St. Stephen to St. Martins: Along the Fundy Shore of New Brunswick
The Fundy Shore of New Brunswick is a great place to explore, and all the best places along there seem to be named for the Saints! From St. Stephen to St. Andrews, St. George and St. Martins – some great places to explore!
When we were staying on Deer Island off the Fundy shore, we took a few day trips to the mainland to do some exploring. Here are some sights to check out.
St. Stephen is the town that borders Calais, Maine, and has a border crossing into the United States.
The Chocolate Museum
Located in what used to be the original Ganong candy factory, The Chocolate Museum offers an interactive way to learn about candy making in St. Stephen – a tradition that has lasted over a century.
As you go through the museum, make sure you take a guided tour! Each step of the way there are different chocolates to sample! You won’t want to miss out!
After the tour, you can go back around the museum at your own pace, and potentially have the chance to watch one of the employees hand dipping chocolate!
There are a ton of interactive displays for young children, and of course, the tour ends with more chocolate samples!
Even though Daniel had been here earlier in the year as part of his Canada Wise Science Fair tour, he couldn’t wait to go back again. Maybe it was for the chocolate.
This was definitely a trip highlight.
Make sure you stop in the chocolate store before you leave!
St. Andrew’s By the Sea
This is a stunning seaside town, most famous for the Algonquin Resort in the centre of town. Even if you are not staying here, it’s worth a visit to this place.
St. Andrews Creative Playground
This playground, located downtown on Carleton Street, is a paradise for kids! It’s one of the biggest playgrounds we’ve ever seen, and there is so much for all ages to keep busy.
There are picnic tables and some shade. It’s a great place to stop and recharge.
Huntsman Fundy Discovery Aquarium
Although we didn’t go on this trip, Daniel went to this aquarium with the national science fair.
There was a touch tank with different coloured lobsters, seals and lots of really interesting fish, he says.
Swimming at Katy’s Cove
We went to cool off at Katy’s Cove on Acadia Road near the Algonquin Resort. There is a sandy area and a dock. The water was warmer than the ocean because it is in a lagoon-type area.
The park is undergoing some renovations, so the playgrounds are off limits.
It’s a free, semi-warm place to swim, so why not?
Minutes away from St. Andrews is Minister’s Island – a place that can only be visited during low tide.
From the late 19th and early 20th century the island was the summer estate of Sir William Van Horne, the president and driving force behind the Canadian Pacific Railway.
On the island, you can tour around the summer home and other outbuildings, or enjoy the many walking trails.
Because Daniel had already toured the home during his Canada Wide Science Fair trip, we decided to just go explore the island.
There are 2 ways to explore Minister’s Island
- Drive across the beach at low tide, and take your car onto the island. It’s actually bigger than you think, so if you have any mobility issues, this is the way for you!
2. If you are no planning on going into any of the buildings, and you walk across the beach to the island, then, it is only $5 each. This is what we opted to do.
The trip across the beach is 0.7km and took about 15 minutes.
However, you can also drive across the beach and leave your car just before the ticket booth, and continue walking the rest of the way. Pick up a map, and pick a route and start exploring.
All the trails are really well sign posted, and coordinate well to the map (so make sure you pick one up). We opted to walk to the point by the main house, loop around, and then cut back through the centre of the island for a total of 4km and 1hour 10 minute walk.
There were great views, we learned from the information panels in front of the buildings, and were able to take the dog with us!
On the main road between St. Stephen and St. Andrews you will see a sign for the National Historic site, St. Croix.
I remembered studying this settlement in junior high school, so we took the 15 minutes to stop on the side of the road to have a look.
In June of 1604, French nobleman-courtier Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons and his expedition established a settlement on St. Croix Island. In the milder months, they built houses, a storehouse, kitchen and chapel, and formed strong Aboriginal trade alliances.
In the territory they called “l’Acadie,”—the first attempt at year-round colonization by the French—they faced a bitter winter and set the foundation for an enduring French presence in North America.
The settlement here did not last and they next moved to Port Royal near Annapolis Royal.
From the historic site, you can see the island, and as you walk along the graveled path, there is a series of information boards telling you the story of the settlement.
Definitely worth a stop! It’s free!
Besides being the gateway to Deer Island – where you catch the ferry, St. George is famous for its gorge.
St. George Gorge at First Falls is located in the centre of St. George, encompassed by Brunswick Street, South Street and the Mill Road. Fresh water from Magaguadavic River falls 21 metres into a gorge that empties into a tidal basin. The west bank is occupied by an electricity generating plant. There is a dam at the top of the falls.
We explored the top up by dam (across from the Independent where we loaded up on groceries to take with us to Deer Island).
There is a set of metal steps you can walk down, and even a viewing window where you might catch a glimpse of the the fish!
St. George is a pretty town, too! So, if you are going through, consider stopping by to see the power of mother nature!
The Fundy Shore is full of great discoveries, and St. Martins is no exception.
On our way home from Deer Island, we took a slight detour and pit stop to the small village of St. Martins, on Route 111 between Saint John and the Fundy National Park (although there is no road connecting the 2 places).
Again, this is a place you must explore at low tide, or the 2 hours before and afterwards. We were there right at low tide, and with the tide starting to turn, it had already started cutting off some of the pathways!
St. Martins is famous for its sandstone natural sea caves.
If you have ever been to Blomidon or Paddy’s Island/Medford Beach sand stacks on the Annapolis Valley side, the geology is very much the same. However, it is still just as fascinating to visit!
When you arrive at St. Martins, drive into town, and take the road beside the covered bridge. (There is only one road. You can’t get lost). Then, go around the point and the beach and sea caves will be in front of you.
Walk along the cobbled beach towards the sea caves. You can’t miss them.
There is a stream between you and the sea caves. If you hug the cliffs, there is a stone bridge you can use to cross.
Then, just take your time exploring! There are a few caves to explore, including one around the point, which is a bit trickier to reach, but not for folk who have grown up walking on cobble beaches and seaweed!
According to Google, most people spend 15 minutes to 1 hour exploring the sea caves. We averaged somewhere in the middle.
There are lots of places to eat in the village or at the beach, including one that is famous for its chowder.
The sea caves are free to explore, so take a few minutes to go off the beaten path to discover them!
Although not connected by road along the Fundy shore itself to the other towns mentioned in this blog post, Hopewell rocks is another great place to stop in New Brunswick!
Not far from the Nova Scotia border, you can witness the power of mother nature and experience the Bay of Fundy tide’s power!
Before you Go: Best tips
There is so much to do along the Bay of Fundy side of New Brunswick. Even though the geology and tides are what we experience on the Nova Scotia side of the water, it’s still a great place to check out, and has some wonderful towns with fun places to explore!
- Check the tide schedule – the vast majority of activities depend up on the tide!
- Stop at the covered bridges – New Brunswick is famous for them, so make sure you at least get one photo!
- Take your time! The villages and towns along the coast have a lot to offer!