Unforgettable Road Trips in New Brunswick

Head out into the wilds of New Brunswick on a river canoe
Head out into the wilds of New Brunswick on a river canoe | Courtesy of New Brunswick
Culture Trip Travel Team

One of Canada’s last true hidden gems, New Brunswick is a province of extraordinary diversity. Discover delicious food, friendly villages, vibrant cities and diverse landscapes all at your own pace.

From the wilds of the Appalachian Mountains to the dramatic tides of the Fundy coast, New Brunswick is a province that feels like it was built for road trips. As well as being a place of outstanding natural beauty, its official bilingual status makes it a destination of particular cultural richness. The following road trips offer very different ways to experience the fascinating province from food and art-focused city hops to the open roads of the Fundy and Acadian coast.

Fundy Coast

From the Hopewell Rocks in the west to the seaside resort town of St. Andrews in the east, this seven-day road trip takes you along the shore of the Bay of Fundy, best known for its incredible high tides. Your starting point of Hopewell Rocks is the perfect place to experience them: at low tide the vast sea stack monoliths can be explored on foot before 160bn tonnes of water rushes into the bay and the sea rises to the equivalent height of a four-story building. From Hopewell, head east to Fundy National Park, a vast pristine forest with glamping sites and excellent hiking and biking trails that run deep into woodland stalked by moose and snowshoe hares.

Next up is one of the great stretches of North American road: the 19mi (30km) Fundy Trail Parkway, which has epic views and stopping points for trails, beaches and waterfalls. From here, you pass through the pretty fishing village of St Martins before heading to Fundy’s only city, Saint John, where the handsome 19th-century center is home to a vibrant restaurant scene (be sure to pick up a lobster roll for lunch from the lively Saint John City Market). The final leg of the trip takes you first to the Fundy Isles – the archipelago that includes Campobello Island, home to Franklin D Roosevelt’s one-time home, Roosevelt Cottage – and then on to bustling Saint Andrews, which makes a great base for whale-watching excursions.

Make sure you see Hopewell Rocks at both high and low tides to really experience what’s so special and unique about this natural phenomenon
Hopewell’s Rocks and Fundy National Park are both a dream for outdoor lovers to explore

Hub City Road

This four-day road trip is the ideal little excursion for those who want a snapshot of the rich variety of New Brunswick life without having to do too much driving. You’ll start in Moncton, the Hub City of the Maritimes, which is both the perfect base for exploring many of the best spots in the provinces – Hopewell Rocks and Parlee Beach are both a short drive away – and a great destination in and of itself. You’ll want at least a couple of days to explore the many diversions in the city: the tigers and lemurs at Magnetic Hill Zoo, the wine tastings at Magnetic Hill Winery, the gorgeous thermotherapy treatments at the Nordic-style Usva spa. Moncton has a food scene to more than justify the days spent here. Don’t miss Atelier Tony, widely touted as one of the best new restaurants in Canada.

After living it up in the city for a few days, it’s time to head into the country. First stop is Memramcook, a stunning valley of birdlife-rich marshlands and orchards teeming with apples. From here, it’s on to lovely Sackville, with its 55-acre (22ha) waterfowl park, tea rooms and ruined 18th-century forts. Finish your trip at the Winegarden Estate for a taste of the German-style fruit wines.

You can literally walk on the ocean floor around Hopewell Rocks at low tide

Appalachian Outpost

Those looking to escape the hurly-burly will be entranced by this five-day road trip through New Brunswick’s 400m-year-old Appalachian Mountains, which offer ample opportunities to reconnect with nature. You start right on the border with Quebec in the charming town of Campbellton, which has a gorgeous waterfront esplanade. From here, head to Sugarloaf Park, where the high peak on the mountain bike trail is lift-serviced and the campground has handsome wooden cabins for stopovers.

From here, drive to the rural community of Kedgwick, known for its incredible fall colors. It’s a brilliant base for guided fly-fishing tours and canoe trips along the Kedgwick River. After stocking up in Saint-Quentin, your road trip concludes in Mount Carleton Provincial Park, home to the 2,690ft (820m) peak that gives the park its name. It’s a birdwatcher’s paradise – abundant species include American redstarts, black-capped chickadees and all manner of warblers. Night time in the park is an incredible experience which has you staring up awestruck at the blanket of stars, and the view from the summit is astonishing: on a clear day you can see 10m trees.

Take a canoe trip down the Kedgewick River and meander through the mist between soaring pine trees

Hops and Harvest

Foodies and art-lovers will delight in this four-day road trip, which takes you from New Brunswick’s charming capital city, Fredericton, north to the farmlands of the province, where you can sample some of the finest food and drink in the region. If craft beer is your calling, then you’re going to have fun in Fredericton: its Taproom Trail brings together 10 taprooms, including local favorites Maybee Brewing and York County Cider.

The food scene is terrific too; Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market is recognized as one of the best in Canada, and there are great restaurants everywhere you look, not least 11th Mile, with its inventive small plates. The town is also home to a New Brunswick cultural treasure: the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, funded by local boy Lord Beaverbrook in 1959 and home to works by Turner and Dali.

After a couple of days exploring the city, it’s time to head west to Mactaquac Provincial Park with its freshwater beaches and gorgeous trails that take you deep into the heart of beaver territory. From here, you follow the Saint John River up to New Brunswick’s first town, Woodstock. The farmer’s market here is a brilliant place to pick up some of the incredible food grown in the lush farmlands nearby, and the town’s Victorian architecture is charming. If you haven’t eaten enough already, drive on to Florenceville-Bristol, in Canada’s potato belt, for gourmet french fries at the Harvest Café.

The bike lanes and routes throughout Fredericton make the capital a safe place to explore on two wheels

Acadian Shores

The Acadian shoreline road trip hugs the eastern seaboard from the bustle of the province’s southeast quarter along great empty roads to Chaleur and its unspoilt beaches. Start at Shediac, the lobster capital, just 20 minutes from downtown Moncton. Once you’ve filled up on some of the best seafood in North America, it’s time to strike out for the Acadian peninsula, home to gorgeous beaches and pretty villages. The peninsula has many highlights including a fascinating aquarium in Shippagan and the Miscou peat bogs which, come fall, are a carpet of blazing red. But the star is the Village Historique Acadien, an open-air living museum of 40 historic buildings populated by bilingual actors recreating the long and storied history of the area.

From here it’s on to the Chaleur region, which has incredible beaches – don’t miss Pokeshaw for the spectacular sunsets – and phenomenal hiking. Daly Point Nature Reserve has great trails perfect for birders on the lookout for eagles and woodpeckers.

Your trip ends in a charming town called Bathurst famous for its microbreweries and farmers market. Anglers shouldn’t miss Youghall Beach, a great spot for striped bass and mackerel fishing.

The Miscou peat bogs in fall provide a breathtaking vista of scarlet red wetlands
Miscou Island is an excellent place to stop for seafood

Ready to start booking your trip to this wonderful part of Canada? Check out our bookable experiences, request a custom itinerary, and explore more about New Brunswick.

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