We were planning for a day of leisure but decided to spend the day working instead. We definitely made the right choice.
We arrived at Fundy National Park at around supper time on Friday. We made a quick stop at the visitor center to ask about the trails and then continued on to our campsite a Point Wolfe.
After setting up the tent we headed into Alma to find something to eat. We had to get some bottled water and other snacks for our hikes so we decided to kill two birds with one stone and eat at the Harbourview Restaurant and Variety Store.
The weather was nice when we went into the restaurant but it was pouring rain when we left. I am pretty sure that’s typical Fundy weather. It was raining too hard for hiking, even for us, so we decided to drive down the coast along the Gallery Tour as advertised on the brochure we picked up at the restaurant. We left town towards Moncton and turned right onto Scenic Drive (Route 915).
After finding both the Brian Townsend and Waterside Farms Winery closed, we decided it was the wrong time of day for the tour. While we were deciding what to do next the sun broke over the Bay of Fundy. It looked like it was still raining at Fundy Park but the sun was moving in that direction.
We returned to the park and headed for Herring Cove. If the hiking wasn’t good I at least wanted to be somewhere where I could take pictures. We went down to the beach and the tide was in so there wasn’t much area to explore. It was still early so we decided to hike up to Matthew’s Head on the Coastal Trail as a warm up for the next day. It had been 10 years since I had last hiked the trail and I had forgotten how many ups and downs there were on this section of trail. We got more than a warm up. We got a full workout.
We passed several remnants of old homesteads and some lookouts over the bay. We finally got to Matthew’s Head and took some pictures before sitting and enjoying the view from the new fiberglass Adirondack chairs. We were watching the swirling waters as the tide went back out. As we watched a seal popped its head out of the water below us. Close enough for us to get excited but not close enough for a good picture.
We returned to the car and stopped briefly at the waterfall just to the west of the parking lot at Herring Cove. It was dark but there was still enough light to get some pictures of the falls. We returned to the tent and turned in for the night. We needed our rest because we weren’t sure how hard we would have to work the next day.
We woke up the next morning and packed the wet tent into the car. It wasn’t raining but it had been raining all night. We got ready and made our way down to the Point Wolfe Parking lot to meet Livia, an employee from the park. When she arrived we introduced ourselves. We also met Marc who was another volunteer who would be joining us.
After the formalities and liability forms we all started to climb the long hill that marks the start of the Goose River Trail. Livia had brought her mountain bike. She had been to Goose River the previous 2 days and thought it might be a bit easier since the trail is an old road.
We hiked up to the junction with the Marven Lake Trail. Livia went ahead on her bike and the rest of us continued on our hike. We crossed through a small ravine then a larger ravine but once we got to the top of the hill at the second ravine it was a gentle descent for the rest of the trail.
We met Livia at campsite 4 on the top of the hill before the descent into the Goose River Valley. The trail description on the Fundy Park website says it should take 2.5-3 hours to hike the 7.9 km trail. We hiked non-stop to the campsite and it only took us 1 hour and 38 minutes.
We discussed the plan for the day’s activity and enjoyed the spectacular view of Martin’s Head from the campsite. We were all keen to get started so we crossed over the main trail. Just past a small bridge we found orange ribbons going into the woods on the right.
We had planned our trip to Fundy earlier in the week. We were planning to camp and hike the Foster Brook Trail. The day after we made our reservations we saw a callout on the Dobson Trail Fundy Catamount Trail Facebook page. They were looking for volunteers to help with the clearing of the new Fundy Footpath Link Trail. This new trail would provide access to the start of the Footpath without having to wait for low tide at Goose River. We thought it would be a great way to do some hiking, give back, and to meet people with similar interests so we signed up.
The four of us started to follow the orange ribbons that marked the new trail. This part of the trail had already been cut out so it was easy to follow. The deep sphagnum moss made it feel like we were walking on pillows. We continued on through some deep ferns and then into a spruce thicket. Eventually we came to the crest of the steep hill down to Rossiter Brook. Livia wanted us to count the switchbacks on the way down the hill and to evaluate whether they were in the right place.
Half way down the hill we met up with Emily, Marc and Alonzo. They were trying to figure out how to make the many switchbacks make sense from there down to the bottom of the hill. We all worked together rearranging the trail, marking the trail, cutting branches, and putting debris along the trail to assure people stay on the trail. After many changes to the switchbacks we made our way down to Rossiter Brook.
After a short break at Rossiter Brook we crossed the brook and continued on the trail. This section of the trail was much flatter and easy to follow. We walked along the trail and cut any remaining branches. We followed the contour of the hill and eventually came out on the shore of Goose River at the head of the tidal zone. A small walk through the alders along the river and we were at km 0 of the Fundy Footpath. We explored the remnants of a dam that used to be on the river. It was mid-afternoon and we soon had to start back so we could make it to Sackville before nightfall.
After enjoying the views of the river, the valley and the tidal zone, we returned to Rossiter Brook on the new trail. The traffic from the volunteers was starting to help the trail become better defined. At Rossiter Brook we all decided to return to the Goose River Trail by following the shore and walking in the mud. After a short hike around the turn we came to Campsite 7 on the beach of Goose River.
We decided to start our way back by climbing the hill up from the shore. The others made their way back up the valley to find Alonzo who had stayed behind to enjoy the day. After our 2 hour hike back to the car on the Goose River Trail we were ready to get our boots off. We left the parking lot and started our long drive to Sackville.
We didn’t plan on coming to Fundy Park to work but we were glad we did. The experience allowed us to give back, check out a beautiful part of the park, see the start of the Fundy Foothpath, and meet some great people who also enjoy hiking. Hopefully we get the chance to do it again soon.