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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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”.
- 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).
- Hike just to the gorge - 2 hours one way
- Hike both A and B! (what we did - 6.5 hrs total incl. breaks)
- 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.