It’s fall — both officially and otherwise. Fall in the Maritimes means beauty is to be found everywhere, the leaves are turning, the days are shorter, the weather is slightly chillier. Which also means that it’s the perfect time to get outside and go for a hike as the leaves change from summer green to reds, oranges and yellows — nothing like hiking to the top of a hill or mountain and seeing a vista of different colours in the valley below.
WIth that in mind, here are ten fall hikes in New Brunswick that all hiking and nature lovers should try.
1: Laverty Falls, Fundy National Park
Laverty Falls is one of Fundy National Park’s most popular and most beautiful hikes. Laverty Falls feeds into and from a network of hiking trails in Fundy National Park, and with the leaves turning, there’s no better time to put your foot down and go for a hike there. It’s almost a constant descent into Laverty Falls, but that short-lived trek will feel like a lifetime among the gorgeous hardwood forest that surrounds you on all sides. Marked with yellow hiking symbols, the trail is easy to follow and well-maintained. Trail Map
2: Mount Carleton Trail, Mount Carleton Provincial Park
The Mount Carleton Trail is the most difficult trail in Mount Carleton Provincial Park, it is also the most rewarding — no pain, no gain! The Mount Carleton Trail is a looped trail that’s an all-day hike. You’ll be hiking through gorgeous multi-coloured forestry on clearly marked trails, East Trail and West Trail. The West Trail is rocky and steeper than the East Trail, which was built on an old road that went up the mountain. The peak of the trail can be found at the tip of the East Trail, marked by a fire tower. If you make it up, congratulations! You’re now at the highest point in New Brunswick! Trail Map
3: Sussex Bluff Trail, Sussex
The Sussex Bluffs are one of southern New Brunswick’s most sought-after climbs. The beginning of the climb up the Bluffs is also home to the start of the Catamount Trail — which continues past Sussex, back east, all the way to the Fundy Coast. You’ll meet pine trees abound as you steadily climb to the top of the ridge, where the trees then part leaving you with glorious views of the valleys below and beyond. Be sure to bring your camera, as these views are not to be missed!
Please note that this trail is on private land, so please be respectful of the trail and leave no trace. Trail Map
4: Millbank Nature Trails, Miramichi
Length: 6.05kmThe Millbank Nature Trails are comprised of three main sections: southwest, southeast and northwest, each of these trails is unique in it’s own right. The main trail is the south-west trail, which features mature forestry — this is where those fall colours will really pop, as well as a small brook and some great picnic sites. The trail is mostly dry, though around the brook it does get a bit wetter. Take all three trails in a single day and make the most of the six kilometres on offer. Each individual trail is roughly 2km long and all loop around and intersect at different points.
5: Sugarloaf Mountain Trail, Campbellton
Sugarloaf Mountain in Campbellton is a very popular destination for visitors to the province, both on foot, by car and bicycle (as the Mountain also hosts a generous helping of mountain-bike trails). For those on foot, Sugarloaf Mountain Trail should be your go-to hike when visiting Sugarloaf Provincial Park. The Sugarloaf Mountain Trail runs fairly straight up the mountain along a ridge for less than a kilometre, but due to it’s increasing gradient, makes for a difficult climb. To aid in your climb, there is a steel-runged ladder on a particularly steep section of the climb, for those not wishing to go bouldering! Roughly half-way up, you’ll see lookout points both north and south, towards Campbellton and the Park respectively. Climbing Sugarloaf Mountain in the fall is a glorious experience not to be missed.
6: Trenholm Trail, Cape Jourimain
The Trenholm Trail is one of the first trails on our list to hug the other coastline in New Brunswick — near Cape Jourimain, right on the tip of New Brunswick, next to the Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island. At 5.41 kilometres long, the trail offers a multitude of sights, from salt-marshes to dense woodland and beautiful coastal views. Poison ivy grows there, so wear close-toed shoes and long trousers. The trail should take you no more than a couple of hours at a leisurely pace. Trail Map
7: The Dobson Trail, Moncton
The Dobson Trail is one of New Brunswick’s most challenging and longest hikes, at 62.6km in length. It is challenging and diverse, flat and steep — but never loses its beauty, particularly as the leaves turn. Much of the trail runs on forest floor, with canopies of silver birch, oak and pine woodland above. Unfortunately, some sections of this trail are in the backcountry, far away from civilization — if you’re going to do this trip, you should allot yourself at least two days, and prepare accordingly — bring extra clothes, food, water, etc. This trail is not for the faint-hearted, it crosses through forest floors and churning streams of water. However, the scenery is to-die-for (though dying is really not recommended, so please do not fall into the river getting that photograph!). The pines will be turning from green to brown and birches will be lined with yellow leaves. It is a glorious hike.
8: Middle Kouchibouguac – Loggiecroft Trail, Kouchibouguac National Park
The trail from Middle Kouchibouguac to Loggiecroft is a trail from land to ocean. It begins in Middle Kouchibouguac, near the middle of Kouchibouguac National Park (hence it’s namesake) and continues along the shore of a small river coursing through to Loggiecroft Harbour, and the open sea. The trail runs through the tree-lined shores of the Kouchibuguac River, playing host to mostly pine trees — however, you are also provided with a near-constant view of the other side of the river, dotted with equally beautiful birch trees with leaves in full colour-change. Coming to the Loggiecroft Harbour after six at-times difficult kilometres, you are greeted with a glorious sight — the open sea and spectacular little inlets dotted with a mosaic of oranges, reds and yellows atop the trees. A fitting end to a wonderful hike. Trail Map
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What could have been our last visit to the beach… . This time we went to Loggiecroft wharf in Kouchibouguac National Park. We got a lovely view of the changing leaves and some company from a group of herons. There was even some geese doing test flights. They didn't quite have their formation figured out though. There's not much time left to get their s*** together! #beach #newbrunswick #loggiecroft #autumn #fall #trees #yellow #orange #red #blue #bluesky #sunset #water #likeglass #stillwater #sweaterweather #horizon #kouchibouguac #nationalpark #canada #canadagoose #travel #explore #adventure
9: Sheldon Point Trail, Irving Nature Park
Length: 3.55km (one-way)The Sheldon Point trail takes you right out to the edge of the Irving Nature Park, before walking around the point and back up the beach. Beginning in Sand Cove, just off Sand Cove Road, the trail meanders through woodland for the first half a kilometre, allowing you to soak up the fall colours, before coming out alongside the sandy beaches of Sand Cove momentarily before diving back into the luscious forestry and following the coastline up to Sheldon Point, where there is a shelter as you reach the point. Resting there, you can continue up the trail headed west, once again hugging the woodland and shoreline for another 3.55km, before coming to a lookout point which marks the end of the trail. From there, you can see the sea. Alternatively, you can end your trek out at the point and relax on Sandy Cove beach before turning back into colour-blazed trail of orange, yellow and red leaves. Trail Map
10: Carriage Road Trail, Rockwood Park
The Carriage Road Trail in Saint John runs through Rockwood Park — one of the city’s most popular parks for walking, hiking and biking. Beginning at the Rockwood Park parking lot, the trail runs straight through the heart of Rockwood Park, passing Harrigan and Long lakes several kilometres apart, all-the-while being surrounded by gorgeous trees all in their prime change-over period as fall begins to set in. When reaching both Harrigan Lake and Long Lake, you are afforded a spectacular view of yet more colour, as the trees that line the banks of the lakes are just as beautiful. Calm days will see many photographic opportunities for some truly stunning reflections in the water. Stops can be made periodically throughout the trek, although it is advised that you bring water and food with you for the day, as you’ll not be close to any amenities.
Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year to live in or to visit New Brunswick, the changing of the leaves and the cooling of the days just offer another dynamic to an already-beautiful province. Though the days are shortening, you can still enjoy all the New Brunswick has to offer, but in different shades of yellow, orange and red, all the while enjoying the solitude and exercise of a good hike.