April 1, 2023: the full-length video is now available (and, if you are really brave, there's an extended edition video). Check them out on the video page
The Fundy Footpath
New Brunswick's Premiere Long Distance Backpacking Route
The Fundy Footpath is a long-distance coastal backpacking trail, stretching over sixty kilometres along the southern coastline of the Canadian Province of New Brunswick. This coastline is a fairly special piece of coastline, too, since it is part of the Bay of Fundy - the body of water with the world's highest tides.
The Fundy Footpath has existed in a shortened, rudimentary form for quite a few decades now. However, it wasn't until a recent collaboration -- between the province of New Brunswick's tourism department, Canada's National Park Service, and the local outdoorspeople who originally conceived of and maintained the proto-footpath -- that the modern full incarnation of the Fundy Footpath came to be.
I myself am from the province of New Brunswick. Born there, raised there, all the way up to when I left for university (and even then, I didn't go far, opting to enroll at Acadia University in nearby Nova Scotia). However, I had never heard of the Fundy Footpath -- even in its initial form -- until relatively recently, perhaps in the mid 2010s, when my brother Carl started telling me about it. He worked for the NB tourism department, and he had started collaborating with local trail walkers and builders in southern New Brunswick on the concept of a new world-class long distance backpacking trail. I was more focused on mountains and deserts in those days, and while it sounded vaguely interesting, I never really gave the footpath much serious thought. With the arrival of Covid, however (and the resulting travel restrictions), I had decided to explore some of the routes in my home province of Ontario, which resulted in the completion of two excellent long-distance coastal backpacks on the shore of Lake Superior (The Lake Superior Provincial Park Coastal Trail
and Pukaskwa National Park's Coastal Trail
). Those experiences showed the appeal and the enjoyment associated with these coastal routes, and well... my mind eventually started thinking back to those chats about the Fundy Footpath.
The Fundy Hiking Trails Association has a great map and guide (info on how to get here
), which I had purchased in 2021 with the intent of doing the Fundy Footpath as my third Canadian Coastal long-distance backpack. I then spent time in the first months of 2022 reading the guidebook and getting an understanding of the trail, and putting out feelers for participants. I envisioned a trip where we allocated a full seven days for hiking, even though I knew it was possible to do it in four or five days (the extra days allowed for flexibility with regards to rainy or inclement weather).
We decided to hike the entire length of the trail from west to east, starting at the Fundy Trail Parkway visitor center at Big Salmon River and ending at the Fundy National Park headquarters in Alma. Camping along the portion of the trail (fully 2/3rds of it) outside of Fundy National park is free and first-come/first-serve, with no reservations. Within Fundy, reservations of campsites are required and frequently sell out weeks to months in advance. I managed to reserve a spot (well, actually, spots, which I will speak to later) at the Point Wolfe campground for us for our last day before completion.