Published Oct 26
Reopened officially in August 2018, the Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail is becoming the hot spot of hiking in New Brunswick. From the Mount Carleton Provincial Park to the Daly Point Nature Park in Bathurst, this 150-km single-track hiking trail promises the experience of a lifetime as it winds its way along millennia-old First Nations portage trails.
This trail is all but a walk in the park. Expect remoteness and wild animals. It took volunteers 2 years to recommission, flag and recut the trail to make it accessible to hikers. This huge project is a success: between 2019 and 2020, the trail usage is up 400%.
But the trail is also surprisingly quiet. It’s your dream destination to find peace and silence in a stunning environment. Even better: no need to be a seasoned adventurer to enjoy it. Get inspired with these 5 tiny adventures to experience near Bathurst.
If you don’t quite have the time to hike, or if hiking simply isn’t for you, the best way to fall in love with the trail is to go on a picnic.
Keep it simple: just pack your favorite snacks and a tasty picnic and head to Middle Landing on Route 360.
On both sides of the road, take in the gorgeous views on the Nepisiguit River. The best spot to sit down and enjoy the view is just a stone’s throw away from the west entrance of the trail. Two benches overlook the river on a small cliff. No need to go further for this tiny adventure that will amaze you with the beauty of the Acadian forest.
The Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq trail is home to no less than 8 rope bridges. Cross them if you dare!
To challenge yourself, just head to the sections C or E. In section C, the rope bridge across Red Brook was officially opened just this summer 2020.
These bridges built by seriously dedicated volunteers are sturdy but expect a little thrill every time you cross. The way the bridge moves changes every time and depends on every single hiker’s weight, gait and confidence. No one will judge you if you cross the bridge back and forth… for science, obviously.
Pabineau Falls are among the best views in the Chaleur Region. Powerful, mysterious, mesmerizing, they’re getting busier every year. You probably visited them on the Pabineau Falls Road side, but did you know there’s another viewpoint just across the river? You’re in for a hike but trust us – you won’t regret it.
Don’t attempt to cross the Falls. Instead, park on Red Brook Road (Access Point C) or further down the road on Gloucester Junction, and walk the Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail upriver. You’ll find the Falls after 3K along a relatively flat trail crossing both hardwood and softwoods groves.
Get rewarded with a unique view of the Falls from the south bank, with an added perk: you’re almost guaranteed to have them for yourself.
No human noise reaches Sam’s Lookout, deep in the forest. Not a soul in sight. From this lookout up on a cliff, you gaze down at a stretch of river so dangerous only highly seasoned canoers can attempt it.
This tiny adventure looks far, far away but you’ll get there after a mere 20- minute truck drive from Middle Landing. Follow the dirt road up to the Access Point H. From there, Sam’s Lookout is an easy 10-minute hike away.
Don’t go back to your truck just yet and follow the trail upriver. 1.5 K from Sam’s lookout, you’ll get to a rope bridge and a different view of the river and the Narrows. Feeling like on the edge of everywhere: how’s that for a tiny adventure?
• To check out the access points, visit the Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail website or get the detailed official map from the Pronature or Nepisiguit River Company stores in Bathurst, or online.
Imagine sleeping under a traditional teepee after a rewarding hike along the river.
You’re tucked in your sleeping bag, nice and warm on the teepee’s wooden platforms, with a full belly after a supper under the stars. Don’t bother setting up an alarm: tomorrow, the birds will wake you up. Close your eyes and drift into sleep to the sound of the Nepisiguit River lullaby. Unforgettable!
You don’t need to travel across the country to get that. The Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq trail boasts 5 teepees that can accommodate up to 6 people. The easiest to reach is the Gitpu teepee, just 7 km from Access Point C or E. The ultimate social bubble getaway! Book your teepee before you go on Parks NB’s online reservation platform.
The Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq trail is full of tiny adventures to get away from it all close to home. With 150 km worth of options, every visit is full of surprises. So gear up and fall in love with the trail this Fall!
*This blog was written with the collaboration of Arpenter le chemin*
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