The Fundy Trail is a beautiful drive along the coastline of the Bay of Fundy which separates New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. St. Martins is a fishing village but in its heyday was a shipbuilding community in the 1800's. It is a beautiful village with many old historic homes and, being on the beautiful Bay of Fundy, it attracts hundreds of tourists each year. You can get to St. Martins via Saint John or Sussex.
The Fundy Trail is being built as a highway to connect St. Martins to Fundy National Park about 50 km up the coast. It is a very costly road to build along the rugged coastline with many ravines and hills to get through. It has only been built about a third of the way. St. Martins has a wonderful stone beach and great sea caves which are a big attraction, as well as two covered bridges, a museum and lighthouses, and great seafood restaurants. I've shared photos of our visit here before which you can find in the 'labels' at the end of my post.
This is a long post so I hope you enjoy the pictures and dialogue.
My friend Ida drove us to St. Martins and we were prepared for all kinds of weather. Being on the Bay can be foggy, damp and chilly, or sunny and hot. It was a beautiful sunny summer day with a little breeze off the bay so quite perfect. This is Fuller Falls. We hiked down a ravine that has 63 stairs built into the side of it. I nearly died climbing back up as I'm so out of shape! Haha.
A friendly couple making their way up that staircase. There were quite a few American tourists there - all so friendly and enjoying the beauty and great weather.
The beautiful coastline with fog hanging over the cliffs. That is either Melvin Beach or Pangburn Beach down below. One can hike this whole trail from the beginning near St. Martins all the way to Fundy National Park - a total of 49 km. We met one young couple who were finishing their 4 day hike from the Fundy Park end! She said it was the toughest hike she'd ever done. The front end of the hike from St. Martins to the Big Salmon River is groomed and wide, although lots of hills and vales to do, but the other end is extremely rugged and one has to be physically fit to do it. In fact, with the little bit of hiking we did I need to be more physically fit! Haha. It was pretty bad when I had to stop to breathe and rest my poor knees on the downhill slopes.
This is the bridge over the Big Salmon River. We had a picnic lunch here. The Interpretive Centre is located here as well.
This photo shows the suspension bridge for foot traffic and the new highway bridge on the right both over the Salmon River.
The Interpretive Centre. The history of this area is very interesting - from logging the hillsides to ship building to salmon fishing - over the past 150 years.
We stopped at a look off and this is the view down to the Interpretive Centre and the Big Salmon River.
This is looking down at Long Beach, the current 'end of the trail' as far as the Parkway goes for driving. This section just opened this year as previous to now one could only access the beach on foot. Do you see the grey rock cut on the left in the wooded area? That is where the road twists and turns down the hill to the beach.
This is a cropped shot of that rock cut. You can see why it's taking so long to build this road and costing millions of dollars to do it. Some of the ravines were filled with the rock from these cuts or bridges have to be built.
Driving through this rock cut to Long Beach was an adventure! There are 2 or 3 hairpin turns on it.
When we got to the beach area, where there is plenty of parking, we found 3 of these lovely picnic shelters and there were more on the hill above it next to a larger parking lot.
And this is Long Beach looking to the right.
Looking back to the parking lots and picnic shelters. The beach is a combination of gritty sand and beach rocks and the water is cold!
The tide was out while we were there and it was a lovely day to be on the beach. A cold, rainy, foggy day would not be as pleasant.
This is the left side of the beach around the bluff looking toward Fundy National Park somewhere up the coast.
Since this was the 'end of the line' we drove back and found some trails to hike. This particular trail was pretty and wooded and challenging. We didn't realize we would be walking through roughly cleared woodland down the edge of a steep ravine to the valley below that had major drop-offs. We hiked a ways along then decided to turn back as I just couldn't do it plus we had to hike back up to the car.
Isn't this beautiful? The trees were so tall and the filtered sunlight was lovely. You can see how the hill drops off on the left and how narrow the path is. Not for me!! No thank you.
This is another trail that was wide and even paved in the steeper parts. We came across some youths who were biking the trail. I did have a hard time even on this trail with some of the steep parts as my knees got quite painful going downhill and my hips hurt going uphill. I think my body is going downhill!! :)
We finished the Trail and returned to St. Martins so we could walk the beach and see the caves. When the tide is in you can't access the caves at all.
This is looking out from the large cave. So cool!
I love the red sandstone cliffs that have eroded for centuries from the high Bay of Fundy tides.
This is the part of the wharf area in St. Martins at low tide. They are dredging the harbour which is why there are some men and survey equipment there.
The iconic covered bridges over the Irish River.
A sweet gift shop with beautiful flowers and colourful decor outside. Ask the owner about the interesting history of this building.
We had a wonderful day of exploring and ended it with supper on the patio of The Caves Restaurant overlooking the beach. I had a whole fried clams (not the tough clam strips) and chips (French fries) platter. Yummy! And, we had cones of ice cream for dessert before we headed on the road for our 2 hour drive home.
I hope you enjoyed my visit to St. Martins and the Fundy Trail Parkway. You need to put this place on your bucket list! There is so much to see and do for all ages and abilities. The Trail is open 9-7 until September 5 then from September 6 - October 10 it is open from 9-5. It closes for the winter then but one can park at the gate and take short hikes. Visit the website at www.fundytrailparkway.com.
I hope your August is going well. I know it's going very fast and fall is almost upon us. We've had some beautiful days with lots of heat and humidity and we've also had some fall-like-temperature days.
Thanks so much for visiting. Take care.