Chance Harbour Nature Spa

I had my eye on this place for quite a while before finally experiencing it myself a few weekends ago now. We know New Brunswick has a lot to offer, but a lot of our hidden gems are "summer only" spots, so I was excited to check out a place that's sweet no matter what season it is! Besides, is it really a polar bear dip if it's not in the winter? :) 

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Two of my "couple friends" had been there about a year ago and spoke highly of it so they let me tag along this time! We now have two new members of the polar dip club!

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So, the whole spa operates to provide thermal therapy. As they say on their website, this therapy is not very well-known in western society, but it boasts many health benefits and is just fun! 

They recommend a certain pattern for your therapy going from hot to cold to hot, and so on. You can do the recommended pattern or just build your own adventure. We really like the sauna and the hot pool and the bucket of ice cold water! But more on that later. You can find out more about the health benefits and pattern here

We went on a brisk -7 winter day, but there wasn't much snow as we've had such a weird winter (for the third winter in a row)! We brought our own bath robes, but you can also rent some there if you don't have your own. It is recommended to wear shoes that can get wet as you're in and out of water all day. I wore flip flops and I didn't get too cold going from place to place. Rubber boots were a little more cumbersome, so I'd recommend the sandals.

We started off admiring the Bay of Fundy in the beautiful sauna.

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And then once we started sweating, we cooled off with the bucket of freezing fresh water! 

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We then rushed to the hot pool to get warm again, which was also nice and relaxing. I liked that it was nestled up in the trees. :) 

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The "cold option" closest to the hot pool was the waterfall. We did meander over, but access is a little more difficult in the winter. I sat in the waterfall for a second before rushing back to the hot pool. 

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It was nice to be able to see another New Brunswick waterfall while I was there! 

From there, we finished off our first "round" in the steam room. This area is quite small and only fits about 5 or so people. It was a little too steamy for me, but it was my friend's favourite spot! 

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We spent most of the day trying to decide if we were going to brave the Bay of Fundy for the Polar Dip! Mark and I worked up the courage, and Lindsay was our photographer. :) 

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This is clearly BEFORE I froze my butt off! 

It was SOOO cold!! We RAN to the sauna to warm up again. 

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Like a beacon in the night. 

Humans do weird things.

They also have their Polar Bear Cafe where they offer drinks and healthy snacks.

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Or, you can bring your own lunch and enjoy it by the fire. 

We had a really fun day at the spa and it was a really nice winter adventure! I'll definitely be back. 

I'll leave you with my favourite capture of the day! 

Parlee Brook Ampitheatre

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Last winter was my third trip to this amazing place. Every year it has gotten busier and busier! I remember the first time we went, we were basically blazing a trail through 4 feet of snow and had to do like 15 brook crossings, risking a “soaker” each time (or it felt like that!). The second time it was super icy and we ended up climbing up pretty high in the gorge, hanging onto trees for dear life. People told us we wouldn’t make it, which is probably why we did. :) We also had a hard time finding the left turn the first two times - always an adventure! 

The last time I went (March 2017), the trail was super easy to follow as so many people had been there before us! And they made the brook crossing a breeze. Although there is something nice about untouched areas, it was awesome to see that people have been getting out to Explore NB. :) 

The trail head starts on Parlee Brook Road. The road out there is super interesting with strange houses and  the you park right near was is called “The Abbey”, or as I like to call it, the gingerbread house.  

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I would say the trail is moderate overall. The first half is up a fairly steep ATV trail. You go through two "4-ways" and get pretty high by the end. You then descend to this little lake: 

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And pass this cute cabin on your left: 

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After another mmmm . . . 10 minutes, the trail takes a left into the woods at a funky looking tree. Last year there were orange markers and like I said, the trail was obvious from previous tracks. 

This is where you have to maneuver around a brook, and depending on the year and how early you go, you may need to carve your own path or hopefully follow someone else’s. 

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After about a half hour down this section you’ll arrive!! 

Isn’t that amazing? It seems so random! 

We were able to get up into a little cave spot in the ice wall. It may not have been the safest choice, but what a great view!

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Well, that's it! Grab your hot chocolate and snacks, grab some pics . . .

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And grab your garbage on the way out. 

Parlee Brook - a super fun winter ADVENTURE - you never know what you’re gonna get! 

 

For more specific directions, I'd like to direct you to Hiking NB, as usual! 

Update: Please park past the bridge and "The Abbey" and obey the no parking signs. As Michel has shared below, access to this place is fragile. 

A Fall Walk On The Dobson Trail

This time of year usually gets me back into running and my favourite place to go is the Dobson. The trees light up like they’re putting on a show! 

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On Saturday, I went out for a Thanksgiving walk with some friends. It was a BEAUTIFUL day - I wish I’d worn shorts! One thing to remember out East is that September doesn’t mean the end of summer; we still have so many nice days before we have to brace for winter!

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If you’re in the Moncton area, make sure you take the time to get out to see the colours before it’s too late! AKA - in the next three days, pretty much. 

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And I’ll leave you with these . . . 

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Fall Brook Falls

The tallest (or maybe second to Walton Glen Falls) waterfall in NB? Yeah, I’m checking that out! 

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A few weeks ago my friend Kate was home for a bit and we decided this would be our day trip adventure. After a 2 1/2 drive through some (kinda weird) back roads and a wrong turn (of course), we found the most beautiful waterfall! 

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Considering how big it is, it was weird that you couldn’t hear it from very far away. It was like a big surprise in the middle of the forest! And the forest was beautiful too! I bet it will be amazing in a week or two with the fall colours!

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We brought a picnic lunch and had the whole place to ourselves. 

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It wasn’t super hot out, but I can’t resist a fresh water swim, especially in a new place, so I went for a freeeezzzinnnggg dip! 

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There are a few places to park coming down the road and the hike in is only about 20 minutes, depending on where you end up parking. The road brings you down by this beautiful river. 

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You take a right at the bottom of the road (at the sign pictured below) and the trail takes you right to the falls. It's pretty steep coming down that road, which is fine, but makes it slightly annoying to come back out. 

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There are great directions and more at Hiking NB here. Check it out for important info like bringing 10$ to get through a gate! The only thing I would reiterate is that near the end of your drive there, the road naturally curves right (as stated) and the road you are supposed to go on (straight, or left) has a sign that says it's a dead end or "no exit". You take that one! ;) 

Can't wait to see your fall adventure pics here! 

Kellys Beach

I wouldn’t say that I’m a “beach person”, but NB has a lot of beautiful beaches, so I think a few deserve a feature here! And since I love swimming, I think the beach is pretty cool. 

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I’ve been to Kellys Beach a few times, and it is one of my favourites. It was one of my good friend’s birthday, so we thought a trip to Kellys Beach in Kouchibouguac National Park was in order! It has beautiful sand, beautiful dunes, and some of the warmest salt water in the country! This summer was also a good time to go, with the National Parks being free for Canada 150! 

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The boardwalk to get to the beach is beautiful. It’s a short walk (1/2 km), but nothing too major. There are lots of interpretive signs along the way to explain the evolution of barrier island dunes, which are a pretty cool natural phenomenon, and they are teeming with life! So, yeah, you’re on your own little island, with a 25 km beach!

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It’s also supervised within the swimming area from late June to late August - sweet! 

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And there’s a canteen to get treats, washrooms, change rooms, and showers! Everything you could need. :) 

 The lagoon. 

The lagoon. 

If you love beaches, you should check this one out! Leave your furry friends at home though, as dogs are not permitted.