Saint John River Valley Attractions
The Saint John River, 660km (410mi) long with a catchment area of more than 67,000sq.km (25,800sq.mi), rises in the U.S. state of Maine before flowing south-eastwards through the Canadian province of New Brunswick.
For some 100km (62mi) of its length it forms the frontier between the two countries. It enters the sea at Saint John on the Bay of Fundy.After emerging from the northern-most foothills of the Appalachians the river traverses New Brunswick's agriculturally rich "potato belt", reaching the relatively flat coastal region near Fredericton.Throughout its history the valley of the Saint John River has served as an important highway. European immigrants, arriving in numbers from the 17th C onwards, settled in the valley, at the heart of the region which came to be known as Acadia. The river itself was christened by Samuel de Champlain, who landed in the estuary on St John's Day (June 24th) 1604.The natural route represented by the valley is still followed today by two major links in Canada's modern transport system, the TransCanada Highway and the railway.Several big dams have been constructed on the Saint John River, producing between them enough hydro-electric power to meet a large part of New Brunswick's needs.
Set in an otherwise largely rural area the small industrial town of Edmundston lies at the center of the mainly French-speaking and Catholic "République de Madawaska", a relic of the old Acadia dating back to the end of the 18th C.The twin spires of Edmundston's Catholic cathedral are a striking landmark, visible for miles around. Also worth seeing is the Madawaska Historical Museumwhich traces the history of the area.
Grand Falls, Canada
An hour's drive beyond Edmundston, at the little town of Grand Falls (Grand Sault), the Saint John River is transformed into a thundering cascade as it squeezes through a picturesquely wild gorge. A large hydro-electric power station harnesses the water's energy.The most interesting section of the gorge is now a Provincial Park and a Visitors Center has been built beside the falls.
Grand Falls and Gorge
Grand Falls is the largest waterfall in New Brunswick. The water has carved out a unique natural feature known as the gorge. Pontoon boat tours are offered and a 250 step stairway leads to the Well-in-Rocks.
South of Grand Falls, Highway 105 offers a pleasant alternative to the TransCanada Highway, passing through an attractive agricultural landscape with many lovely views down into the valley.One of the towns along this route is Florenceville-Bristol, a pleasant community in known for its potatoes. The town is the result of the amalgamation of the two former towns of Florence and Bristol, which became one in 2008.
Florenceville - Potato World
Potato World is located in Florenceville, the French Fry Capital of the World, next to the McCain Technology Centre. Potato World/New Brunswick Potato Museum is two acres of state of the art, hands on, displays, educational video theatres, antique potato machinery and a potato varieties garden. Experience the culture and history of potato farming in New Brunswick.
Address: 385 Centreville Road, Florenceville, NB E7L3K5, Canada
Opening hours: Jun 1 to Aug 31: 9am-6pm; Sun: 9am-5pm; Sat: 9am-5pm
Sep 1 to Oct 31: 9am-5pm; Closed: Sun, Sat
Sep 1 to Oct 31: 9am-5pm; Closed: Sun, Sat
Entrance fee in CAD: Family $20.00, Adult $5.00, Senior $4.00, Child 14 & under $3.00
Disability Access: Full facilities for persons with disabilities.
Facilities: Restaurant or food service
Potato fields dominate the scenery around the village of Hartland. McCain's is one of the potato processing companies to have a factory here, products such as frozen potatoes being exported all over the world.The town of Hartland is most famous for its covered bridge, the longest of its kind in the world.
World's Longest Covered Bridge
Hartland used to be better known for its covered bridge, built over the Saint John River in 1897. At 391m (1280ft) it is the longest of its kind in the world. The bridge has suffered serious damage on a number of occasions in its lifetime and requires almost continual repair.The Hartland Covered Bridge is both a provincial and national historic site. It is open to traffic although some restrictions due apply.
The town of Woodstock is a major border crossing point with the United States. Nestled between the Trans-Canada Highway and the Saint John River which allows for many recreational activities.Woodstock proudly proclaims itself to be New Brunswick's first town. It contains a fine collection of 19th Century Victorian homes, as well as numerous other historic attractions.
Kings Landing Historical Settlement
The Kings Landing Historical Settlement outdoor museum south of Woodstock vividly re-creates village life in 19th C New Brunswick. The houses of the restored village, in an attractive setting at the mouth of a little creek, were originally built by King's American Dragoons who settled along the river after the American War of Independence. When the river was dammed some years ago all the buildings had to be moved to a more elevated site.The working sawmill and King's Head Inn (restaurant, refreshments) are particularly enthralling, the latter the epitome of a 19th C country coaching inn. Various scenes of "Living History" are enacted during the main tourist season.
Address: 20 Kings Landing Road, Kings Landing, NB E6K3W3, Canada
Opening hours: Jun 12 to Oct 11: 10am-5pm
Entrance fee in CAD: Family $38.00, Adult $16.00, Senior over 65 $14.00, Students $13.00, Child 6-16 $11.00, Child 5 & under FREE
Useful tips: Family admission (2 adults & children under 16 yrs).
Facilities: Gift shop
Mactaquac Provincial Park
About half an hour's drive from the New Brunswick capital of Fredericton, Mactaquac Provincial Park (boating, walking and a variety of other leisure facilities) provides opportunities for relaxation in delightful surroundings.The area has walking trails, a beach, campsites, and offers opportunities for canoeing, fishing, or picnicking.