Length of stay: 2 days
Visited: September 2022
Fundy National Park is located on the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, which is famous for having the highest tidal range in the world. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy the water at high tide and explore the mudflats at low tide. The park also contains camping and a number of hiking trails along the coastline and through the dense forest.
Day 1: Bogs and Beaches
We spent the first two nights of our Atlantic Canada road trip at Kouchibouguac National Park. We woke up bright and early to pack up and headed out just after 8:30a.m. We drove back through Moncton to restock on supplies before heading to Fundy where we planned to spend the next two nights.
On the way to the Chignecto Campground, we stopped to hike the Caribou Plain Trail (2.1km loop, rated easy). The trail was named after the herds of woodland caribou that once lived here until 1907. It contains two loops, the first one is shorter and follows along a boardwalk, while the second is longer and includes the boardwalk, as well as a section through the forest. Naturally we opted for the longer route.
The trail starts out along the boardwalk, meanders through an evergreen forest of spruce and fir to the edge of a raised peat bog. There are two overlooks along the way that provide a better view of the bog. There are also a series of storyboards that provide some fun facts about the history of the forest, including about the forest cycles, the importance of shade for the soil, and about how the acidic peat from the bog has stunted the spruce and larch trees. There was also a particularly sad storyboard about the dangers of the bog, including about how two moose were found trapped in flarks (which are spots where the peat has decomposed and been turned into a slurry, kind of like quicksand). Both were found and pulled out, but only one survived.
Once we wrapped up our hike, we drove to the campground. Our oTENTik was not quite ready though. We saw a sign for a picnic area across the road from the campground and decided to check it out and eat a late lunch. The picnic area was pretty awesome. It was inside a building and had picnic tables, electricity, a sink and fireplace. Everything was super clean and we were the only ones here.
An hour later, we returned to the kiosk to check-in and pick up the keys to our oTENTik, which is a blend between a tent and rustic cabin that can sleep up to six people. It came equipped with beds and a table with chairs. There was no electricity or a BBQ outside though.
After dumping off our stuff, we hit the road again to go for a hike. We settled on Matthews Head Trail (4.5km loop, rated moderate), which is reputed to provide nice views of the rugged shoreline. The trailhead is located off Herring Cove Road. The path winds through open fields and the forest, and follows the coastline of the Bay of Fundy. The trail also passes two sets of the Parks Canada Red Chairs. The path was easy to navigate, but it involved a few steep sections and a heck of a lot of roots and rocks.
We then drove to Herring Cove Beach. There’s a short trail (about a kilometre round trip) from the picnic area, which consists of a series of steps that lead down to the beach. We visited during low tide and were able to walk out on the sandy shore.
The sun was starting to set, so we headed back to our campsite to make dinner.
Day 2: Moss and Seaweed
We spent the morning at Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park. After eating a late lunch, we hit up a few more trails in the park, starting with Dickson Falls. The trail consists of two loops, a shorter one (1km, rated moderate) and a slightly longer one (1.5km, rated moderate). This time we didn’t have a choice as the longer loop was closed for construction. So the shorter loop it was. The trail contains a series of boardwalks that lead through a forest along Dickson Brook and feature several small cascades and waterfalls.
We then drove to Point Wolfe, the southern edge of the park. We stopped at an overlook of the covered bridge and took a break at the Red Chairs.
We then drove to the Shiphaven Trail (1km round trip, rated easy), which is located just after the Point Wolfe covered bridge. From the parking lot, we crossed the road to reach the trail. We first went to the viewing platform that provides another viewpoint of the covered bridge.
The trail contains a series of boardwalks and provides a nice view of the Point Wolfe River and rugged shoreline.
At the end of the trail, there’s a junction where the path splits off towards the campground and to Wolfe Beach. We followed the path to the beach (0.4km one-way), which was mostly downhill. From the pebbly shoreline we could already see a drastic difference in how much the water had receded from when we started the Shiphaven Trail.
Once we returned to the parking lot, we drove back to our campsite to make dinner and prepare our breakfast for the next morning. We planned to wake up bright and early as we would be packing up and moving onto Prince Edward Island to continue our Atlantic Canada road trip.