I had promised I would come back to our time in New Brunswick and here we are. Our experiences in New Brunswick were really focused around the two National Parks we camped at and both of them left us wanting to go back.
On our way east through New Brunswick, we stayed on the north shore and spent two days at Kouchibouguac National Park – or as I described it, the one that starts with a ‘K’, kouchi-something…(koo-chi-boo-gu-ack).
The weather was threatening a bit as we arrived at Kouchibouguac so we got the tarp over our site right away. Just as we were tying off the last rope, it started to pour! For about a half-hour it was a full downpour but once it was done, it was the last rain that we saw in New Brunswick and our next two days were beautiful.
The facilities at Kouchibouguac National Park were not quite as deluxe as we had experienced at Gaspe National Park but there was still a great playground for the kids, clean bathrooms and the dish sinks that make washing up after meals so much more enjoyable.
We only really spent one full day in the park but got a good sense of the area and enjoyed learning about the natural area through the kid’s junior ranger program. We went to two of the beaches and unfortunately, Kelly’s Beach was overrun with jellyfish the day we were there so we did not get into the water. Depending on the currents this seems to happen along the Northumberland Strait from time to time due to the high concentration. Regardless, the sand bar is very beautiful and there is an excellent boardwalk system for walking out to the beach to limit the erosion.
The kids also enjoyed the variety show that was put on by the park staff at the amphitheatre that night featuring Parka, the official mascot of the National Parks. We were there during the middle of the week so it may not have been indicative but availability seemed pretty easy to come by as there were many empty sites around us.
Overall, a great campsite and although you are pretty isolated, it is part of the fun. We stayed on site #136 and it was very nice; private and a good size.
On our way west from Halifax we debated for a while what to do; whether to stay there for a couple more days, whether to stop in Fredricton or Quebec City but in the end, with the weather looking good we decided to book in for two nights in Fundy National Park and it was one of the last sites remaining.
Stopping just outside of Fundy National Park in Alma, before we even arrived we had a delicious dinner of lobster rolls and seafood chowder at the Alma Lobster Shop. On the main road in to the campground they were doing major construction so it was a kind of an unsightly mess with dust and dirt everywhere but it was hard to complain with views like the one below right off the road.
Our site was one of the better we saw so we must have gotten awfully lucky – some had hardly any privacy but ours worked out really well. (site #253 – Chignecto North) Even when our neighbours pulled back into their site at 1 in the morning and then decided to start a campfire, at least they were quiet!
Knowing we only had one day to explore Fundy, we made the best of it. The kids loved exploring the rocks and caves at low tide and the National Park actually has a giant outdoor pool that overlooks the Bay of Fundy and is constantly refreshed by water from the bay and heated by solar panels. It was a really fun way to spend the afternoon and even included in the price of our park pass. There was also a giant playground that the kids made very good use of. In the evening, we took in the show that was put on at the amphitheatre and headed home for our last campfire of the trip.
The National Parks we stayed in were really a highlight of our trip and made us anxious to try and explore more of Canada’s National Parks. Each of them were new for us and we couldn’t have been more impressed with the facilities and of course Canada’s beauty is on display at each of them as well.
We said goodbye to Bay of Fundy the next morning before daybreak – taking down the tent in the dark and heading for home. Fifteen hours and 1300kms later, we pulled into our driveway with another vacation in the books.