Musquash Estuary, NB (Photo by NCC)

Musquash Estuary, NB (Photo by NCC)

Musquash Estuary

Musquash River, New Brunswick (Photo by Ron Garnett Airscapes)

Musquash River, New Brunswick (Photo by Ron Garnett Airscapes)

Located 19 kilometres west of Saint John, New Brunswick in one of the most biologically productive natural settings in Atlantic Canada, Musquash is one of the last fully functioning estuaries in the Bay of Fundy. For generations, the stunning scenery surrounding the lower Bay of Fundy has drawn vacationers to its coastal islands and cobble beaches.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada has been working at the Musquash Estuary since 2001 and has protected 4,243 acres (1,717 hectares) by conserving 21 properties through purchase or donation.

Conservation values

Did you know that estuaries are considered the most productive ecosystems in the world?

Home to thriving communities of fish, birds and terrestrial wildlife, Musquash is no exception. The diversity of ecosystems in Musquash is extraordinary, and includes each of the habitat types found in the greater Bay of Fundy region:

  • cobble and sand beaches
  • mudflats
  • saltmarshes
  • rocky headlands
  • coastal forests
  • islands

Many birds, including American black duck, common eider, red-breasted merganser and broad-winged hawk, nest and rear their young in Musquash.

Moose, black bear, bobcat and white-tailed deer also live in the surrounding forests.

Conservation status

The protection of Musquash's diverse and unspoiled habitats is vital to the health of the greater Bay of Fundy.

In March 2007 the Musquash Estuary was designated as Canada's sixth Marine Protected Area and New Brunswick's first. The protection of this last fully functioning estuary on the Bay of Fundy was realized through the work and collaboration of many partners. The designation, through the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, ensures the protection of Musquash under Canada's Oceans Act.

Protecting Musquash for generations to come

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is fundraising to complete protection of its nature reserve at the Musquash Estuary near Saint John, and is starting a new reserve at Grand Manan Island, as part of its habitat conservation efforts in the Bay of Fundy.

This project entails adding nearly 1,000 acres (404 hectares) to the existing Musquash Estuary Nature Reserve, 300 acres (121 hectares) of which will be purchased by NCC, along with other properties being donated in memory of well-known individuals, including local historian and conservationist Mrs. Mabel Fitz-Randolph.

To learn more about this project, click here >

Come visit us

Want to visit the splendor and beauty the Musquash Estuary offers?

The Nature Conservancy of Canada has completed two public hiking trails that allow visitors to enjoy the natural beauty of this special place.

Access points around the Musquash Estuary, including sites to launch canoes/kayaks are listed on the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website. Of the access points they list, number 7 (at bridge North of Highway 1) is the easiest and most commonly used launch site for canoes/ kayaks.

(Disclaimer: All visitors to NCC properties do so at their own risk.)

More information on the trails and how to get there >



  • Admin April 29, 2016 - 10:28
    Dear Barbara, We've added a link at the end of this page to which you will find access points around the Musquash Estuary. Thank you for your interest!

  • BarbaraLynden April 24, 2016 - 6:30
    Hello - I am wondering if there is any public access to launch kayaks in this area? Thanks! Barbara

  • ATLComm October 13, 2015 - 1:06
    Dear Anonymous, The Nature Conservancy of Canada - Atlantic Region has sent you an email to answer your question. Sincerely, NCC

  • Anonymous October 06, 2015 - 8:09
    Please let me know if the Five Fathom Hole and Black Beach trails fits any of the typical classifications such as "easy", "intermediate" or "difficult" generally used to give people an idea of what to expect. The Fundy National Park, for example, uses this classification, which is very helpful! Thanks a lot! Kind regards, Inge

  • ATLAdmin September 14, 2015 - 2:20
    Thank you for your inquiry. We have sent you a private message.

  • Nickname September 11, 2015 - 8:33
    We are planning to take a class trip this Fall to the 5 Fathom Hole trail. Would there be any guides who we could get to join us?

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