Happy New Year
As I sit here and try to figure out how to use my new ultra-light camping stove that I got for Christmas, I am reminded of how far we have come. It was only last year that we took our first overnight hike. Then we started off 2016 by taking two winter camping trips to Mount Douglas Bald in Welsford and to Hidden Valley (Friar’s Nose and Parlee Brook Amphitheatre). In July we had a chance to explore another section of the Fundy Footpath and spent several nights camping along the trail. Although we have acquired lots more gear we still mainly do day hiking. Remember that you don’t need much equipment for day hiking so keep it simple and get out as much as possible. Choose to spend your money on transportation to get to trails before spending it on anything else.
We are starting off 2017 with a bang. We are taking advantage of Fundy Park being open this winter for the first time. When you read this we will probably be on our way to a cabin we have reserved for two nights. We can’t wait to explore some of the waterfalls and the coastline to see what they look like in winter. I also can’t wait to try out my new camping stove.
If I had to define 2016 I would say it was the year of meeting people. I did a couple of presentations at River and Trail in Rothesay and Outdoor Elements in Sussex. I also had a booth setup at a Go Wild event put on by the Town of Riverview and a wellness fair put on by St. Thomas University. I missed out on a trail cleanup with the NB Nature Trust due to lightning but got the chance to attend a Governor’s General Award. It gave me the chance to talk to many like minded individuals about hiking trails. I also had the chance once again to talk about trails on CBC radio every week this summer. I love spreading the word about the amazing trails in the province and how much fun we have hiking. Having the chance to do it in person is even better.
Website and Social Media
The Hiking NB website and social media sites continue to grow in leaps and bounds and it makes us happy to know so many people are interested in getting out:
456,721 page views (303,127 in 2015)
120,040 unique visitors (68,922 in 2015)
9,265 Facebook Likes (4,695 at beginning of 2015)
1,104 Instagram Followers (127 at the beginning of 2015)
245 Twitter Followers (144 at the beginning of 2015)
We have also recently opened a new online store. It is a place where we hope to provide valuable content that you can’t get anywhere else. Content that will inspire you to get out on your own adventures, and the information you need to help you plan your next trip. A downloadable guidebook for the Lower St. John River Valley Region between Stanley, Meductic, McAdam and Fredericton is now available. It includes the details for 89 trails in the Fredericton area. We also have paperback copies available of the Heritage Trails of Grand Manan book. I am currently working on a downloadable guide for the Appalachian Mountain Range Region that will include Sugarloaf and Mount Carleton Provincial Parks so stay tuned.
Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail – work continues to restore this ancient portage trail along the Nepisiguit River. The plan is to have a continuous trail all the way from Daly Point Nature Preserve east of Bathurst to Mount Carleton Park. This year the trail was cleared all the way from Daly Point to the Heath Steele Bridge. That’s over 50 km of this 140 km trail now complete. They also had their first annual Nepisiguit Challenge Race. It is great to see so much activity happening in this beautiful part of the province.
Mount Carleton Park – The Caribou Brook, Dry Brook and Big Brook Trails were reopened in 2016. These trails had been closed for several years due to a storm. Canoe Kayak New Brunswick has also done an impressive amount of work to reclaim an old Portage Trail between Little Nictau Lake and Bathurst Lake. I had the privilege to attend the opening ceremonies for this trail in September.
Fundy Trail Parkway – The Fundy Trail Parkway has been extended to the Little Salmon River Road south of Sussex. This will eventually make many parts of the Fundy Shoreline like Walton Glen Gorge more accessible. Hopefully this doesn’t diminish the wildness of the Fundy Footpath and helps to protect it from future development.
If you get a chance you should check out these trails and show support for future trail development. Also if you have extra time in 2017 please consider volunteering on the trails. The value you receive in exploring these trails and meeting like minded people far outweigh the small amount of work that’s required.
2017 – The Year Ahead
We are getting close to having hiked every trail in the province and plan to have them complete in the next couple of years. We definitely plan on finishing the Fundy Footpath this year. Our hike on the Fundy Footpath has become an annual event that we plan to continue long after we complete the whole trail. We also plan to take advantage of the free National Park passes this year and finish hiking all the trails at Fundy Park.
The other areas of the province that we need to finish hiking are the Dobson Trail, and the trails on and around Grand Manan and Campobello Islands. Our other focus will be o hiking the Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail as more sections are completed. Once we complete all the trails in the province we don’t plan to stop. Actually we never plan to stop. We plan on returning to our favorites and to get a deeper understanding of what the trails have to offer. This deeper understanding is something that can only come from multiple visits over time. We hope that this translates into better photography and stories to share.
And last but not least please leave the trails better than you found them. Let’s show each other and the world how amazing New Brunswick Trails can be.
Here’s to 2017. This is the year that you get to tell your story through adventure.
As always we are here to answer any questions you may have about hiking trails. Your questions help us understand your needs and to provide you with content to fill those needs.
Happy New Year!
Now go explore, go hiking.
James and Vicki