25 BEST HIKES NEW BRUNSWICK CANADA

New Brunswick is comprised of 80% forest, making it an explorer’s dream. The large interior of Canada’s only officially bilingual province offers rolling, climbable hills, low-lying valleys and large, winding rivers. With a protected coastline that yields excellent whale-watching, fresh lobster and scenic lighthouses, this is one of the most inclusive places in the country for hikers of all levels to get outside and explore.

Trail suggestions made by Explore Editor David Webb

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Heading to nearby provinces? Check out
Ontario's 25 Best Hikes
Quebec's 21 Best Hikes
Nova Scotia's 25 Best Hikes

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Fundy Footpath

Fundy FootpathDennis Minty

Distance: 41 km linear wilderness trail
Time: 3-4 days
Level of difficulty: Difficult

This multi-day trek has been coined one of the best hikes in the world. Fundy Footpath yields spectacular views of the Bay of Fundy and Big Salmon River. The rugged wilderness trail crosses rivers and ravines. The trail should only be attempted by experienced backcountry hikers. Tide charts are required. 

How do I get to Fundy Footpath trailhead? There are several access points to the footpath, including direct access to the eastern portion through Fundy National Park. See map in the link below. 

Read more about Fundy Footpath: Fundytrailparkway.com 

 

Fundy Trail

Distance: 10-km multi-use coastal trail with several footpaths
Level of difficulty: Moderate

There is a plethora of lookouts, beaches and a 15-metre waterfall that draw visitors to this 2,500-hectare park. The Fundy Trail is best enjoyed in bite-sized pieces; hikers can easily break it up into smaller sections of varying difficulty and length. 

How do I get to Fundy Trail? Turn off Route 111 when coming from Saint John or Sussex. The access point is 10 km east of the Village of St. Martins.

Read more about Fundy Trail: fundytrailparkway.com 

 

Matthews Head

Fundy National Park

Distance: 4.5 km loop
Time: 1-2 hours
Level of difficulty: Moderate

Walk over fields, trace an old wagon road and emerge into second-growth forest along this scenic and historic trail. Keep your eyes peeled for hay-scented ferns, red rocks and remnants of a 19th-century homestead.

How do I get to Matthews Head trailhead? The trail begins in the parking lot off Herring Cove Road.

Read more about Matthews Head: Click here

 

Coastal Trail

Fundy National Park

Distance: 20.2 km out-and-back
Time: 8-10 hours
Level of difficulty: Difficult

This forested hike traces the coast along the Bay of Fundy. Several lookouts offer jaw-dropping views across the ocean.

How do I get to Coastal Trail? The trailhead can be found in Fundy National Park.

Read more about Coastal Trail: Click here

 

Dickson Falls

Fundy National Park

Dickson Falls Fundy National ParkFlickr/ih (CCbyND2.0)

Distance: 1.5 km loop
Time: 30 minutes
Level of difficulty: Easy

This short, scenic hike leads to a gorgeous waterfall, where a stream of water rushes over moss-covered rocks. It’s the most photographed waterfall in the park.

How do I get to Dickson Falls trailhead? The trailhead is in a parking lot off of Point Wolfe Road.

Read more about Dickson Falls: Click here

 

Third Vault Falls

Fundy National Park

Third Vault FallsFlickr/Sean McGrath (CCby2.0)

Distance: 7.4 km return
Time: 3-4 hours
Level of difficulty: Difficult

This trail winds down to the largest waterfall in Fundy National Park. The powerful water cascades over a ravine towards the Upper Salmon River. The trail is rocky and rugged, so sturdy footwear is a must.

How do I get to Third Vault Falls trailhead? Start in Fundy National Park and head towards the trailhead. Along the way, listen for the roar of rushing water to know you’re headed in the right direction.

Read more about Third Vault Falls: Click here

 

Fundy Circuit

Distance: 48 kilometres (comprised of seven trails) 
Time: 3-5 days
Level of difficulty: Difficult

Up for a grand outdoor adventure? The Fundy Circuit plants hikers deep into nature and offers up a checklist challenge. Marrying seven of the area's trails, hikers will spend three to five days covering Coastal, Shiphaven, Marven, Bennett Brook, Tracey Lake, The Forks and Upper Salmon River trails. The Fundy Circuit threads backpackers through varied backcountry: cross rivers, pass through river valleys, skirt lakes and the coast, and enjoy the serenity of mossy forests. Wilderness campsites are available and must be booked in advance. 

How do I get to the Fundy Circuit trailhead? Same trail head as the Coastal Trail (above); park at the main Fundy NP lot and check-in before setting out. 

Read more about the Fundy Circuit trailheadClick here

 

Mount Carleton Trail

Mount Carleton Provincial Park

Mount CarletonTourism New Brunswick

Distance: 9.9 km loop
Time: 3-4 hours
Level of difficulty: Moderate

Mount Carleton Provincial Park isn’t just crawling with hikers: over 100 types of birds and 30 species of mammals inhabit this area. This trail climbs to the highest peak in the Maritimes, at 820 metres above sea level. It’s recommended to go up the West Trail and back down the East Trail.

How do I get to Mount Carleton Trail trailhead? The trailhead is at the parking lot at the end of Bald Mountain Road.

Read more about Mount Carleton Trail: Click here

 

Hopewell Rocks

Hopewell Rocks Park

Hopewell Rocks parkAlecam

Distance: 1 km
Time: 1 hour
Level of difficulty: Easy

The famous ‘Flowerpot Rocks’ and the fluctuating tides make Hopewell Rocks an irresistible attraction for hikers of all levels. It's more of an area to explore than a traditional trail, and one could easily spend hours kayaking, taking photographs, and watching the water levels ebb and flow.

How do I get to Hopewell Rocks? The nearest airport is an hour away at Moncton. It’s also a 3-hour drive from Halifax. See this map

Read more about Hopewell Rocks: thehopewellrocks.ca 

 

Swallowtail Light & Long Eddy Lighthouse

Grand Manan Island

Swallowtail Light & Long Eddy Lighthouse Grand Manan IslandFlickr/Kate Wellington (CCby2.0)

Distance: 7.8 km one-way
Time: 1-2 hours
Level of difficulty: Easy

The Grand Manan archipelago boasts a wonderful network of heritage trails and footpaths. Hikers can travel from cove to cove, chase sunrise to sunset across the island, or visit the handsome lighthouses that dot the coast. Both Swallowtail and Long Eddy Lighthouse are located on the northern tip of the island, a mere 7.8 km from one another.

How do I get to Grand Manan? From the Ferry, turn right onto Pettes Cove Road and head towards Lighthouse Lane.

Click here to see the route between Swallowtail Light & Long Eddy Lighthouse

 

Flock of Sheep

Grand Manan Island

Distance: 2 km one-way
Time: 1-2 hours
Level of difficulty: Moderate

The Upper and Lower Flock of Sheep are rugged, boggy trails that cross small streams and natural springs. Herring, mini-fjords and columns of volcanic basalt make this one of the most interesting hikes on the island—and a great spot to watch the sunset.

How do I get to Flock of Sheep trailhead? This trail is on the south of the island. Head south from the ferry on Route 776 and keep an eye out for the trailhead.

Read more about Flock of Sheep: Click here 

 

North Trail

Grand Manan Island

Distance: 11.9 km linear
Time: 3-4 hours
Level of difficulty: Moderate

This trail crosses the northern portion of the island, running from east to west.

How do I get to North Trail trailhead? Take the ferry from Blacks Harbour to Grand Manan Island.

Read more about North Trail: Click here 

 

Osprey Trail

Kouchibouguac National Park

Osprey trail new brunswick©Parks Canada

Distance: 5.1 km
Time: 1-2 hours
Level of difficulty: Easy

Great blue herons and ospreys frequent this trail more than humans do, making it an ideal spot for birdwatchers and hikers looking for a quiet, relaxed walk. The terrain is mainly level and marked for snowshoeing in the winter.

How do I get to Osprey Trail trailhead? Head to Kouchibouguac National Park. The trailhead is near the group camping area.

Read more about Osprey Trail: Click here 

 

Kouchibouguac River Trail

Kouchibouguac National Park

Parks Canada© Parks Canada

Distance: 11.3 km
Time: 4-5 hours
Level of difficulty: Moderate

This trail follows the 72-kilometer Kouchibouguac River, which empties into the Northumberland Strait. It’s the longest trail in the park; benches offer panoramic places to rest along the way.

How do I get to Kouchibouguac River Trail trailhead? Head east from Patterson to Kelly’s Beach within Kouchibouguac National Park.

Read more about Kouchibouguac River Trail: Click here 

 

St. Martins Sea Caves

UNESCO Fundy Biosphere Reserve

St. Martins Sea CavesFlickr/Alexander Parsalidis (CCbySA2.0)

Distance: 0.3 km - 2.5 km
Time: Varies
Level of difficulty: Easy

Although this is not a strenuous hike, it offers a magical opportunity: the chance to walk upon the ocean’s floor. Make sure to check (and double-check) the tidal times before venturing out into the sea caves by St. Martin; at high tide, the caves are completely submerged.

How do I get to St. Martin Sea Caves? From St. Martins, follow Main Street to Big Salmon Road and turn off at Caves Restaurant. Park here. 

Read more about St. Martins Sea Caves: stmartinscanada.com/st-martins-sea-caves 

 

Chamcook Mountain Trail

Distance: 1.5 km one-way
Time: 1 hour return
Level of difficulty: Moderate

This trail is not the clearest marked, but once you’re on it, it’s easy to follow. You’ll climb 128 metres to panoramic views from the peak. Dogs are allowed on the mountain, but they must be on leash.

How do I get to Chamcook Mountain Trail trailhead? Only an hour’s drive from Saint John, the trailhead isn't far from the Rossmount Inn. 

Read more about Chamcook Mountain Trail: Click here

 

International Appalachian Trail

Distance: 270 km total
Time: 2-3 days
Level of difficulty: Difficult

Hikers tend to choose a slice of this epic trail to follow for a few days. The final portion attracts canoers who want to end their journey on the water. There are camping facilities along the way, but many hikers set up tent in clearings just off the trail. Water filtration is a must, as the primary water source is the rivers. The freedom and scenic beauty this multi-day trek awards are unparalleled.

How do I get to the IAT trailhead? The New Brunswick portion of this trail begins at the border of Fort Fairfield, Maine and leads across the province to the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec.

Read more about the Nova Scotia portion of the IAT: sentiernbtrail.com/international-appalachian-trail

 

Herring Cove Provincial Park trail network

Herring Cove Provincial Park

Distance/Time/Level of difficulty: Varies

There are six trails to choose from in this provincial park, including beach walks and trails through ancient spruce forests. Hikers can find sea urchins, bald eagles and beavers along the way.

How do I get to Herring Cove Provincial Park? The park is located on Campobello Island, which is accessible via a bridge from Lubec.

Read more about the trail network at Herring Cove Provincial Park: Click here

 

Grand Falls Gorge

Distance: 1 km
Time: 20-30 minutes return
Level of difficulty: Easy

Grand Falls Gorge is one of the province’s hidden gems. Gushing water drops 23 metres into the gorge.

How do I get to Grand Falls Gorge trailhead? Head to the town of Grand Falls and follow the main road across the bridge. There is a parking lot dedicated to visitors searching for the gorge.

Read more about Grand Falls Gorge: Click here

 

Maliseet Trail

Distance: 2 km
Time: 1-2 hours
Level of difficulty: Easy

This well-maintained trail leads to 20-metre tall Hays Falls. “Maliseet Trail” is also the name of a popular, nearby canoe route.

How do I get to Mailseet Trail? The trail is located 90 km west of Fredericton and 16 km south of Woodstock.

Read more about Maliseet Trail: canadatrails.ca/maliseet

 

Île-aux-Foins Park

Neguac/Hay Island

Distance: Varies
Level of difficulty: Easy

Île-aux-Foins Park (Hay Island Provincial Park) is a serene escape for nature-lovers. The beach is a great place for families to frolic, while the boardwalk offers views of salt marshes and high chances of spotting birds and wildlife. Follow your feet in any direction; the island is relatively small and easy enough to wander. 

How do I get to Île-aux-Foins? Hay Island is located near Neguac and is connected to mainland New Brunswick via a bridge. 

Read more about Île-aux-Foins Park trail network: Click here

 

Friar’s Head

Roosevelt Campobello International Park

Distance: 2.5 km
Level of difficulty: Easy

Picturesque views across the waters that separate Canada from the United States are the final outcome of this relatively easy hike in Roosevelt Campobello International Park.

How do I get to Friar’s Head trailhead? Begin at the Visitors Centre and travel to Friar’s Head.

Read more about Friar's Head: Click here

 

Minister's Island Perimeter Trail

Distance: 7 km
Time: 2-3 hours
Level of difficulty: Moderate

Minister’s Island, once owned by Sir William Van Horne, is now publicly owned by the province of New Brunswick. This trail circles the entire island, sticking to the coastline. Be sure to check the tidal times so you don’t get washed away.

How do I get to Minister Island Perimeter Trail trailhead? The best jumping-off spot for this hike is St. Andrews.

Read more about Minister's Island Perimeter Trail: Click here

 

Cape Enrage

Cape EnrageTourism New Brunswick

Distance: 0.5 km
Time: 1 hour
Level of difficulty: Easy

Located on the southern tip of Barn Marsh Island, Cape Enrage offers a stunning view of the rising and falling tides that wash through the Bay of Fundy. The 140-year-old lighthouse that protects the coast and the family-friendly zipline adventure are magnets for visitors.

How do I get to Cape Enrage trailhead? Located between Alma and Amherst on the Bay of Fundy.

Read more about Cape Enrage: Click here

 

Walton Glen Gorge

Distance: 6.5 km one-way (one-way)
Time: 4-5 hours
Level of difficulty: Difficult

Known as the ‘Grand Canyon of New Brunswick,’ this trail leads to a lookout that yields incredible views of the gorge and a 42-metre waterfall, the second highest in the province.

How do I get to Walton Glen Gorge trailhead? It’s located 40 kms south of Sussex

Read more about Walton Glen Gorge: Click here

 

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