Fundy Island Trails

Fundy Island Trails

Trip Highlights

  • Hike scenic heritage trails and footpaths on Grand Manan Island
  • Keep your eyes open for whales, porpoises, marine mammals, eagles, and possibly puffins
  • Walk historic island trails accessible only at low tide
  • Visit picturesque lighthouses perched along coastlines
  • Enjoy fresh seafood and home-cooked meals at your island accommodation
  • Experience the bustling Saint John City Market
  • Explore the National Historic District of St. Andrews By-the-Sea

Trip Summary

With a coastline steeped in history and a rugged beauty that only the greatest tides on earth could sculpt, the Bay of Fundy is a pocket of scenic splendour and home to one of the planet's best collections of migratory whales and birds. Seaside fishing villages, charming resort towns, and outposts rich in maritime tradition dot the coast. Grand Manan is the largest of the Fundy Isles, with a healthy lobster fishing industry, excellent bird and whale-watching opportunities, numerous lighthouses, and a fantastic network of coastal trails. St Andrews By-the-Sea, on mainland New Brunswick, attracts tourists of all kinds with great cuisine, culture, marine excursions, and the unique opportunity to explore a 500-acre island accessible only at low tide. This self-guided hiking itinerary allows you to leave the car at home, experience the hospitality of friendly local hosts and charming bed & breakfasts, and explore the trails at your own pace.

*Those wishing to do a puffin tour while on Grand Manan must book well in advance and may wish to add an extra night on the island


You will be met upon arrival at the Saint John airport (YSJ) and transferred to your accommodation. Canada's oldest incorporated city (1795) is a vibrant port community on the edge of nature and the highest tides on earth. From the beginnings of the American Revolution in 1774, to shortly after its conclusion in 1783, some 40,000 British subjects fled north to escape persecution. Almost 15,000 British 'loyalists', as they were called, arrived in Saint John before the year's end. The Loyalist Trail walking tour retraces the footsteps of these founders and includes the Old Burial Ground, the County Courthouse, Loyalist House, and Saint John's delightful City Market; an authentic old-time general store.

Meals:  Nil

An early morning transfer today brings you out to Black's Harbour where you will catch the morning ferry to the island of Grand Manan. En route, keep an eye out for seals, whales and sea birds as the waters of the Bay of Fundy are rich with wildlife. On arrival at the island, you will be met by your friendly hosts and taken to check in at your B&B overlooking the water. Pick up a packed lunch and head out for your first island hike. A great introduction to the island, the trail today will take you past unique rock formations, spectacular viewpoints, and to picturesque Swallowtail Lighthouse where you can learn about the historic nature of the light station and the surrounding marine environment. A climb to the top is recommended! Although a short distance, sections of the hike today are quite rugged and therefore slow-going.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today, enjoy a scenic hike atop the cliffs of the island's south shore with stretching views over the ocean and Machias Seal Island, renowned as a Puffin breeding site and the site of the only "manned" lighthouse in the Maritimes. The waters here are rich with herring, bringing a plethora of sea birds and cetaceans. Apart from the cliff-top views, highlights of this hike are the rounded white granite boulders named 'Flock of Sheep', distinctive Hay Point lookout, and the Southwest Head Lighthouse (1880) atop Gull Cliff. On the drive back to the B&B, enjoy a stop at picturesque Seal Cove, dotted with fascinating historic herring smoke sheds and an interesting history. Overnight B&B on Grand Manan. *As an alternative to hiking today, you may opt for a kayaking tour (Paid and arranged locally with your host), a whale-watching tour (July through September - to be booked and paid directly with local boat operators), or a Puffin tour (July). These popular boat tours must be booked months in advance and directly with the local boat operators ( Tours are subject to weather, so we recommend adding a night on Grand Manan if this is an important aspect of your holiday. Contact your agent for details and pricing.

Meals:  B,L,D

Your ferry today doesn't depart until mid-afternoon, so there is plenty of time to enjoy a morning hike and to check out one more lighthouse on the island's northern tip. Locally known as 'The Whistle', the Long Eddy Lightstation is your drop-off point this morning and a great spot to look for whales, porpoises, seals, and sea birds feeding in the Long Eddy Rip. From here, hike the rugged coastal trail to Ashburton Head and enjoy a sweeping views over 'Seven Days Work', a geological feature that dominates the northeastern shoreline. From Whale Cove, the roads take you on an easy walk back to your B&B where your hosts are waiting to take you out to the ferry for your trip back to the mainland. Upon arrival on the mainland, your friendly driver will transfer you to charming St. Andrews By-the-Sea where you will spend the final two nights.

Meals:  B,L

The town of Saint Andrews (Est. 1783) is a perfectly-preserved seaport village, founded by the United Empire Loyalists and designated one of Canada's National Historic Districts with some homes over 200 years old. This quaint seaside resort town has attracted royalty, celebrities, and world travellers over the centuries including Sir William Van Horne, the president and driving force behind the Canadian Pacific Railway. Van Horne made his grand summer estate just off shore on Minister's Island. This 500-acre island can only be reached at low tide, by driving or walking approximately 1km over an exposed sand bar/the sea floor, so plan your visit by the tides and be sure not to get stuck on the island! On the island, visit the late 19th century/early 20th century estate and enjoy century-old trails worn down by long-gone carriages. Saint Andrews also offers plenty of day touring options for the visitor, such as whale-watching tours, kayaking, boat tours, and scuba diving. Accom to Ministers Island: Approx 4.5km easy walk (9km round-trip) Loop hike around Island: Approx 6.5km, easy

Meals:  B

Tour inclusions end with breakfast. Options to extend your stay in town, visit Roosevelt Campobello International Park on Campobello Island (subject to ferry schedules), or continue your travels onward. There is a daily morning bus back to Saint John (not included) or we can arrange a private transfer back to Saint John (extra charge - please inquire).

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • 5 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners
  • 5 nights twin share accommodation with private facilities
  • Private transfers on mainland and trailhead transfers on Grand Manan
  • Foot Passenger Ferry tickets Saint John - Grand Manan - Saint John
  • Info package with custom route notes and souvenir copy of Grand Manan trail book

What's Not Included

  • Airfare
  • Return transfer to Saint John (available for an extra charge)
  • Items of a personal nature, such as laundry and postage
  • Meals where not indicated
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Travel insurance
  • Applicable taxes

Upcoming Travel Dates


Duration:6 Days
Province/Territory:New Brunswick
Starting Point:Saint John
Activities:Self-guided hiking
Grade:Introductory  Click for more information
Trip Code:FUN
Prices From:USD$850
* All prices subject to applicable taxes