An August 2004 trip
to New Brunswick by moatway
Quote: People coming here tend to visit Moncton and the beaches at nearby Shediac. There is so much more to do, either day-tripping from Moncton or exploring the area's varied accommodations in smaller communities.
I can leave the city toward Shediac and follow the New Brunswick coast north on route 11 or choose the Route 530, which is closer to the water and I can be in Bouctouche in 40 minutes. There is Le Pays de la Sagouine (Acadian village creation with actors as inhabitants) and the Irving Eco-Centre (boardwalk/nature center on a large sand dune and beach). I can continue north from Bouctouche to Kouchibouguac National Park with its walks and beaches.
I can visit any number of beaches by going to Shediac and following Route 133/15 to Confederation Bridge. The most notable are Parlee at Shediac, Aboiteau at Cap Pele and Murray Beach near Murray Corner. They all feature sand bottoms and warm water.
I can follow Route 114 down the south bank of the Petitcodiac to Fundy National Park… on the way there are many quality attractions that I intend to describe in this journal. At Fundy, I can spend the day on a number of the park’s walking trails or pick up a lobster in Alma and go into the park for a picnic.
I can choose to go from Moncton to its neighbour, Dieppe, and follow route 106 down to Memramcook, Dorchester and Sackville. Again, I will be describing the major sites in each in this journal. I can drive towards Saint John and go to Sussex. From Sussex I can follow Route 111 down to the charming village of St. Martins. At St. Martins I can follow the Fundy Walking Trail along an incredibly beautiful coast line.
All of this is within an hour or so from Moncton… so many places, so little time.
In Moncton, of course, there is a bus system and lots of taxicabs. It is also a very easy city in which to drive.
Restaurant | "The Tides Restaurant (Alma)"
Oddly, although I have been here a number of times, I’ve never paid much attention to the décor, probably due to the views. The atmosphere and the service are extremely pleasant and a quick look through the seafood-dedicated menu will probably tell you that this looks like the place to be.
The menu features a number of starters including seafood chowder or gumbo, scallops, mussels and a variety of salads. Moving on into entrees, there are scallops, lobster, fish and chips, seafood casseroles and platters, sole, halibut, shrimp and clams. The prices range from $15.95 up to $22.95, the latter being the average price for a seafood combination plate here in the Maritimes.
For those who are not inclined to wade into the seafood, there are a variety of other dishes… chicken, steak and pasta ranging from $12.95 to $22.95 as well as a more mundane selection of burgers, lobster rolls etc. ranging from $7.95 up to about $11.50… so there is something for every taste. The restaurant is also licensed with a small collection of wines and a more complete offering of cocktails, beer and coolers.
I tried a cup of seafood chowder at $5.95 (also available in a full serving at $7.95) and the fried clam dinner plate. (If you read my other Maritime journals, you aren’t surprised.) The chowder was really very good; I liked it a lot. The clams, however, weren’t that good and I wouldn’t order them here again… it really is all about the batter. In this case the batter won and the clams lost. Even the attractive garnish of pickled veggies on the side didn’t make up for it. My wife ordered the daily special… crab cakes. They were served on a bed of spinach leaves garnished with mandarin oranges and carrot strings… nice presentation and she quite enjoyed them.
Would we revisit? Probably, on a foggy day with the wind blowing the seagulls out of the sky, but you know, for that kind of money, you could go down to Collins Lobster (my first choice) or to Butland’s Seafood next door, buy yourself a big Fundy lobster for $15.00 to $20.00, pick up a cheap bottle of vin blanc at the liquor store and go up into the park for a serious feast. (Don’t forget to bring the tools associated with wine and lobster.) Think about the options, but remember, in this little town, it’s all about seafood.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 20, 2004
The Tides Restaurant
Parkland Village Inn
Alma, New Brunswick E4H 1N6
Restaurant | "Paturel's Shore House Restaurant (Shediac)"
At first glance, the restaurant has a pleasant ambiance with pine board interior and exposed beams in the older section. It is a comfortable room with large windows providing views of the water on one side and cottages on the other. Other features include tastefully set tables and excellent service… everything bodes well for a pleasant meal.
The restaurant opens at 4:00 in the afternoon… we arrive at 5:30 with my son noting that the Spanish would have no idea of why we do this. Maritimers often go to dinner relatively early… not because prices are better, but in an effort to beat the 6:00 rush. On the other hand, if one were to arrive later, the beautiful views would be lost in the darkness.
The menu offers a wide range of seafood dishes with enough salad, soup and meat offerings to make anyone look forward to the meal ahead. Appetizers include scallops, escargots, shrimp or lobster cocktail and steamed clams or mussels. The prices range from $6.95 to $8.95. The selection of soups includes seafood or clam chowder, lobster stew, French onion soup and a soup of the day for $4.25 to $9.95.
Continuing through the menu, there are offerings of boiled lobster, a seafood platter at $27.95, seafood casserole, fried shrimp, scallops, or clams, baked stuffed shrimp, garlic or butterfly shrimp and a complete selection of broiled seafood including salmon, scallops and sole. Prices for entrees range from $17.95 up to about $22.95. For those who are adverse to seafood, there are steaks as well as chicken, spaghetti and hamburgers… prices ranging from $8.95 to $27.95. It really is an impressive selection. Add to that a wide selection of offerings from the bar and the dessert tray and no one should leave the restaurant unhappy.
Our own experience was excellent. Most of us chose the combo plate… fried clams, shrimps and scallops and on the one-to-ten scale, it was a ten. The restaurant uses great seafood with a delicate batter; I don’t think that we have had better. My daughter had the broiled salmon, served with a white sauce… it was a large filet, done to perfection and it disappeared completely at the hands of an extremely picky eater. One of us had a seafood allergy and chose the chicken Caesar; again, no complaints, but in this restaurant, it would almost be a crime to avoid the seafood.
In a place where seafood is king, the Paturel Shore House excels… try it.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 30, 2004
Paturel's Shore House Restaurant
on the shore
Shediac, New Brunswick E4P 8Y2
The atmosphere is wonderful. The restaurant is long and narrow, nicely lit and tastefully decorated. One of the long walls is exposed brick, the rest is painted in subdued colours and all of the walls are hung with a variety of prints and oil paintings. The whole effect is extremely pleasing. The chair and table combinations are vaguely Colonial, in dark wood, and the entire facility hearkens back to an earlier, more elegant time. In the background, there is Italian music--not intrusive, but helping to set a mood.
While the venue is new, the restaurant is not. It had previously been located closer to the beach in the old family home, so the experience was there. The service was excellent and knowledgeable and I suspect that this is, to a large degree, still a family operation.
The bill of fare is suitably lengthy and includes appetizers, salads, pasta, seafood (salmon, sole, shrimp, scallops, etc.) and meat dishes (veal, steak, and chicken). A couple of us tried the Caesar salad, and it was very good. It wasn’t the way I prefer it, heavy with garlic and anchovies, but it was very tasty. From the pasta section of the menu, my wife and I chose fettuccini carbonara, and I have to say that it wasn’t the best carbonara that I’ve had. At its best, there should be the smoky taste of Italian bacon, but that was missing. I’m not saying that it wasn’t good; it just wasn’t what I hoped for. Other selections at the table included seafood fettuccini--essentially a fettuccini alfredo with a selection of mussels and scallops around the outside, veal parmagiana, and chicken teriyaki, all of which met with approval as being very good. House wine is available at $11 for a half-liter, and a liter is $20. The wine list is short but satisfactory, with a selection of reds and whites priced in the $24-$33 range.
As a couple, we had drinks, half a liter of wine, a Caesar salad, and two pasta dishes for about $62, plus tax, plus tip--about $80. Now I know where I can get a cheaper Italian meal without the drive to Shediac, but I think that I shall soon be back at Della Nonna, trying something else from the menu.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 23, 2005
Not too far down the road at number 2056, you will notice an antiques store/museum on the right. Don’t pass it by, particularly if you are traveling with school-aged children. There are actually two things to see in this rambling, rag-tag building… one is Angel Mist Antiques, the other is Johnson’s Museum. Angel Mist Antiques is what the name suggests. They offer everything: clocks, bottles, pottery, furniture, oil lamps and jewelry. The visit to this part is interesting. The real jewel is Johnson’s Museum ($2.00 adult admission). When my own children were young, I would take them here to see Johnson Steeves’ eclectic collection of everything. Mr. Steeves, the father, has been dead now for 14 years, but much of his collection has been organized (somewhat) and placed on display by his son.
What will you see? How about quite a number of cars… most of them English. There is a 1939 Crosley convertible, a tiny 1936 one cylinder Rolux sport roadster, a 1929 Ford Model A station wagon ( a real woodie with great wood), a 1949 Jewett Javelin, a couple of fire trucks… a 1920 American LaFrance pumper and a ladder truck and quite a few more cars… and they’re literally crammed in, door-to-door. The cars are not in pristine condition. Johnson Steeves was an avid collector and he bought what he liked; he bought it used and he didn’t restore. That also holds true for the rest of the collection.
There are numerous antique cash registers, a bevy of scales, multitudinous toys… a lot of toys. Do you collect old metal toys? So did Mr. Steeves. There are a number of antique dentists’ chairs as well as an old hairdresser’s chair with the wildest curling system you’ve ever seen. There are gasoline pumps, a hearse on sleigh runners, pedal cars, gas station displays, old coke machines, antique wheelchairs and baby carriages, record players and a number of juke boxes. I noticed the collection has been thinned out, but Mr. Steeves also collected washing machines.
If you’re beginning to think that I love Johnson’s Museum… I do. It really puts a grin on my face.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 18, 2004
There are a couple of places that I recommend you visit if you’re interested in quality crafts. The first is Cornucopia, right in the center of Hillsborough on the right. It is unfortunate, but Cornucopia closed in the summer of 2006 as its owners sold off the stock (not before I bought all new Christmas decorations) and left the village.p>Just down the street, in the basement of the post office building, is Wendy Johnston’s Studio. I add now, in 2006, that Wendy has moved her studio down to Hopewell Cape, across the road from the Albert County Museum. Her new location is even better than the first with its views over the river valley and airy display space. She is a talented potter with a wonderful flare for design and colour. I can’t stop buying her work as gifts and continue to return to her studio on most of my trips to the community. What you walk into is her workspace and display area. If she’s working, she’ll take the time to talk to you about the process and demonstrate her talents. I’m sure you will enjoy your visit.
Across the street is the entrance to Mill Street. At 40 Mill Street is the Steeves House Museum, once the house of William Henry Steeves, a successful merchant and a "Father of Confederation". It is open daily in the summer; adult admission is $2 and the visit is by tour. The house, built between 1812 and 1840, is a Victorian time capsule, well furnished and interesting. Items of pride in the house include a complete dining room with a set table and featuring an original fireplace. The kitchen area is actually the original house and once was the home for a family with nine children. Upstairs, in the rear of the house are artifacts of 19th century life. The bedrooms are complete and the girls’ bedroom features a bedroom set made at the Lordly factory in Saint John. It features hand-painted wood graining. It’s a satisfactory whole.
The S & H takes it name (or at least its initials) from the Salisbury and Harvey Railway that ran down this south bank of the Petitcodiac. Salisbury is about 15 miles on the other side of Moncto. There, S & H passengers could transfer to the Intercolonial Railroad which would one day become part of the Canadian National line. The yard that you will be seeing eventually became a Canadian National worksite.
As you will find, the S & H wasn’t the only railroad in Hillsborough. The Hillsborough Plaster and Railroad Co. used tank engines to pull mine cars loaded with gypsum from the mines behind Hillsborough to the wharves on the Petitcodiac River, and later to the large gypsum mill on the riverbank. The two large silos and the water tower are all that remain.
Adult admission to the museum is $3.50 ($2.00 for youths). On Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday there are train excursions at 2:00. The excursion lasts an hour and travels the 2.5 miles along the river down to Weldon. Passengers on the excursion train have their choice of three cars, two 1942 passenger cars and a 1911 Pullman. The train is pulled by a yard engine… at one time there was a steam locomotive for the job with all the smoke and romance that it entails… but no more. There is a considerable extra charge for the trip… adults are $12.00, youth are $6.00 and the family rate is $30.00.
Oddly, if the excursion train is gone, so are all the cars that are accessible to the visitor. Having seen them (or not) you continue down to the museum building, passing a small collection of rolling stock on the way… tank car, a couple of cabooses, a fire-fighting tank, a flanger, snow plough and a sleeper. In the museum is an interesting display of photographs, memorabilia and artifacts… most of which has a Maritime flavour. There are photos of many of the train stations of New Brunswick (many of them just distant memories now), the mine trains and trestles of Hillsborough and some of the locomotives that served the area. You will find everything from a station office to a velocipede to yard and track control panels.
Your return to the station/ticket office will take you past more rolling stock but I can’t describe the visit here as exceptional. Railroad buffs (and there are many) will probably enjoy the site, but it isn’t a really long visit, even for the dedicated. Occasionally the organization offers fall foliage runs or a dinner train… those would be your best bet.
Otherwise, the museum explains the roots of Albert County existence: agriculture, forestry and shipbuilding. The building contains a considerable number of farm artifacts, but it also has a nice little display of ship models and pictures. New Brunswick was, at one time, a shipbuilding center and three-masted ocean-going ships were built on every river and creek in the province, including the yards at Hopewell Cape. There is also, in this building, a complete wheelwright’s shop… an interesting window into the 18th and 19th centuries.
In the final room of the museum there are a number of domestic and community artifacts including the contents of a formal parlour, an interesting and highly decorative Murphy bed from 1895 and a parlour organ etc. Okay, that’s enough museum… we’re going down to the old gaol (or "jail" if you prefer). On the way down, we will pass the blacksmith’s shop. It is exactly what it purports to be… the kids will get a kick out of the size of the bellows. But remember, this was a county seat and so the next buildings are the courthouse and the jail.
In the jail you will probably want to go into the three ground-floor cells. They are tin lined with thick, steel-strapped wooden doors. The cell on the right is the "small cell". (And so begins the story). The most infamous prisoner here was Tom Collins. He came from Ireland in 1906 and found work in the Catholic rectory in New Ireland; two weeks later, the housekeeper was found, brutally murdered with an ax. Tom fled, was captured, tried and sentenced to death. In November of 1907 he was hanged, still protesting his innocence, behind the jail. In the cell are the doors from the rectory, hacked with an ax and entered into evidence.
Other rooms in the jail contain exhibits of everything from clothing to quilts, glassware and dolls. The courthouse, which was built to replace the one burned in the forest fire of 1902 is a lovely building with a patterned tin ceiling, octagonal galleries and great, although plain, woodwork. You can see the judge’s chamber (with its fainting couch?) and the jury room. Tom Collins might have appreciated his surroundings.
Attraction | "Owens Art Gallery (Sackville)"
Mount Allison is well known for its fine arts program that has been the birthplace of countless notable artists. In the initial entry hall are samples of their works… in this case self-portraits, many of them done in the 1950’s. These portraits were once "Diploma" pieces… all of them 40 by 30 inches and life-sized; a different selection of them is displayed every summer.
The most interesting room in the gallery is the Salon Hanging. This is a selection of Mount Allison’s initial acquisitions of the 1880’s. Most of them are Romantic and Victorian pieces and they were meant to be a teaching tool for fine arts students. They were originally displayed in a room with a skylight, and as the students explored the works they received some damage. As a consequence, many works in the collection are under conservation… those that you will see are now displayed in ideal circumstances.
Next to the large salon is a small gallery that at the time was displaying work by Elizabeth Cann, Mabel Killam Day, Lucy Jarvis and Marguerite Zwicker. These were part of the galley’s permanent collection and all four artists were from the south shore of Nova Scotia.
In the Upstairs Salon was another selection from the permanent collection. The works were representative of a number of Maritime and Canadian artists and included Alex Colville, Tom Forrestal, Bruno Bobak, Jack Humphrey, Lauren Harris, David MacKay. Miller Brittain and Christopher Pratt. I admit that my favorite work was Bernard Safran’s Canadian Gothic. Not all the names in the room would have an international reputation, but there was something for every taste. There is a last room upstairs, the Colville Gallery featuring the watercolours, oils and poems of John Warren Gray (1824 – 1912), a faculty member.
I hope that my description has interested you in a visit to the gallery. Since the exhibits are always in rotation, what you will see may or may not be what I saw. The quality was sufficient that I was surprised that there was no admission fee. The Owens collection is one of the most significant in Atlantic Canada.
To get to Sackville, leave Moncton on the Trans-Canada Highway in the direction of Nova Scotia. Take the first Sackville exit and go right. When the road divides in a "Y" intersection, stay right. York Street is the first cross street… the gallery is to your left.
Owens Art Gallery
61 York Street
Sackville, New Brunswick
Attraction | "WineGarden Estate (Baie Verte)"
In the new Winegarden Estate store, you will find 50 different products available for tasting and purchase. Your sampling here is limited, which is just as well, many of the products have at least 14% alcohol content, ranging up to 36% or more. The limit is five samples per person, each costing $1.00. I had three and thought that I had better cut myself off there… it’s a narrow road to Port Elgin.
Among the products available were Strawberry/Rhubarb, Apple, Cranberry, Cassis, Raspberry, Cherry, Cranberry and Blueberry wines, Maple and Honey Liqueurs, Apple Schnapps, Oak-aged Fruit Brandy and Grappa. All the fruits that are distilled here are New Brunswick grown. There are also a variety of wines: Barolo, Cabernet franc, Merlot, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer to name a few, all of which are made from grapes imported from Ontario. There are a few wines, the Acadian white, for example, that are made from local grapes. There is a small vineyard surrounding the store and winery.
Your server in the winery is liable to be Roswitha Rosswog, and she is more than pleased to answer your questions about the operation and its products. There is picnic space available as well as washrooms, parking and mail-order service. This year, and hopefully every year, there was an open-air wine fest in August featuring food, live music and wine tasting. On December 5th, there will be a Christmas party… to check out events at the Winegarden, try WineGarden.
Winegarden Estate Winery & Distillery
851 Route 970
Baie Verte, New Brunswick E4M 1Z7
Attraction | "Cape Jourimain Nature Centre (Bayfield)"
When the bridge was built, the Prince Edward Island government decided to exploit it and built an extremely attractive little tourist village at their end. There are lots of shops, places to eat and the provincial tourist bureau (Don’t miss it) The New Brunswick government seemed totally oblivious to the construction of the bridge and had done nothing at the time of the completion of the engineering marvel. Spurred into action, they finally promoted the construction of a tourist bureau and the nature center. It all turned out very well.
On arrival in the parking lot, you are at the tourist bureau. That building contains a gift shop, access to the internet, tourist information and washrooms. It’s all attractive enough but for a brief moment I thought that that was all there was until I noticed the signs directing people through the rear door to the Nature Centre. We thought that the interpretive displays were really well done. Cape Jourimain is on a major migratory bird route and is the home or part-time home of 170 species of birds. We appreciated that they had posted names of the species that were active in the area at the time. (They included a newly-hatched osprey in its aerie near the lighthouse.)
In the displays, which include visual and aural presentations, were notes on shorebirds, early settlement in the area, hunting, life in a tidal environment, dykes and the adventure of 19th century crossings of the Northumberland Strait by iceboat in the winter. It was all very informative, and for someone who enjoys bird watching, probably akin to going to heaven.
The centre also features a four-story tower that allows the visitor an excellent view of the bridge. My observation was that the most impressive views of the bridge can be made from the end of the parking lot where a path allows you to walk under it, giving you a much better impression of the mass of the structure. There is also a licensed cafeteria/restaurant on site that serves extremely generous and hearty sandwiches for about $4.50, salad plates and selection of chowders. My wife and I both had the clam chowder at $6.95… it was one of the best that we’ve had in a long time.
If you’ve been in the car for awhile, you might want to consider a walk along a lovely sand beach to the lighthouse, or you may want to walk one of the four nature trails that leave the centre. It’s open from May to September, worth stopping for and for more information go to jourimain.
Cape Jourimain Nature Centre
5039 route 16, Bayfield
New Brunswick, Canada E4M 3Z8
The fortification was built between 1751 and 1755 by the French. By 1755, approximately 3000 Acadians were living under its protection. The English were ensconced in their own fortification at Fort Lawrence, just across the Missaquash River. As war broke out between the two sides, 2000 British soldiers landed to face Fort Beausejour and its less than 500 defenders, only 150 of which were French regulars. Initial skirmishes were fought on the premise that the fort would be reinforced by troops from Fort Louisbourg in Cape Breton… it was not.
With the siege underway, the French tore down the barracks and administrative buildings to prevent fire and took to living in the earth-bermed casements. As mortar shells dropped among them, they were forced to surrender and the fort was taken and renamed Fort Cumberland. The British governor, annoyed that the Acadian farmers had helped the garrison, ordered the Acadian population deported… 2200 were sent away. Acadian resistance continued until the fall of Quebec in 1759. The fort, no longer in a strategic location between two national groups, was closed in 1768 to be opened briefly during the Eddy Rebellion which was associated with the American Revolution.
The original star-shaped earthworks are still prominent on their hill and three of the casemates and the sally port have been reconstructed. Of the barracks and buildings that once stood here, only the foundations remain… and that is just as well since they were destroyed at the time of the siege. In this place that once heard the crack of gunfire and where brave deeds were done, there remains only peace. I enjoyed revisiting the fort this summer… the visit will take an hour or so depending on how much time is spent in the museum with its excellent display of artifacts from the area.
For most of my life, admission was free, but the provincial government sold management of the site to a foreign company amid much controversy. The results are obvious… there is paved parking, a modern interpretive center, walking trails, picnic tables, a nice restaurant facility and a snack bar. There are also admission fees ($7.00 adult, family rate available) so we don't go as often as we once did... but many do. In other words, we loved going, and if you are passing through, you will enjoy your visit there too. From the visitor center, there is an 800-yard walk to the stairs to the site below. A shuttle is available for $2.50 return. As a relatively new feature, it’s now possible to kayak the rocks at high tide. To prepare for your trip to the Rocks (you should check the tide table for access) or to find out how to make kayak reservations, go to The Rocks.
Continuing down Rte. 114, we arrive in the village(s) of Riverside-Albert. On your right, in Riverside, you will find a small, yellow shop called Joie de Vivre. Run by David Taiaroa and Lynne Saintonge, it is my favourite stop on the whole trip. Open since 1993 from mid-June to mid-October, it features extraordinarily fine work by almost 30 professional artists from around the region. There are acrylics, oils, and watercolours, as well as fine woodwork, pottery, ironwork, and other fine arts in a myriad of mediums.
The shop itself is bright and airy, an old, unheated building that is perfect for this purpose. The owner, David, is usually at the counter and he knows the artists he represents and as an artist himself recognizes the talent that he displays. I should add that you mustn’t pass this shop; there is something here for every taste at every price level. You can see some of David’s offerings and make purchases from the shop at Joie de Vivre.
Another site offering a lot of information on the area between Hopewell Cape and Alma is Bay of Fundy.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 19, 2004
Walking in the door, you find a small tourist information center at the bank’s counter. Behind it are the manager’s office (historic version) and the large walk-in vault. To the rear of the building is an exhibit of the ship-building industry at Harvey Bank, just down Route 915 from the bank. It’s hard to believe that two ship-builders, the Turner and the Brewer yards, turned out over 30 ships, many of them large, three-masted freighters. The largest may have been the Turner yard’s Annie E. Wright at 1847 tons, 238 feet.
Upstairs is the manager’s apartment, decorated to the first decades of the twentieth century… dining, living and bath on the second floor and a bedroom and nursery as well as sitting room on the third floor. The most exciting event in the bank’s long history may have led to its replacement by a modern building. In 1984, it was robbed of $177,000. The money has never been recovered.
At this point, it is time to leave Route 114 in favour of 915. After a short distance, it is possible to go down Mary’s Point Road to Mary’s Point. The point is on a migratory bird route and sees annual arrivals of sandpipers which stay for awhile to feed on their long flight. The site is pleasant… an interpretive center followed by a short walk through a wooded area to the mouth of Shepody Bay. The walk takes you through a former quarry area that provided stone for buildings in the city of Saint John (among others). The beach is both pleasant and attractive and if the birds are around, it’s a wonderful place to be.
Continuing down the road brings you back to 915. There are artisans and artists along the way, but you must stop at the workshop of Karen Bach and Tim Isaac. You may have seen some of their work at Joie de Vivre, but here you may meet the artists and there is much more available. They do a lot of raku work but Karen is currently turning out pieced wall plaques that are really attractive. Everyone that I’ve introduced to the shop has become a customer and a fan. It’s a delightful spot as you are welcome to walk through their sculpture garden and enjoy the peace of their artistry, water features and flowers. As a last note…Tim does regular concerts in Fundy Park and at the Harvey Hall… try to attend.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 19, 2004
The lighthouse at the cape is not particularly large (it doesn’t have to be, it’s at the top of a really high cliff), but it’s been here since 1848. It is now automated and still in use and landward of it sits the old lighthouse keeper’s house. The restoration and the activation of the site as a tourist area was begun by high school students in 1993. Today, it is still manned by 25 high school students from area schools for the summer. It is suggested that you leave $3.00 per person or $7.00 per car as a donation to the project.
There are a number of reasons to come to the cape. There is a restaurant in the old keeper’s house where you can try the good seafood chowder or a selection of sandwiches and desserts. You can eat inside or out and it is a pleasant atmosphere. Otherwise you should walk the site. There is a gift-shop just above the keeper’s house, but the real draw is the walk up to the lighthouse and the platform around it or the more strenuous walk down the steps to the beach. This is a beautiful place.
For the more adventurous, you can spend 2 ½ hours rappelling on the 40 meter cliffs or climbing a 20 meter cliff with guides. Equipment is provided for $48.26 plus tax. A 2 ½ hour kayaking expedition out on the bay is available with guides, equipment and instruction for $51.74 plus tax. There is an obstacle course (you will need eight people) at $15.00/person… it lasts two hours. Inquiries for the adventures should be made at Whistle House (the highest building on the site, beside one of the parking lots). And finally, it is possible to sleep in the hostel-dorm if you’re looking for a place to sling your sleeping bag. For more, go to Cape Enrage.
From Cape Enrage we continue down Rte. 915 to Alma, the gateway to Fundy National Park. I don’t know what you’ll want to do, but I know that the denizens of this part of the world make two stops… for the best lobster in the world (Try it, you’ll see.) go to Collins Lobster. What you came for is on a table in the middle of the room. Big, cooked, Fundy lobster, each clearly marked with a price. You can get shaved ice, so bring a cooler, a big knife and a nut cracker, and find a nice picnic site in the park. Oh, I almost forgot dessert… go to Kelly’s Bakery. We have come for the sticky buns. Now there are those that say the quality isn’t what it was, but they certainly disappear quickly… remember, they’re cheaper by the half dozen.
After driving a short distance, a sign will direct you to Route 925 and the village of Pre’d’en-Haut. The village could be typical of any small place in Quebec or Maritime Acadia, a cluster of houses surrounding the Catholic Church and the largest home in town, the brick rectory. The highway is more than just a highway here; it is the rue Principale, and at number 1209, you will have reached your destination. Well, it doesn’t look like much -- a typical, sprawling, white production building nestled in its surrounding orchards. The sign declares that you have arrived at the Belliveau Orchard, and frankly, you should go inside. This is, after all, a winery.
The orchards and apple production have been in business up and down this road for a long time, but this winery has been here for only six years. All the products here come from the surrounding orchards and fields and the best news is that the tasting is free. If you wish a full tour of the entire winery, either as a couple or as a group, call ahead. For $10/person you can visit the whole operation before your tasting. Call 506/758-0295.
Inside, you will find a nice tasting room, all done up to look vaguely Tudor or late medieval, and a sales room. This is available everyday...well, almost; the winery closes five days a year, but if you like wine and the taste of apples, this is the place to be. They offer four different apple wines, the sparkling Belliveau, Beausejour and Pre-d’en Haut (each with different sweetness and alcohol content) and the still Le Masse. There are also pear, cherry, and blueberry wines, which are suitable before, during, or after a meal. We were struck by both the quality and the taste and bought several bottles. These range in price from $8.50 to $9.95, so it is great value. There is also an apple ice-wine. Apparently, after the apples are turned to juice, the juice is frozen, and the wine is made from that product. It sells for $19.95 and is delicious. Is there anything for the children? Try the sparkling apple cider, or buy a large container of regular apple cider for those cold winter nights.
Also available -- and this is a farm operation -- are local honey and a plethora of "homemade" jams and jellies. Now, apparently, these really are home-made, the product of a lady whose kitchen is just down the road. We opted for bottles of strawberry/rhubarb, blueberry, and strawberry, but we could have tried apple butter, maple syrup, or maple jelly. You really are in the Maritimes!
Now that the car is loaded up with good things to eat and drink, continue down the road to the distinctly Acadian village of Memramcook, and from there, drive to Dorchester and on to Sackville. There is much to see and do in these pretty valleys and woodlands. For more information on the operation, go to the orchard's website.
Riverview, New Brunswick