It was a love of adventure that brought many explorers and settlers to the east coast of Canada, and that adventurous spirit is alive and well in New Brunswick. If you like a good adrenaline rush, the tug of a fish on your line, the view from the top of a mountain, or being the first to make your mark in fresh snow, this is the destination.
We’ve put together a short guide to New Brunswick for adventurers, so you can leave with a few good stories in your back pocket.
Adventures on the water
Not only does New Brunswick sit on the coast of the Gulf of the St. Lawrence, it is also home to over 2,500 lakes and rivers and borders the famous Bay of Fundy. With all of this water to explore and enjoy, an adventure in the province usually involves getting a little wet.
Let’s start with the Bay of Fundy, home of the world’s highest tides and tons of excitement. Board a speedy Zodiac boat and head to the feeding grounds of whales. You won’t be able to stop your adrenaline from pumping as the big, dark shadow rises above the surface.
If you enjoyed your paddle on the bay, head to Stonehammer UNESCO Global Geopark and take a kayak out onto a river dating back to the last Ice Age. Explore a multitude of caves caused by erosion, all with paddle in hand.
Heading a little more inland, any anglers absolutely need to spend a day on the mighty Miramichi River. The waterway is famous for fly-fishing, having one of the largest Atlantic salmon runs on the east coast. Even if you’re not a big angler, you can hop in a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddle board, or even go bear-watching along its shores.
While we’re on the topic of fishing, there’s one angling adventure in New Brunswick that really isn’t for the faint of heart: shark fishing. Head out onto the Bay of Fundy with biologists in search of elusive sharks, including threshers, makos, and porbeagles. Believe it or not, even great white sharks have been spotted in these waters. You’ll learn how to fish for bait, prepare chum, and hook the story of a lifetime, before safely releasing your catch back into its habitat. Imagine the Facebook status: “Just caught a shark.”
Adventures by land or air
Grab a towel and dry off; it’s time to explore the wilds of New Brunswick.
The province is home to hundreds of hiking and backpacking trails, and Mount Carleton Provincial Park is a great place to start. Famous for its hiking, the 17,000-hectare park is home to 11 trails for all skill levels. If you’re up for a challenge, try and reach the top of Mount Carleton, which at 820 metres above sea level is the highest peak in the Maritimes. You can literally see 10 million trees from that peak, so bring a camera.
Fundy National Park is another great option for hikers, with over 120 kilometres of trails that bring you through mountains, into valleys and forests, and past waterfalls.
If you want to explore this wilderness at a bit of a faster pace, New Brunswick is home to a major mountain biking community. The centrepiece of this community is Sugarloaf Bike Park, where you can hop on a chairlift and descend onto 25 kilometres of trails. Beginners can take their time on some gentle runs while more advanced riders can test their mettle on black diamond trails, filled with drops, step-ups, tabletops, and more. If you can time your visit for the summer, Sugarloaf is home to the Adrenaline Bike Festival, three days of pond crossing, downhill racing, and tons more fun for participants and viewers both.
And if you enjoy your time flying through the air on a bike, you may just want to ditch the wheels and spend even more time high above the ground.
Ropes, harnesses, and heights are core to several New Brunswick adventures. At TreeGO Moncton, you’ll travel a course through the tree canopy suspended only by safety cables. Try to keep your balance as you cross thin wooden bridges, or swing through the air and jump onto a rope ladder, all while high above the ground. Or head to Cape Enrage for a zipline experience. Enjoy views of the bay as you fly through the air, then head to the edge of a cliff to rappel down a 42-metre cliff. Are your palms sweating?
Adventures in the snow
Unlike what you might believe, when winter comes to Canada, people don’t stay inside; they suit up and head out to play. There are, of course, several mountains to enjoy on your skis or snowboard, but that’s really just the beginning.
Go on a storybook adventure and snowshoe to the Midland ice caves. Experience a different way of travelling as you lead a team of dogs through the wilderness from the comfort of your sled. Ramp up the horsepower and take on 1,500 kilometres of trails on a snowmobile. And if you don’t mind watching others push it to the limits, head to Mont Farlagne for the hill drag event, an exciting uphill snowmobile race.
Admit it, your bucket list just got a little bit longer. Discover more outdoor adventures on the Tourism New Brunswick website.