On a 10 day trip to New Brunswick I saw a huge swath of the province from Miramichi in the north to the Fundy Isles in the south. It’s a province I’ve driven through on several occasions but have never taken the time to explore.
Nor had I spent more than a night in it and that was when I was a kid. I learned a lot. I uncovered all sorts of outdoor adventures worth doing. And on the coast I feasted on lobster rolls which is reason enough in my books to return one day.
I thought you might enjoy some of the facts I learned about New Brunswick – many obscure and perhaps already included as a question in the game of Trivial Pursuit.
Here are 42 interesting facts about New Brunswick.
- New Brunswick is one of the three Maritime Provinces – and the largest by area.
- New Brunswick had a population in 2011 (the most recent numbers I found) of 751,171 – up 2.9% in five years.
- Fredericton is the capital of New Brunswick though Saint John is the most populous city.
- New Brunswick is the only province in Canada that is constitutionally bilingual. French is spoken by about a third of the population, especially by people of Acadian origin.
- The Bay of Fundy boasts the highest tides in the world. One of the best places to see their effects is by visiting the Hopewell Rocks – either on foot or by kayak – or both.
- The French Fry Capital of the world is located in the town of Florenceville-Bristol. Here you can also visit the New Brunswick Potato World Museum.
- There have been 29 premiers of New Brunswick since Confederation.
- The McAdam Railway Station boasts a heritage railway station built in 1900. The only reason I have any interest in this is because I have the same last name.
- The largest waterfall in New Brunswick is the Grand Falls Gorge. It’s 70 metres high (230 feet) in a gorge that’s 1.5 kilometres long. During the spring six million litres of water, 90% of the volume of Niagara Falls, flows over the falls every few seconds.
The longest covered bridge in the world
The Hartland Covered Bridge in Hartland, New Brunswick is a National Historic Site – and the longest covered bridge in the world. It was built in 1901 and for its time was an engineering phenomenon with a span of 390 metres (1282 feet). Back in 1906 it was a toll bridge and cost 0.03 per person.
- Sussex is the Covered Bridge Capital of New Brunswick. There are over 60 covered bridges in the province.
- Christ Church Cathedral in Fredericton, New Brunswick was the first Gothic Revival cathedral built in North America. Built between 1845 and 1853, it is now a National Historic Site.
- Woodstock was the first town in New Brunswick. It’s over 150 years old.
- Kingsbrae Gardens in St. Andrews makes the Top 10 list of Public Gardens in Canada.
- The Reversing Rapids – found where the St. John River meets the Bay of Fundy – is a phenomenon where the water feels like its flowing backwards.
- The Bay of Fundy is home to many types of sharks including threshers, makos, porbeagles and believe it or not even the Great White Shark. Only one has been sighted so far this summer.
- Squaw’s Cap Look-off has been designated an Amazing Place by the Fundy Biosphere Reserve.
- There is a chocolate museum in St. Stephen housed in the original Ganong factory. The Ganongs are Canada’s oldest family-owned candy maker and the first to introduce the five cent chocolate bar.
The summer home of a US President
Campobello Island is the location of the Roosevelt Campobello International Park – and the former summer home of President Franklin Roosevelt. It boasts 34 rooms including 18 bedrooms – though many are tiny by today’s standards. It’s free to visit.
As an aside Campobello Island is a great one to explore by bike. Access is from both Maine and Deer Island.
- The St. Andrew’s Blockhouse was built during the War of 1812. Today it’s a National Historic Site.
- The Old Sow Whirlpool off of Deer Island is the largest tidal whirlpool in the western hemisphere. It can be seen three hours before high tide from Deer Island Point Park.
- The Head Harbour Lightstation on Campobello Island is the second oldest lighthouse in New Brunswick. It’s accessible on foot at low tide only.
- The Fundy Footpath is a tough trail that takes you 41 kilometres from Big Salmon River to Fundy National Park.
- The 274 kilometre New Brunswick section of the 3,058 kilometre International Appalachian Trail begins at the border in Fort Fairfield, Maine and continues through Mount Carleton Provincial Park to Tidehead where it enters Quebec.
- Cape Enrage on the Fundy Coast is a fantastic spot for wildlife viewing – and it boasts one of the finest views in the province.
New Brunswick and peat
- New Brunswick is the second largest peat exporter in the world.
- The peat bogs on Miscou Island are a sea of red in the fall and have to be seen to be believed.
- Magnetic Hill in Moncton is a gravity hill and an optical illusion. You can experience it today by paying a fee for the experience; then put your car in neutral where you will roll backwards though it will feel like you’re going uphill.
- Sackville, New Brunswick is home to Mount Allison University. It boasts the highest number of Rhodes scholars (51 so far) per capita of any university in the Commonwealth.
- The University of New Brunswick is the oldest North American University – though it shares that title with the University of Georgia.
- A wonderful book – The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor by Sally Armstrong is set in the Tabusintac area where Charlotte lived in the 1770’s. You can follow the steps of Charlotte Taylor with a tour.
- You can go swimming in Kouchibouguac National Park where it’s possible to enjoy some of the warmest water north of Virginia.
Wine in New Bruunswick
- There are at least 14 wineries in New Brunswick now.
- Up to 15 species of whales can be seen in the waters of the Bay of Fundy. Whale watching trips out of Grand Manan Island and out of St. Andrews are particularly worthwhile.
- The world’s largest lobster is in Shediac, New Brunswick. The sculpture is 35 feet long by 16 feet high and weighs 90 tonnes.
- The Right Honourable Lord Beaverbrook, a famous politician, businessman and writer grew up in Newcastle, New Brunswick.
- Saint-Quentin is the maple capital of Atlantic Canada.
- The highest point in the Maritimes is 820 metre Mount Carleton, located in Mt. Carleton Park in northern New Brunswick. On a clear day it is rumoured that you can see 10 million trees.
- Over 500,000 Christmas trees are harvested every year in New Brunswick – no surprise really when you consider the fact that over 80% of the province is forested.
- Tide Head is the fiddlehead capital of the world.
- Grand Manan Island is the dulse capital of the world. Dulse is edible seaweed. It is handpicked at low tide in Dark Harbour.
- The Fundy Trail is a 16 kilometre long parkway that provides scenic views of the Bay of Fundy. It can be hiked or cycled too – though beware of grades of up to 17%. There is a fee to access it.
- There aren’t many services that are free these days but the ferry between Deer Island and mainland New Brunswick is – and the ferry runs every half hour. Amazing.
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Have you ever traveled to New Brunswick? Have you any interesting or useful facts to add about the province?
Other posts in my fun, weird and interesting facts series you might enjoy.
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