Fundy National Park is one of my favourite places. I've spent a lot of time here very summer since I was young. There are A LOT of trails though, and it can be overwhelming looking at a map. I thought I'd put together a list of my top 5 favourite moderate hikes in Fundy. Full disclosure: I haven't done many of the longer ones, so I can't comment on those! Here we go!
1. Moosehorn-Laverty Loop (7.3 km loop)
This is one of my top 3 favourite places in all of NB. It is the perfect amount of work and payoff, in my opinion.
I recommend going in Moosehorn. You come down the steep section to this amazing view:
Which is where I prefer to swim. I love that you can see the bottom in most places. Fresh water swimming is just the best. It feels so clean and refreshing.
It's always a little nerve-wracking not knowing where it's safe to jump from at a new place, so here's a tip - this is a good jumping spot:
Once you're feeling refreshed and get changed, you'll hike another 30 mins or so and come to this beautiful waterfall:
Which is Laverty Falls, and another swimming hole!
Then you have about a 1/3 left to hike out. I's gradually uphill and I always feel like it's going to be shorter than it is. :)
Check out my more in-depth blog about it here.
2. Third Vault Falls (7.4 KM return trip)
Third Vault is another waterfall hike! It's really a beautiful waterfall and the hike is nice too. I remember when I was a kid this hike seemed so hard, but it's really nothing major. It's about 40 minutes downhill to get here:
Beautiful! You can swim here, too. It’s very cold, but I’ve done it! I usually end up swimming alone and my friends just watch me - it's not for the faint of heart. :)
In total, it's only about a 2 hour hike (plus your lunch break at the falls/swimming), but since you had it easy coming in, it's all uphill on the way out! :)
Definitely worth it though!
The full blog about it is here.
3. Matthews Head (4.5km loop)
Let’s switch things up a bit!
Matthews Head is a coastal trail, and it’s a loop, which is always a bonus.
I like doing this one in the spring or summer. When it’s too cold to swim at Laverty or Third Vault, coastal views are a great alternative.
The first part (maybe a 1/3 of the way in) will bring you the first lookout:
You’ll also pass some history, a foundation of a 19th century homestead, if you keep your eyes peeled.
About 2/3 in, you get a great look at Squaw’s Cap:
And you go through a lot of different kinds of forest:
The first half is mostly downhill, and the second half is mostly uphill! It’s about 1 ½-2 hours in total.
We are so lucky to live so close to be surrounded by such a beautiful coastline! Matthews Head is one I'll bring a visitor to to show off its rugged beauty.
I also wrote a blog about this one too, which you can find here.
4. Dickson Falls (1.5 km loop)
Dickson Falls is a very short hike, but it’s really nice. It was a classic family hike growing up! It was short enough that my mom wouldn't just wait in the car for us to do it. :)
One neat thing about this trail is that you get to experience the temperature difference that comes as you start in the dry coniferous forest:
And journey down to the colder, wet valley habitat:
A lot of it is on a boardwalk and goes along this brook:
And . . . another waterfall!
This is one of the most popular trails in Fundy since it’s so short and the payoff is good. Maybe check it out at the beginning or end of the day!
It’s only about 30-45 mins depending on which route you take.
5. Herring Cove Beach (1km return)
Rounding out the list, we have another easy trail. It’s actually more like a walk through the woods to a beach! But it’s the beautiful Herring Cove Beach:
It’s not a swimming beach, because as you may know, the Bay of Fundy is super cold all year round! I did polar dip in the Bay of Fundy in February and the temperature would only be a few degrees higher in the summer, so you can basically do a polar dip in any season, if that’s your cup of tea! ;)
Even if you can’t swim, the beach is beautiful and shows the immensity of the tides. The Bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the world! As the tide goes from high to low (twice a day), the bay fills and empties a billion tonnes of water. That's actually more than the flow of the freshwater rivers of the whole world combined! Whoa!
So - make sure you plan to go at low tide, so you can walk the beach. If you come at high tide, you won't get very far!
After you walk the beach, if you jump on a part of the “Coastal” trail on your return, you also get to cross a small waterfall in the woods.
There is also a nice picnic area and cookhouse at the trailhead – a great place to have your lunch!
Well, there you have it – my top 5 favourite (moderate) hikes in Fundy! I hope you like them as much as I do!
There’s certainly lots to explore in Fundy National Park – this will hopefully get you started on the right track! And help you decide, if you’re on a tight timeline.
PS - I also wanted to give an honourable mention to Coppermine and Kinnie Brook. They also opened a new biking trail this summer (and provide bike rentals), but I haven’t had the chance to try it out yet!
(Find a full list of all of the park's trails and a park map here.)