Top Travel Days of 2021, Exploring New Brunswick’s Fundy Trail Parkway

Long Bach, Fundy Trail Parkway In September, I had the good fortune to return to New Brunswick, Canada, once the border finally reopened to Americans. 23 years after the Fundy Trail Parkway debuted in 1998, the extension of the 30-kilomter drive to nearby Fundy National Park was finally finished. My friend, Jeff, and I drove some 90 minutes from Saint John to reach the East Gate of the Fundy Trail Parkway. Within five minutes, we were at our first stop, Walton Glen Gorge, where the granite spans some 900 meters wide. We walked the short kilometer walk to the observation tower and soon were staring in awe at Little Salmon River as it surges through the Eye of the Needle.

The waters of the Bay of Fundy were by our side the rest of the day. A series of lookouts soon followed on the left as we peered down at the verdant slopes sliding into the sea, not unlike the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton. It only gets better from here. Long Beach is a marvel to behold, stretching about a third of a mile out to sea at low tide. We walked some 2 kilometers on a loop and it was honestly hard to tear me away from this spot. We found colorful green, gray, and granite pebbles, fantastic rock formations, and ripples of sand on the ocean floor that would be awash in water in a matter of hours. Edward Weston would have a field day here and so would any other photographer.

For lunch, we headed to the Cookhouse for a fantastic turkey sandwich, where the meat is processed by Chef Tracy’s turkey farmer neighbor on bread that was baked that morning. Afterwards, we opted for the insanely good molasses cake and walked around the room peering at the century-old photographs of loggers cutting down the cherished white pine to build tall masts at the shipping port of Saint John. To work off lunch, we strolled across the suspension bridge at Salmon River, where the waters were once teeming with so much salmon you could practically walk across the river. After one last requisite stop at Fuller Falls to see the water cascading down the slick rock into the Bay of Fundy, we arrived at the West Gate and the seaside town of St. Martins, the end of a magical coastal drive.