Waterfall

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! 

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! 

Memel Falls

I forgot how fun it is to go to new places! I had so much fun EXPLORING Memel Falls. No adventure is complete without going the wrong way for at least 10 minutes, right? We'll get to that later. 

One of my favourite friends was home for a visit; so after a squishy sleepover at her cottage and a yummy breakfast, we hit the road for Memel! I had heard about Memel Falls quite a few times, and I have been trying to get there for two summers now! I am so glad we did. 

It's about 20 minutes down a semi-rough road, but our Honda Civic made it, so I think you should be ok! Another thing I really like about Memel is the short and fairly easy hike to get there. It's only about 10 minutes to get to this beautiful view. 

From what I could see, the swimming hole is deep all around so there are lots of jumping options. I'm not saying it doesn't require common sense though. :)

There are ropes to climb up and a little bridge to cross to get up on the cliffs. 

This is where you'll find some good views of the three-tiered waterfall. 

And I love this view: 

The trail is a little hard to find and navigate, but if you go on a weekend, you can likely find people to guide you. We had to ask a couple of people. There is an opening before the wooden bridge that you go down:

Cross the river:

 (but this view is on the way out!)

(but this view is on the way out!)

Follow some pink ribbons for about 5 minutes: 

 (Also on the way out.)

(Also on the way out.)

until you get to the ropes to follow down to the falls. 

It was pretty busy the day we went, but we still had an awesome time.

I love my friends and I love Albert County. 

Oh, I guess I should mention that it was kind of gross in some places because people, unfortunately, don't clean up after themselves. Please leave it cleaner than you found it! FYI - no service out there! 

Like I said, I took a wrong turn, so hopefully these directions will help you: 

From Route 114 in Hopewell Hill, drive out Memel Road for 4 km, keeping left at the first Y-junction (staying on Memel Rd). After the first 2 km, the road turns to gravel/dirt. Continue past a gravel parking lot on the left (that has a an ambulance sign in the tree) and veer right at the Y-junction onto 864 (left picture). Park on the far side of the bridge pictured below. Go back over the bridge and find the beginning of the trail to your left. (Directions taken in part from "Waterfalls of New Brunswick".) 

Enjoy! 

Walton Glen Gorge

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IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog was written in 2017 and there has been construction since then. I’d like to leave the blog below as is. Call me sentimental.

I haven’t been back yet this year, but I believe you can still use the instructions below if coming from Sussex until you get to the waterfall and you should see professional signs to get to the lookout from there.

To make the hike much shorter, you can come from Saint Martins and take the Fundy Trail Parkway to the “Walton Glen” stop. This has clearly marked signage and a new accessible and short path to the lookout.

To get down to the eye of the needle, you can make your way to MacLeod Falls following the signs on the hike to the lookout and follow the river/pink markers from there.  Or Hiking NB says you can find the trail to the eye of the needle can be found to the left of the lookout.

Explore!

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What better to do on a holiday Monday than go on an off-the-grid adventure! A couple friends and I have been wanting to do this hike since last summer, so we did our research, wrote the plan in the group chat and left Moncton around 8:30 (okay, more like 9:00 - I’m usually late). 

This spot came on my radar just last summer. There are kind of two parts to it - the lookout and the "eye of the needle". I knew this hike was going to be a difficult one and it definitely lived up to it. The views were amazing and I would say it matched the effort it took to see them. :) 

It will really make you wonder if you’re in New Brunswick at many spots! 

About 20 minutes past Adair’s Lodge, we parked on the side of the road and started our trek. The first hour and a half was pretty much all on ATV trail. We found a couple of different ways to get there in our research and then got some more advice from some fellow hikers on the trail.

We meandered to a waterfall, McLeod Brook Falls, down this sweet set of stairs, then came back up to the ATV trail to get to the lookout. 

I had read to do the lookout first as you won’t want to do it after hiking all the way down to the eye, and I’m so glad we did! By the end we were exhausted and I wouldn’t want to have missed this view! It has been called the "Grand Canyon of New Brunswick" and you can see why. 

 (This is the second highest waterfall in NB.)

(This is the second highest waterfall in NB.)

After lunch with an amazing view, we followed the pink ribbons back down to the brook toward the Eye of the Needle. 

After a few river crossings, climbing down ropes, our “dad” friend warning us to be careful (thanks, Mark), and about 60 more mins, we made it to the Eye of the Needle. 

Obviously, this section is amazing!! But the trek down is breathtaking too! 

I’ve said it before, but I’m obsessed with rocks and water, so this was just up my alley. There was enough water to swim, so we all (except one) swam through the eye of the needle, and relaxed in the sun for a little bit. 

 (PS - the water was “out of this world” freezing!!)

(PS - the water was “out of this world” freezing!!)

Over the course of the hike, we saw at least 4 waterfalls. It was really cool! 

We decided to try to “book it” out of there, and made it back to our cars in 1.75 hours. The whole venture took us 6 1/2 hours! A long and GREAT day! 

Time for the nitty gritty . . . 

There seem to be quite a few ways to get to the lookout and the eye, so do your research and have fun figuring it out! :) As always, Hiking NB has great directions and he also updated it because of the construction on the Fundy Trail. Be aware of this construction as the trail head may be in a different spot, depending on where they’re at with construction. (Can’t wait for them to finish the Fundy Trail!)

Getting to the Eye of the Needle is a very difficult and often dangerous hike. Please be careful and be prepared! 

Disclaimer: I've heard that there often isn't enough water to swim and sometimes the highest waterfall isn't running, depending when you go. 

Tips: 

  • Screenshot those directions as you’ll lose service before Adair’s 
  • Be prepared for river crossings 
  • Bring a bathing suit! 
  • Be prepared for a long hike. :) 

Here are some different options for you to experience “the gorge”. 

  1. Hike just to the lookout - 1.5 hours one way (to catch the first waterfall, McLeod Brook Falls, on your way, go down the stairs in the woods to your left).
  2. Hike just to the gorge - 2 hours one way 
  3. Hike both A and B! (what we did - 6.5 hrs total incl. breaks)
  4. Hike both A and B and go about a half hour further and you will meet the ocean! (That’s what I’m told). 

So thankful for a beautiful province with so much to discover. 

Quiddy Falls

This adventure was one of my last of summer 2016, but I thought I'd save sharing it for the beginning of this summer! This swimming hole is just a beauty. It's a little bit of a drive to get there, but it's worth it. 

One of my best friends and best cousins were here and I wanted to show them one of my favourite NB spots. After visiting my sister in Sussex, we headed out for an end of August swim. The hike in is only about 15 minutes and it's really quite beautiful. Some parts look enchanted! 

There are sections that are quite steep that you have to shimmy down on a rope, but where it's so short, I wouldn't say it's very difficult. I know kids around kindergarten age have been fine on it. 

It was a little overcast that day, but it was warm enough for a dip. I find the water here not super cold, compared to a lot of swimming spots (ex: Crooked Creek).

 (iPhones come in handy sometimes!)

(iPhones come in handy sometimes!)

I have seen people jump from on top of the waterfall, but I can't say I'd recommend it! Seems kinda silly to me. :) But, the view from the top is really nice! It reminds me of a quarry. 

We opted to spend our time under the waterfall instead.

That's some pure joy right there! 

There's also another little waterfall before the big one - bonus! 

If you want in, here are the directions: 

From Sussex, continue past Poley Mountain and follow signs to Adair's Wilderness Lodge, which is a great place to stop for a bite or directions (about 12 km). Continue from there until you come to a fork in the road. At the fork, take the Little Salmon River Rd. for about 2km. Take the next road on your left for about 4.5 km until you come to a bridge. Park here. There are trailheads on both sides of the river. This post was in reference to the trail on the far side of the bridge. You should be able to see the path up to your right through the woods. You'll walk through a camping area and then continue on the trail. (directions taken in part from "Waterfalls of NB: A Guide")

PS - this is also known as Wallace Falls. 

Happy adventuring.