April 2006: Fundy National Park


Moncton, New Brunswick

Fundy National Park was created to protect an 80-square mile swath of the Maritime Acadian Highlands. This is an area where the deep green forests of the Caledonia Highlands sweep across a rolling plateau to reach the highest tides in the world at the Bay of Fundy. You can watch the water level change as much as 40 feet between low and high tides.

Fundy National Park features 25 dog-friendly trails, most of which are quite sporty. The trails are broken out for canine hikers by the natural features they highlight: coastal trails, waterfall trails, river valleys, forest trails and lake trails. Only a handful are loop trails, although there are many combinations to be formed to create ambitious loops. The Fundy Circuit links seven hiking trails and covers 30 miles, including four campsites.

While the big attraction of Fundy is its great tides, most of the trails offer only sporadic views of the famous bay. Some of the best come on the Matthews Head Trail, a 4.5-kilometer loop that begins and ends in open meadow and in between dips into thick red spruce forests. Nearby is the eerie Devil's Half Acre loop. Its dark mossy cre- vasses, nooks and crannies are the park's best testament to the region's ultra-moist climate.

Away from the coast, fast-flowing streams have been busy cutting valleys and canyons through the plateau. Look for hardy climbs through hardwood and spruce forests here. Wooden steps have been added on several trails to help out. One, the Dickson Falls Loop, is completely built on boardwalk from the top of the falls into a valley cooled by cascading water.

Several beaches are accessible from the trails to experience the phenomenal tides of the Bay of Fundy. The Point Wolfe Beach Trail is a short descent to a long beach (at low tide) where your dog can frolic in the receding (or oncoming) waves.

The park is located in New Brunswick between Moncton and Saint John on Highway 114.