Enjoy the glorious natural hotspots in New Brunswick through hiking or a leisurely walk. From fabulous options to enjoy various migratory birds that visit the province to walking on the ocean floor, here are 20 places to enjoy nature in New Brunswick.
** Make sure you are aware of all health regulations and other travel-related information before travelling. Check whether places are open before travelling. **
1. Sackville Waterfowl Park – Sackville
Sackville is one of New Brunswick’s best-kept secrets. As it sits on the border with Nova Scotia, most people traveling through the province to get to Nova Scotia (though obviously, that isn’t something one could do now), will drive past Sackville. For those who do take the opportunity to stop, though, Sackville greets it’s visitors with a special treat, right off the highway: the waterfowl park. It’s boardwalks provide ample opportunity for visitors and residents alike to walk and admire the beautiful scenery of a quaint maritime town. Bird and wildlife photographers will also find Sackville appealing for it’s large variety of animalia.
Address: 34 Mallard Drive, Sackville
2. Irishtown Nature Park – Moncton
One of Moncton’s many parks, Irishtown is a firm favourite among walkers, residents and tourists, second-only perhaps to Centennial Park, the more central of the two. Irishtown Nature Park boasts many kilometres of multi-use trails, including a refurbished schoolhouse known as Tankville School, now repurposed as a community gathering space and a museum.
Address: 1155 Elmwood Drive, Moncton, NB
3. Daly Point Nature Reserve, Bathurst
Birdwatchers and wildlife photographers are sure to love their time spent at Daly Point Nature Reserve. If you’re looking for a treat as a photographer, wait until Fall! Not only are the leaves a glorious colour, but thousands of Canada Geese flock to Daly Point on their migratory path, also up for spotting is the Maritime Ringlet Butterfly, a rare insect that can only be found in ten saltmarshes the world over. Daly Point also has 7.5km of trails to be explored.
Address: 2075 Carron Dr, Bathurst
4. Fundy National Park – Alma
Now that New Brunswick parks are starting to reopen, one of your first planned excursions should be to Fundy National Park in Alma. This hot-bed of New Brunswick tourism will likely have a reduction this summer, though that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get out and enjoy it! Fundy has many hiking trails to explore, most of which lead to magnificent waterfalls. Fundy is also home to kayak tour companies for you to take advantage of.
Cost: $7.00/single individual, $6.90/seniors, free/youth (12 and under), $16.00/family.
5. Kouchibouguac National Park – St. Louis-de-Kent
Kouchibouguac National Parkis one of middle New Brunswick’s best-kept secrets. It features over 30 kilometres of multi-use trails, most popular among cyclists and walkers. For mountain biking enthusiasts, it’s “Major Kollock” trail is sure to keep you entertained. It also has a beach and a boardwalk for you to wind down your day on. Kouchibouguac offers oTentik “glamping”, and camping at various campsites throughout the park.
Cost: $7.90/single individual, $6.90/seniors, free/youth (12 and under), $16.00/family.
Address: National 186, NB-117, Kouchibouguac
6. Mount Carleton Provincial Park – St. Quentin
If you’re a hiker, then Mount Carleton is the place to go this summer. The park is home to eleven different trails, all varying by difficulty, distance and elevation gain. The most popular trails in the Park are the Mount Carleton, Mount Sagamook and Mount Bailey Trails. As their name suggests, the trails represent the ascent of three different mountains — Mount Carleton (817m), is the tallest mountain in NB, followed by Mount Sagamook (412m) and Mount Bailey (324m). There are also many other smaller trails to enjoy.
Cost: $10.00 – $90.00
Address: 7612 Route 385, Saint-Quentin
7. Odell Park – Fredericton
Odell Park is one of Fredericton’s most popular parks! This 333 acre piece of property owned and operated by the City of Fredericton features 16km of trails through various types of forestry. The trails are multi-use, so be on the lookout for others on bicycles. There is also a waterfowl pond and a disc golf course. Odell Park is also home to the Odell Arboretum, featuring 41 different species of trees that grow naturally, the Arboretum’s 2.8 kilometre trail allows you to walk through the pantheon of nature’s growth.
Address: Waggoners Ln, Fredericton
8. Mapleton Park – Moncton
Mapleton Park is one of Moncton’s north-end parks, it’s a sprawling 122-hectare natural paradise in the heart of the city. There are forests and open areas featuring a wetland and a lagoon. Mapleton Park is also home to many bird species and different vegetation.
Address: 600 Mapleton Rd, Moncton
9. Centennial Park – Moncton
Centennial Park is one of Moncton’s most popular parks, stretching over 90 hectares, the park features dozens of kilometres of multi-use trails, popular among cyclists and walkers alike. It is also home to a baseball field, a splash pad, Moncton’s Lawn Bowling Club, tennis courts (used by Moncton’s tennis club, but also open to the public), and it’s newest addition: TreeGO, a high-flying obstacle course in the tree canopy. To learn more about TreeGO, visit their website.
Address: 811 St. George Blvd, Moncton
10. Fort Beausejour National Historic Site – Aulac
Fort Beausejour National Historic Site overlooks the Cumberland Basin. It was the location for many of the battles of the Seven Years War (1756-1763) for control of North America. Fort Beausejour saw many cannons fired over the bay as the English sought to hold the fort from the impending French attack. Though the Fort’s cannons have long since fallen silent, visitors to the fort can still tour the old ruins.
Address: 111 Fort Beausejour Rd, Aulac
11. New Brunswick Botanical Gardens – Saint-Jacques
The New Brunswick Botanical Gardens in Saint-Jacques are some of the country’s most coveted botanical spaces. The Garden itself is split into several different sections and plays hosts to hundreds of flora species. There’s an arboretum, a cafe, and they even host an “Artist In Residence” each year. There are also beehives and a greenhouse. Those with a love of horticulture should definitely visit the New Brunswick Botanical Gardens this summer, who open on the 6th of June.
Cost: $18.00 (Adults), $15.00 (Seniors & Students), $8.00 (Children).
Address: 15 Isidore-Boucher Blvd, Saint-Jacques, NB
12. Irving Arboretum – Bouctouche
Located on the shores of Black River, the Irving Arboretum in Bouctouche is one of New Brunswick’s newest and most beautiful parks. The Arboretum features many different species of trees, some freshly planted year-on-year. There are also many kilometres of multi-use trails, complete with bridges and rest areas, the trail system leads downtown or out to the Bouctouche Dunes, for those who need a little sand in their lives.
Address: 52 Chemin du Couvent, Bouctouche, NB
13. St. Martin’s Sea Caves – St. Martins
For those with an interest in geology, or simply for those who love to be near the water, the little village of St. Martins on the coast has a lot to offer. Far from it’s touristy town centre lies the St. Martins Sea Caves, a centuries-old homage to the power of erosion. At low tide, visitors can walk out to the caves and explore, but they should beware of the high-tide, which can reach up to 38 feet! St. Martins Sea Caves are the perfect easy way to spend an afternoon by the shores of the Bay of Fundy.
Address: St. Martins
14. Hyla Park Nature Preserve – Fredericton
Fredericton is home to many of New Brunswick’s most treasured tourist attractions, including the relatively hidden gem that is Hyla Park. The Nature Preserve was created in 1995, when the park was home to the Hyla versicolor, or the gray tree frog. The preserve was created to be a home for this specific type of frog, as it was their northernmost habitat. The park became the first Amphibian Park in Canada and was featured in National Geographic. In addition to being a home for the gray tree frog, the park is also home to a number of rare plants: the redmilkwort, the narrow-leaved gerardia, and the small-flowered gratiola. The preserve maintains a small trail system and is a great place to go for a stroll if you’re in Fredericton for a day.
15. Belding’s Reef Nature Preserve – Chance Harbour
Another nature preserve makes our list! This time, it’s an obscure-in-location-only preserve by the name of Belding’s Reef in Chance Harbour, located a couple of hours from Saint John. This preserve sits right on the edge of the Bay of Fundy and is home, mostly, to trees! Among it’s forests are the balsam fir, mountain ash and red spruce. Sphagnum moss coats the floors along with cinnamon fern, sweet gale, blue flag Iris, goose-tongue and crowberry. The preserve has a single walking trail leading through the dense forestry to the ocean. Perfect for a sunset hike!
Address: Chance Harbour Rd, Chance Harbour
16. Walton Glen Gorge Falls – St. Martins
Walton Glen Gorge is one of New Brunswick’s most heavily-trafficked hiking spots as it’s a popular along the even-more popular Fundy Footpath. This four kilometre trail will take you through dense rock and forest through difficult-to-hike terrain. There’s a very slight elevation at 187m (614ft) but most of the challenge will come from the ascending and descending into rocky gorges as the topography changes. What awaits the avid hiker along this one-way trail is the ever-impressive waterfall and the perfect swimming hole! It’s the perfect trail for a day out!
Cost: Same as access to Fundy National Park (Listed Above)
Address: St. Martin’s, NB
17. Rockwood Park – Saint John
Saint John has a number of parks, but perhaps it’s most popular is Rockwood Park. This park is one of Canada’s largest urban parks, sprawling a massive 890 hectares. It is open year-round and in the summer, is home to a golf course. The park also features mixed forest trails, several caves and dozens of kilometres of trails. Also on-site is the city’s zoo. Visitors to Rockwood Park are spoiled for choice.
Address: 10 Fisher Lakes Dr, Saint John
18. Sussex Bluff Trail – Sussex
The Sussex Bluff Trail is a not-long but moderately-difficult 2.2km hike up the Sussex Bluffs in Sussex, New Brunswick. This 3.5km trail up a mountain can be done in just a morning or an afternoon, making it perfect for sunrises! The views from the top are magnificent, the rolling hills and the town of Sussex in the valley below are quite a sight to behold.
Address: 17 Rockridge Dr, Sussex Corner
19. Cape Enrage – Waterside
Cape Enrage and the Cape Enrage Lighthouse are one of New Brunswick’s busiest tourist attractions, popular among locals and those from far away. The lighthouse itself is still functional and there’s an enjoyable short trail along the coast to reach it. Also on offer at Cape Enrage is an art gallery, a zipline, rappelling adventures, as well as shipwrecks and access to several beaches.
Cost: Free (Though prices for activities may vary)
Address: Harvey, NB (Southern tip of Barn Marsh Island)
20. Split Rock Trail – Saint John
The Split Rock Trail on the coast of Saint John, NB, is the perfect sunset hike! This 4.2km out-and-back trail will take you right along the coast of the Bay of Fundy, with beautiful coastline views as the sea provides a serene backdrop. The trail takes about four hours to complete all-told and is perfect for families, too.
Address: 4179-4279 Black Beach Rd, Saint John