The Fundy Foot path cuts along the shore of the New Brunswick's side of the Bay of Fundy.
The hike is a strenuous three to four day linear trek along the coast and meanders to follow the region's topographical features. It consists of steep cable steps, jagged cliffs, mixed forests, and tidal rivers to ford. Be aware of tide times. Elevation change is from water level up to 300m. Depending on which end you begin, it starts at Fundy National Park, and runs for a total of 50K. (42K from park boundary) Nine kilometers worth runs within the park along the Goose River Trail, and upon fording the Goose River and exiting the park boundaries, continues as kilometer zero of the Fundy Foot Path proper. For 42Kms, it runs through to St. Martins where it ends at a cable bridge and an interpretive center at Big Salmon River. (Which closes after October, adding an additional 11K to your trip to a parked car.)
I've done more than half of the trail by starting in St. Martins as part of one hiking party. If you went in two car groups, each could set out from either end of the hike, meeting in the middle to swap keys and trail highlights. Other alternatives include kayak support for gear shuttling, or use of a shuttle service. On another trip, I managed to visit Kilometer zero and snapped a shot of the car which gave that spur trail its name.
Heading from St. Martins, and registering at the trailhead with the staff, ($7.00, includes trail descriptions and aerial map package,) one seemingly long slog got us all the way to Cradle Brook. (the 10 K and change makes us sound like Rookies!) We determined that it was far enough when we descended a steep set of cable steps and felt it too unsafe to continue on our weakened legs. By that point, we were exhausted. The trail up to that point was fairly difficult, with steep terrain that just beats you up.
We made Cradle Brook our base camp, and used our middle day to hike pack-free to Little Salmon River and back. Getting there, we wanted to explore up-river to find a set of waterfalls (eye of the needle), but we never got far enough. On the river, however, we did encounter ATV users.
Based on our distance covered, I believe that a full day of backpack hiking wold get you from Cradle Brook to Goose River, at the National Park's boundary. Two options from there would be to ford the river and continue the 9K to finish the Goose River Trail within the National Park, or to take the "White Car" spur trail (Spur trails are flagged by yellow blazes) which takes you to a secondary fire road.
There are groups who provide shuttle, lodging and to some degree, support services for the fundy trail. The original creater of the path, a man by the name of Alonzo Leger can be reached at (506) 386-2867 or via email at email@example.com
Shuttle services can made through:
Adair's Wilderness Lodge Ltd. (506) 432-6687
Other trails linked to the area, include the Dobson Trail, the Fundy Parkway, and the numerious routes associated with the Fundy national Park, all searchable via Google, and maybe by next summer, here on Trailpeak.com.
From St. Martins, look for signage to the Fundy Parkway.
From The Fundy National Park, start on the Goose River Trail.
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-only contact is Fundy Trail 1 866 386 3987, firstname.lastname@example.org
-Trail Guide,Tide tables, and Map $20.00 by post , also available at Big Salmon River Interpretive Center.
-We recommend 4 days minimum, due to rugged terrain , and the need to time crossings at low tide at Goose River and Goose Creek .
-Pigeon (taxi service) no longer in business. Thank you
506 386 2867 (Leger)
Posted By: smburt
- Tue Nov 13 18:14:29 EST 2007
UpsideOh, and the road to the white car trail is also included in the gps data. 28K worth.
Posted By: smburt
- Tue Nov 13 18:13:23 EST 2007
UpsideI just came back from a november's romp ('07) on the Fundy Foot path during the rememberance day weekend. The above post is my eastern trek, but I just uploaded the western GPS data running through from white car to Brandy Brook. I read somewhere that one person felt that the fundy foot path was more an idea of a route, than it was a path, and as I climbed root step after root step, and went from white flash to white flash, at times, I had the same feeling. After the first rather nice day of hiking, the weather turned more seasonal and it snowed that night. We awoke to 5 cms of snow that stayed for the rest of the trip. Getting to thw white car trail was a breeze! Lots of moose and deer tracks; cat tracks too?, but saw no moose or dear.
DownsideCrossing Goose Creek estuary was an eye opener, and a jaw dropper. No way around it, so we crossed at -4 degrees after waiting four or five hours. I want some waterproof boots!
CommentIt really is a difficult technical trip. Harder than Cape Chignecto. It often felt like the climb out of Western Brook pond's Fjord on Gros Morne's Long Range Traverse... again and again and again. I'd tackle the whole thing in four or five days, instead of three. No fun there in three.
The inland cliff band near Mackerel Cove was really cool!
Posted By: Takeo
- Sat Sep 29 17:00:10 EDT 2007
Upside- Lots of wildlife - Very remote - Extremely challenging - "Eye of the Needle" is amazing - Awesome beaches with great views of the rocky coast. On weekdays, you are most likely to have the beaches all to yourself
Downside- ATV access is evident at many beaches - Portions of the trail are not well worn and it can be easy to lose the trail - Very few coastal views from the trial itself (because of the extremely steep terrain above the cliffs... most of the trail is quite a ways inland) - Challenging climbs are great, but aside from a few sections, it feels like the climbs are not rewarded with nice flat sections to enjoy and recover. You are seemingly always climbing or descending. - Lots of garbage in many of the campsite... which is absolutely disgusting! I'll blame that on the ATV users as I can't believe any backpackers these days would not follow 'leave non trace' guidelines. The garbage I found at Goose Creek was absolutely repulsive. No way I could carry it all out. Wine bottles. Huge rubber beach toys. Glass jars. Beer cans. Dozens of discarded food wrappers. Unbelievable. This is not stuff that washed ashore... this is all stuff found IN the campsite.
CommentThis trip had a lot of highlights... like the Eye of the Needle and the great beaches I had all to myself... but I would not do this trail again... or recommend it to others. You get almost no views of the coast since most of the trail is so far inland. To be fair, it couldn't be closer to the coast due to the extremely steep land near the cliffs... so it's not the fault of the trail blazers. Some may like the solitude of the woods, but for me, I love hiking for the views. I don't mind working hard if it's paid off during the walk with nice views and nice walks along plateaus and such... but this trail felt like all work and no fun. There are some nice flat areas between Little Salmon and Big Salmon that are flat and have a couple of views... but for the most part, you see trees and you're either climbing of descending. It's a VERY tough... brutal trail... and I have a lot of experience and travel ultralight. My pack was under 20 pounds at the trail head INCLUDING food and 2L of water (7 pounds at the end of the hike with all food consumed)... and it was still very tough. It would be tough WITHOUT a pack. I can't imagine hiking this trail with a traditional 35-45 LB load.
I know one should not compare trails, but the comparison to Cape Chignecto is one I have to make since it's along the same coastline (Nova Scotia side of the Bay). I've hiking Cape Chignecto half a dozen times and found it to be much more rewarding. Along the coastal portions, there are amazing views around every corner. There are two (or three depending on the direction you take) tough climbs, but they are only 15-20 mins. in length and you get lots of long easy sections to recover and take in the breathtaking views. There are a lot of smaller climbs along the coast, but they are very small... just a few minutes each. And the campsites are clean. By comparison, I'd say the the Footpath is much harder while being less rewarding overall... and the ATV access evident all over the place is repulsive. Again, the beaches are fantastic... and it's great to see wildlife (I rarely see any wildlife at Chignecto)... and the Eye of the Needle is worth the trip alone... but it's not be the first trail I would recommend.
BTW... when I hike Chignecto, I average a nice easy 4K/hr walking pace... but on the Footpath... that was cut in half! If you go... be prepared... bring more food than you think you will need as it may take you longer than you think... or you could get stuck waiting for the tide to lower at a river crossing... and take your time! Chignecto is 50K and I have done it at an easy pace in 1 night. The footpath is 41K (50 if you start at the parking lot in Fundy National... which I did) too me 4 days (2 half days, 2 full days). That said... I also took the Eye of the Needle day hike... which accounted for half a day (4 hours).
p.s. If you hike the Eye of the Needle and want to continue on to the falls further upstream... look for red survey tape on the left in the woods right after the Eye of the Needle. Someone has marked a route from the end of the 'needle' all the way to (and past) the falls. Thank you so much to whoever did that. It's a life saver. Bouldering upstream of the canyon ranges from difficult to deadly to just plain impossible. Be VERY careful of every step. You will be walking in the water much of the time so the soles of your footwear will be wet (and slippery) for the entire hike.
Posted By: FOGGY
- Mon Jan 22 15:45:11 EST 2007
UpsideWilderness abounds around you, as does wildlife,
Downsidethreatened by Fundy Trail Parkway and forestry
CommentThe FFP is an amazing backpacking trip and I encourage you to take your time and not rush through it. Explore the rivers and streams, most of which are rugged and have waterfalls. Walton Glen Falls and Eye of the Needle are a must, and can only be truly appreciated by walking up stream to get there. Seeley Beach and Martin Head are a photographers paradise at anytime of year or day. Just watch the tides, especially if you plan to hike the beach for any section.
Posted By: Shawn Bethune
- Tue Jan 10 12:58:44 EST 2006
UpsideSolitude, scenery, challenging
DownsideATV's at Martin Head destroying one of the most beautiful places on earth. Occasionally at Little Salmon River but they're usually less rowdy.
CommentTrail is actually 42k from Big Salmon River to Goose River. Another 8k on Goose River trail will get you to Pointe Wolfe parking lot in Fundy Nat'l Park. Most challenging section is between Little Salmon River and Martin Head. Two ways to do it...1. 4 days with full pack and enjoy or 2. 1 day with a light pack for an awesome workout. If taking 4 days, plan a short hike into Little Salmon so you can hike up river and into Walton Glen Canyon through the "eye of the needle" and to Walton Glen Falls. NB's best ice climbs reside here during winter. Remember it is very remote with nearest outside assistance 25+km away. Can get some cell coverage in spots using towers in Nova Scotia.