From Alma to Saint John

By Julie Chatelain and Simon Lacroix

We awoke in Wolfe Creek campground. The morning was cool and misty. Our routine of a quick first breakfast and tearing down our little camp was done in no time. The trail took us along an old forestry road up to a ridge. The walking was easy but there were no vistas that morning. There were serious elevation gains and losses as we crossed streams situated at the bottom of narrow valleys. As we finished our second big descent, we came upon the Goose River campsite. We walked past and entered a more rugged part of the trail. Leaving the National Park, we entered the Little Salmon River Natural Reserve. This section of trail was not as well maintained; the trail was narrow, rooty and very rugged. Just the way we like it!

Our walking pace had slowed significantly. We were averaging around three kilometers per hour, but we were in heaven! This trail and the surrounding forests felt like our favorite park on the West Coast, East Sooke Park. Winding our way along we arrived at Goose Creek. We set up camp and watched the late afternoon turn into evening. In this area, the trail travelled through a tidal zone. We woke up early to cross the beach area.

Up more steep cliffs and down again, we passed Dunbar camp by the Little Salmon River and walked into the Fundy Trail Parkway section of the pathway. The scent of damp earth and pines, the sound of the waves down below and the croaking of crows filled us with Bliss. We walked amongst the trees in a mossy green wonderland. Simply amazing! To navigate some of the steep grades, the park rangers had placed some ladders here and there. These stairs were ingenious, as they were free standing and didn’t cause damage to the hillside, but for Julie and her vertigo they were a unique challenge.

We marked the passing of kilometers by the campsites. Next, we crossed Cradle Brook Camp. Each of the wilderness campsites had been well thought out. They were near a stream for water, had a bear cache, a latrine and access to the beaches.

A short distance later, we arrived at our camp for the night, Seely Beach Camp. It was another perfect spot. On a cool morning, we set off toward the end of this park, at the interpretive center. The trail then meandered at the top of the cliffs near the parkway. We were spoiled again by the views of the Bay of Fundy and the red cliffs below.

Exiting the park, we followed the road toward another quaint village, that of St Martins. At the Century Farm Campground, Simon rented a rustic cabin for the night. A hot shower, laundry washed, and a bed felt like heaven. Good thing for us as the night was very stormy and windy.

From here, we walked along roads toward Saint John. We headed northwest to Hampton and Darling Lake. We followed the lake on a dirt road to Perry Point and Kingston then down to take the small cable ferry at Reeds Point near Quispamis. Continuing now southwest, we crossed Rothesay, an affluent suburb of St John, then bordered Rockwood Park and walked into Saint John proper.

Once our Wheelie was picked up, we headed into downtown for a quick visit and an excellent Thai meal. Our motel awaited us with the usual luxuries. We rested here for a day to blog and prep for our next segment of the Great Trail. The weather promised to be cool and the leaves were changing colour. We followed the Saint John River up toward Fredericton.?

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