakes. Two times a day up to 12 metres of water flow in and out and we were especially excited to walk along the ocean floor during low tide.
Hwy 112 to Fundy
The park covers 12 km of shoreline and is located close to the Village of Alma along provincial Highway 114, a super winding road, but Heather drove like a pro.
Bay of Fundy Park
We arrived and instantly fell in love with our little home away from home – adorable Chalet # 11. Within seconds Noah spied a small television in the corner but I quickly unplugged it from the wall, to his dismay.
Our Chalet with the bikes
After we settled in we went on a leisurely bike ride through Fundy Highlands. (You can bring your own bikes or rent them from town). If you are looking for a hard-core bike experience, you can exit the motel and turn right up a steep hill to bike towards a spectacular lookout point.
If you really truly want to get back to nature, you can check out the Yurts or oTENTik options that are available to rent in the park. Parks Canada oTENTik’s are a cross between a rustic cabin and a tent since they are on a raised floor, and comes with beds and furniture.
For dinner that night I cooked delicious vegan macaroni and cheese over our little stove and we ate on the wooden porch looking out at the view. Once the sun had set we played a serious game of Snakes and Ladders followed by Checkers. We also searched for shooting stars in the clear night sky. By the time Noah fell asleep he had forgotten all about his favourite electronic devices. And the television remained unplugged.
There are tons of cool activities to do at the park. If you travel in September you can swim with wild salmon, but since it was July we choose to go kayaking on Bennett Lake. Sinc’s Boats is located right in the park and also rents out canoes and rowboats.
After a nature inspired day it was time to check out the famous ocean floor since the tide had gone out. The multicolored rocks and pebbles left behind where the water once was were exposed in the sunlight and there were also mudflats, soft sand, seaweed, and tiny sea creatures crawling around.
With sand on our feet and a few special rocks in our pockets we were ready to set out for our next New Brunswick adventure.
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Tide is out
Stay tuned for part two of our New Brunswick road trip as we drive from the Upper Bay of Fundy towards Moncton and stop at Cape Enrage to see a huge lighthouse, and Hopewell Rocks to discover another portion of the ocean floor and learn about the famous sandstone formations in the cliffs and coves.
Photos by Miriam Porter
For more information on New Brunswick visit: Tourism New Brunswick
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