On a multi-week trip to New Brunswick I took the time to explore a huge swath of the province from Miramichi in the north to the Fundy Isles in the south. I learned a lot about the geography, people, attractions and the pride New Brunswickers feel for their province. I hope you enjoy some of the interesting facts about New Brunswick I discovered – and that you one day get a chance to see the province first-hand.
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Here are 42 interesting facts about New Brunswick
New Brunswick is one of the three Maritime Provinces – and the largest by area.
New Brunswick has a population in 2023 of approximately 834,691.
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 Hopewell Rocks – either on foot or by kayak – or both.
There have been 34 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 m high (230 feet) in a gorge that’s 1.5 km 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
One of the cool facts about New Brunswick is that it’s home to the Hartland Covered Bridge in Hartland, New Brunswick. Not only is it a National Historic Site but it’s 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 (1,282 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.
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.
Interesting facts about New Brunswick related to President Roosevelt
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 the state of 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.
Hiking in New Brunswick
The Fundy Footpath is a tough trail that takes you 41 km from Big Salmon River to Fundy National Park. Allow four days to do the whole hike or break it off and do it in sections. I did it solo in August 2021.
The Fundy Trail is a 30 km 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. It was fully completed in 2021.
The 274 km New Brunswick section of the 3,058 km International Appalachian Trail begins at the border in Fort Fairfield, Maine and continues through Mount Carleton Provincial Park to Tidehead where it enters Quebec.
Interesting facts about 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.
There are at least 14 wineries in New Brunswick now. I tried rhubarb wine from a winery near Cape Enrage.
You can go swimming in Kouchibouguac National Park where it’s possible to enjoy some of the warmest water north of Virginia. And did you know some of the best cycling in the Maritimes is in Koughibouguac National Park?
Interesting facts about New Brunswick and its wildlife
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 had been sighted during the summer I visited.
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.
Cape Enrage on the Fundy Coast is a fantastic spot for wildlife viewing – and it boasts one of the finest views in the province. There is excellent glampingnearby.
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. However, Mount Sagamook is considered to be the prettier hike.
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.
One of the interesting facts about New Brunswick is that there is a free ferry between Deer Island and mainland New Brunswick – and the ferry runs every half hour. Amazing – because how many services are free anymore?