Thursday, July 30, 2015

Fundy National Park, New Brunswick, Canada

View from the overlook at Dickson Falls Trailhead.
Fundy National Park in New Brunswick is located on the eastern border of the province along the Bay of Fundy.  The park covers nearly 80 square miles and includes 25 hiking trails, 2 dozen waterfalls, a covered bridge, forest, beaches and bogs.  Here you will experience Fundy's incredible 50 foot tidal changes that allow you to walk the ocean floor at low tide.
The Fundy National Park has campgrounds, a golf course, a heated saltwater swimming pool, fishing lakes, and playgrounds.
The Park is home to bear, moose, bobcat, marten, coyote and ruffled grouse. We did see a ruffled grouse and a variety of birds, but no Rocky or Bullwinkle which disappointed me greatly.
Fundy's protected lands serve as the core of the Fundy Biosphere Reserve and it has been designated a Dark Sky Preserve.
The closest settlement is the Village of Alma on the northeastern edge of the park.

Fred and I drove through Fundy National Park on our way to Hopewell Cape. That exposure gave us a great overview of the layout of the land.
We visited again on Saturday to walk some trails. We chose 3 short walks that gave us a look at different areas of the park. The 3 trails that we walked Dickson Falls, Point Wolfe, and Herring Cove Beach are all considered moderate.

Topographical Marker at Dickson Falls Overlook 

Dickson Falls is a 1 1/2 km loop that winds through a forest of evergreens and birch.  It is very close to the water. There is an overlook at the trail head that allows a spectacular view of  "where the ocean meets the forest". The first thing that we noticed as we started walking the trail is the wonderful scent of fir trees combined with the salty smell of the sea. It is like Christmas at the ocean and is a scent that I will always associate with Fundy.
The trail is a combination of root filled dirt walkways with staircases and boardwalks to cross water, scale cliffs and to protect more delicate areas. It is very shady. Moss and ferns are the primary ground cover.  The pathway follows and crosses over the Dickson Brook so the sound of water running over rocks accompanied our walk. 

Moss covered rocks and a babbling brook.

The falls consist of one long drop that breaks into several smaller falls before disappearing into the brook. The moss covered rocks and falling water make a beautiful environment. It is an enchanting place and one that we will want to visit again.

Dickson Falls
Point Wolfe trail begins at Fundy's covered bridge.  There was once a Sawmill and logging town located here and you can still see remnants of an old dam below the bridge.  The trail is a combination of staircases and dirt paths.

Fred and Rascal on the Point Wolfe Trail.
There are beautiful views of the forest leading down to the sea. We were there at low tide and saw acres of beach covered by Fundy's red sand and clay.

Fundy's Red Chairs are great for a little rest.
Fundy National Park Service has recently placed red Adirondack chairs at observation points throughout the park where beautiful views are meant to be enjoyed. There are a pair of them near the top of the trail and we had a nice little rest that soothed our souls as well as our soles.
At the trail end you can choose to turn around and retrace your steps, or walk back to the parking area on the paved Park Road.

Herring Cove Trail is a beach. The trail leads down the cliff to the water via another wooden staircase. It is best to visit at low tide. I usually walk barefoot at the beach but there are a lot of rocks here and being that it is the bottom of the ocean 50% of the time, they are covered with barnacles. Don't wear your good shoes. The beaches here are a mixture of red sand and clay and that mix discolors them.  The beach is a great place to walk. It is interesting to see the crabs and snails in tide pools and to see what the water has left behind.

Disturbing Beach find.
 We came across a creepy heavy clay covered rope tied into a circle that looked like a noose.  It really made me wonder!

The rock formations remind me of melting chocolate
My favorite part of the beach were the rock formations at the sides of the cove. The red sedimentary rock looks like melting chocolate oozing off the cliff.

Cliff caves.
There are shallow caves that have been worn into and behind the rocks by the force of the water. 

To return to the parking area you may climb back of the staircase or walk a dirt and root filled path that meanders along the cliff and crosses a brook with its own tiny waterfall.

Fundy National Park is a National treasure of Canada. We are enjoying our visit and hope to get back to the park for another longer hike before heading to Nova Scotia.

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