After 3 years of searching we finally found it. Our search for Elephant Rock started when we found a very rough map of the Millbank Trails on the City of Miramichi website. I grew up in the Miramichi and until then didn’t know anything about the Millbank Trails (trail info and better map). We parked in a small parking area just off the King George Highway right beside the city limits sign in Millbank. Looking at the Miramichi map now I am not sure how we found it. The small parking area was at the south-eastern most point of the trails.
After walking a short distance on a sandy road we came to an old welcome sign made of birch sticks that had seen better days. Shortly after the welcome sign there were a large sign on the tree pointing this way to Elephant Rock. It sounded like something my daughter would be interested in (ok, we would be too) so we started our search. We climbed through and around many blowdowns as it looked like a winterstorm had recently went through the area and caused the damage. The damage seemed to be localized around the trail. After an enjoyable walk in the woods the trail descended a small hill into a stream valley. The trail was wet but easily passable. After passing a few old benches made from logs we came to a bridge over the stream. The trail then turned left and followed the stream. Another short distance brought us to another bridge that crossed back over the stream with a small playground on the other side. From what I remembered of the map I thought Elephant Rock must be close. I searched the woods around the playground with no luck.
We continued on the trail and soon came to an old road. After turning left on the road we crossed the stream once again and picked up the trail again on the right side of the road. Not far in the woods the trail came to a junction. Going right on the junction took us over a small hill into the stream valley once again. At the bottom of the hill was what looked to be an old shed that had been flattened. It looked as though it was a shelter over a spring since the signs showing spring water led us here. We continued past the shelter for a distance but the trail slowly dissappeared. We returned to the road and turned right following it back to the little parking area where we parked. This was in April of 2010 and we did not find Elephant Rock.
We returned again to the same area of the trails the next April to once again look for Elephant Rock and again had no luck. Over the next couple of years we returned to the trail several times, entering the trail system from different entrances and mapping out the whole trail system (or what trails were still discernible). In the last couple of years we were glad to see new signs at the northern entrances to the trail system. After 4 or 5 visits it became a running joke that we would never find Elephant Rock. My daughter even wrote a story about the mystery of Elephant Rock, along with pictures of animals because that’s what she does best. If I can find the story I will post it on the website.
Last month, when picking up my daughter for the weekend she was very excited to tell me that she had found Elephant Rock. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. After 3 years I had kinda given up on ever finding it. My daughter’s Guides group had hikes some of the Millbank Trails the week before and the instructor had shown them Elephant Rock and even where the moss had covered up the spray paint that used to show it’s identity. My daughter had also been geocaching at school so the next weekend we were in the Miramichi we combined geocaching with finding Elephant Rock. When we found Elephant Rock it wasn’t what we expected. It was big enough but only stood about 4 feet high. It was close to the trail and you can even see it in one of our pictures from previous visits. Even though it was small the kids climbed all over it like it was a pot of gold. As we left we discussed how it wasn’t as much about the rock, but about the story of how we found it, and that is how it became this webpost.