Musquash River, New Brunswick (Photo by Ron Garnett Airscapes)
Plan a visit to the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) largest conservation area in Atlantic Canada. The spectacular Musquash Estuary nature reserve, just 15 minutes from Saint John, surrounds one of the last remaining fully functioning river estuaries on the Bay of Fundy. NCC began working at Musquash in 2000 and has since protected more than 5,000 acres (2,000 hectares) of unspoiled marshes, coastal forests and cobble beaches surrounding the estuary.
The Musquash Estuary is New Brunswick’s first federal Marine Protected Area and, when designated in 2006, only the sixth in Canada. The land surrounding the Musquash Estuary is a haven for wildlife, such as beaver, white-tailed deer, moose, bobcat and black bear. It also provides habitat for bald eagle, pileated woodpecker, black duck, common eider, red-breasted merganser, broad-winged hawk and many other species of migratory birds.
Enjoy hiking one or both of the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s well-marked coastal trails: the 4.2-kilometre Black Beach Trail loop and the 11.4-kilometre (return) Five Fathom Hole Trail. The moderately-challenging Five Fathom Hole Trail crosses several beaches and features six lookouts, providing beautiful views of the estuary and its craggy coastline.
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.)