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Fundy Footpath Day 3
Telegraph Brook to Goose Creek - Tuesday, August 23
The rain did arrive during the night, and upon hearing the pattering on the tent, none of us made any attempt to get up especially early. When we finally pulled back the tent flaps and looked out at around 8am, the scene was best characterized as a wet, grey monochrome.

The rain stopped a short while later, around 9 a.m. or so, and after determining from the forecast that there might be a rain-free window of time coming up, we decided to pack up and move along as quickly as we could.
A rainy morning
A rainy morning at Telegraph Brook
Late Start at Telegraph Brook
Shortly before 11 a.m., we had our wet gear packed up and were ready to head off. The rain was indeed holding off, and we hoped that it would continue to do so for our relatively short hop of nine kilometres over to the Goose Creek area.

The climb out of Telegraph Brook (eastward) was steep but not overly long (about 100m total of climbing, or 300 feet) . There was one good lookout not far above Telegraph brook, giving us another of those long-distance along-the-coast views back westward. Looking eastward from this lookout, we could see that we that the distinctive sloping form of Martin Head was getting noticeably closer.

Beyond the lookout, it was easy and mostly flat terrain for about two kilometres (save for one moderate down-and-up), including a few more magical "soft-path-through-carpet-of-moss" type sections. I was happy to note, as we hiked along, that even though the weather was now rainy, the tread of the footpath presented us with virtually no areas of muck or mud.
courtesy JInnes
Heading off from Telegraph Brook
Good westward view
Group at lookout
courtesy JInnes
courtesy JInnes
Andrew at Lookout
Magical bit of path
The 27k mark
courtesy JInnes
ATV track
Message for Todd
Two hours after setting out from Telegraph Brook, we arrived at the crossing of the Quiddy River - a fairly substantial watercourse that empties into the Bay of Fundy at the point where Martin Head is located. We were a fair ways inland here - presumably so the footpath can cross at a point well above the marshes, flats, and high tide line. As a result, there was no sense of coastline here; this was an in-the-forest sort of crossing.

There was an extensive area of flat sand under the trees on the western bank of the Quiddy River, and clearly, this was the camping area marked on the map for this location. Three or four parties could comfortably be accommodated here. Today, however, there was no one present. We stopped for our lunch break here, given that it was shortly before 1pm.
courtesy JInnes
courtesy JInnes
Steep descent
Flat at Quiddy River
Lunchtime Shower
As we ate our lunch in the moderately buggy environs of the Quiddy River (really the only place so far where we had encountered any significant bugginess), our luck ran out. Our dry weather window faded away as a small sprinkle turned into a fairly steady shower. We snuggled up under the tree trunks and canopy as best as we could, finishing up, getting out our rain jackets, and preparing to continue on. There was no real point trying to avoid it any longer - for the next bit, we were going to be hiking in the rain.

The Quiddy river is another one of those watercourses along the Fundy Footpath that may require a ford - that is to say, you may get your feet wet. However, as was becoming the rule rather the exception on this trip, we were able to rock-hop across the relatively low flow without having to do that.
Rock-hopping the Quiddy River
Beyond the crossing of the Quiddy River, the footpath crosses through the Martin Head area. Not out on the beach with close up views of Martin Head itself, but rather up and across forested terrain, well out of sight of the coast. From the Quiddy River crossing, we first toiled up a roughly 500-foot high incline, then crossed the Goose Creek Forest Road (which leads down to the coast at the mouth of the Quiddy River), and then began a gentler descent parallelling this road, until we soon lost all of the altitude we had just gained. There's probably a good reason for this up and down and back and forth of the trail here, but it certainly isn't so that the trail can visit great viewpoints. Pretty much all of this section is rather dull forest walking.

At the crossing of the Goose Creek Forest Road, we met a solitary hiker coming up from (presumably) the beach at Martin Head [Name? He pointed out?]. That got me thinking.... about how other than passing a couple of parties already at their camping sites, we had encountered basically no one on the path since leaving Big Salmon River, which is, when you think about it, pretty remarkable. But also enjoyable.

Immediately after the footpath crossed the Goose Creek Road, we encountered a small ammo box on the side of the trail. It was marked "Mike's Box" / "Trail Magic". As the fellow hiker who we happened to cross paths with right at this point explained, this was one of several so-called "Magic Boxes" along the footpath. They are apparently filled by friendly folk (hiker or otherwise) who want to engage in a kind of gift trade, and to brighten the day of weary hikers. It is clearly stated on the box that hikers are welcome to (and encouraged to) take an item from the box - even if you don't have anything to leave in return. We rummaged around for a bit and selected a can of PEI Brewing Company Island Red ale. We would share this later this evening at camp.
Martin Head Access Road
Magic Trail Box
The big three-oh
The rain that had started at Quiddy River gradually tapered off to a light drizzle over the next hour or two. We passed the thirty and thirty-one kilometre mile markers in wet, misty forest. The footpath then sort of skirts the edge of the beach down at the mouth of Quiddy River (and in the vicinity of Martin Head), but doesn't ever go right down to the beach. We could see the sand through the trees to our right, complete with many tracks of ATV and 4x4 vehicles that had come down via the Goose Creek Forest Road. Given the dreary conditions, there was no desire to go down to the open beach and explore, and we stayed on the trail.

There was one small portal/window type lookout through the trees to Martin Head. It was a nice enough view, although today the view of Martin Head was indistinct and misty. The would be our closest view of Martin Head on our hike - from now one it would recede away from us into the west.
courtesy JInnes
Break at 31
Not quite on the beach
Martin Head
The next kilometer was marked by a return to forest slide-slope hiking, rising up to a broad crest and then descending down to the crossing of a short but steep little watercourse called Brandy Brook. We stopped here for a water filter break but otherwise did not pause here for long.
Heavy Ferns
Brandy Brook
Steep Ascent
A steep and rather rough and root-y ascent from Brandy Brook brought us high up on the last section of land before Goose Creek (our planned destination for the day). On the gradual traversing descent down into the Goose Creek area, there is a wonderful little bit where the trail does a sharp left-right switchback, and on the lower right-hand switchback (right at km marker 34), there was a wonderful lookout west back to Martin Head, 300 precipitous feet above the rocky shoreline below.
Approaching a nice lookout
Martin Head from the east
Martin Head
From the beautiful viewpoint to Martin Head, the trail kinked back eastward, and the diagonal traversing descent into the Goose Creek area continued. Soon, with a rapid-fire set of earthy steep switchbacks, we were back down at sea level and reached the (happily empty) Goose Creek camping area. Less happily, it had started to lightly rain again.
Goose Creek Campsite
The area we had selected for camping was large and easily able to accommodate all of our tents. It had a nice window looking out to the beach grasses at the mouth of Goose Creek, and beyond that, there was a nice section of raised beach that, in better weather, would also probably make a very nice place to camp. A bit of searching around also revealed two important bits of infrastructure - a new outhouse/privy (somewhat towards the beach), and the food hang rigging (which was a non-trivial walk straight north from the campsite area on an ill-defined, unsigned footpath). The new privy needs to have some clearing done around it, as lots of leafy vegetation is practically draped all over it. Let me tell you, if you have to use this privy in the rain, or if it has recently rained and the forest is still wet, you *will* get soaked from the approach and departure.

We broke out a big tarp we had brought along for this occasion and set up a common area where we could store our gear and make and eat dinner out of the rain, then set about to put up our tents. It wasn't exactly the most pleasant evening for a camp dinner, what with all the dampness and with virtually every single thing being wet. One minor treat was the shared downing of the can of PEI Brewing Company Island Red ale we got out of the Mike's Magic Box earlier in the day.

Before hitting the sack, we listened to the latest environment Canada weather forecast. It appeared as if the bulk of the rain had now passed us, and, with a little bit of luck, we would avoid having any substantial rain for the remainder of the trip.
Goose Creek
Day 3 - Telegraph Brook to Goose Creek - Hike Data
(Track color: )
Start Time: 10:50a.m.
End Time: 5:38p.m.
Duration: 6h48m
Distance: 9.02 km (5.6 mi)
Average Speed: 1.3 km/hr (0.8 mph)
Start Elevation: 42ft (13m) *
Max Elevation: 536ft (163m) *
Min Elevation: 35ft (11m) *
End Elevation: 38ft (12m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Total Elevation Gain: 1513ft (461m) *
Total Elevation Loss: 1550ft (472m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Elevation Graph
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