U.S. To Moncton Ride Preview

U.S. To Moncton Ride Preview

This 242 mile ride from St. Stephen to Moncton visits some of the best roads and views along the Fundy Coast of New Brunswick. Highlights include St. Andrews, St. George Falls, Lepreau Falls, Reversing Falls, the Tynemouth Creek Covered Bridge, the St. Martins Sea Caves, the Fundy Trail Parkway, Alma, NB Route 114, Cape Enrage, and Hopewell Rocks. The tides will dictate if St. Martins Sea Caves and Hopewell Rocks are great stops. Low tide is a must for both so you can walk out and explore.

Waterfall, river, and vintage building at St. George Falls NB

St George Mill and Falls View in Saint George, NB

Begin the ride by riding Route NB Route 172 east. Turn right on NB Route 127 and ride south along the St. Croix River to the town of Saint Andrews. The town was settled in 1783 by Penobscot Loyalists and has characteristics of a typical 1700’s British colonial settlement, including the original grid layout with its market square and classical architecture. Ride past the St. Andrews Blockhouse National Site and continue on Water St. around the peninsula. Return on Prince of Wales St. and Route 127 to NB Route 1 in Bocabec. Detour off the posted route if desired to ride over the South St. bridge in St. George for a great view of the St. George Mill and Falls. This detour is not part of the ride file, but a waypoint is included.

Lepreau Falls in NB, Canada

Lepreau Falls in NB, Canada

Continue east on Route 1 and Route 175 to Lepreau Falls Rd. Turn right and then right again to enter Lepreau Falls Provincial Park (free.) Walk out on the deck for a nice view of the falls. There are restrooms in the parking area.

Leave the park and turn left to return to Route 175 (Do not turn right on Lepreau Falls Rd when you leave the parking area. Some maps show that the road goes through, but it does not.) Turn right on Route 175 and ride east to continue the ride.

Turn right on Route 790 and ride it south to Dipper Harbour. Stay on Route 790 as it follows the Bay of Fundy east to Chance Harbour then turns north to Route 1. Turn right and ride east on Route 1 to the city of Saint John. Leave the posted route if desired to view Reversing Falls. This is not part of the ride, but the Reversing Bridge Waypoint is part of the gpx file. You really need some time to appreciate these rapids. High tide forces the river to reverse against the prevailing current. Check tide tables to see if the tide will be high when you arrive. The view at slack tide is not worth stopping for. (Tide Schedule.)

Get back on Route 1 and ride east. Exit and travel east on Golden Grove Rd and Hillcrest Rd to Route 111. Stop at the Irving Station near the airport to gas up (109 miles.)  Continue east on Route 11 and then turn right on Route 825 and ride south to McLeod’s Beach on the Bay of Fundy. This road follows to shore and then turns north toward Route 111. Before reaching Route 111, turn right on Coleraine Rd and follow it and Tynemouth Creek Rd to the Tynemouth Covered Bridge. Cross the bridge and then turn left on Bay Rd and return to Route 111.

Ride east on Route 111 to the town of St. Martins. Turn right on to Main Street and ride through town. Turn right on Big Salmon River Rd and pass the Lighthouse Visitor’s Center on the left and Octopus Ice Cream on the right. Cross the Vaughn Creek Covered Bridge and pull over to the left. Look behind you for a rare view of 2 covered bridges and a lighthouse!

St Martins Sea Caves in NB, Canada

St. Martins Sea Caves

Ride a bit further on Route 111 to the St. Martins Sea Caves and the Caves Restaurant. At low tide, you can walk out to the caves to explore. At high tide the caves and beach will be under water. (Tide Schedule.) There is no fee to visit the caves.

View of the St. Martins Sea Caves from the Caves Restaurant deck.

Sea Caves from the Caves Restaurant deck

The Caves Restaurant is a good place for lunch. The deck is a great spot for views of the caves. They have good chowder, seafood, fries, and sandwiches. Fried fish sandwiches and fried chicken sandwiches are called burgers here and at other locations in Atlantic Canada.

Continue east 4 miles on Big Salmon River Rd to the Fundy Trail Parkway. This will be the highlight of your ride. The Parkway has great views and things to see. The road is good quality chip seal that is easy to ride on. Stop at the kiosk and pay admission (11.50 CAD, 10.00 CAD for age 65 and older. Debit, credit (Visa, MasterCard, American Express), and cash are accepted.

Interpretive Centre Lookout and the Melvin Beach Lookout on the Fundy Trail Parkway.

Fuller Falls at the Fundy Trail Parkway in NB, Canada

Fuller Falls at the Fundy Trail Parkway

A good stop if you are spry is Fuller Falls. Carefully descend a steel cable stairway with railroad ties for steps. The steps move somewhat so go slowly and hold on to the handrail. At the bottom of the stairway is a viewing platform with a great view of the falls and of the descending rapids flowing to the sea.

Restrooms are located throughout the park, but can sometimes be hard to spot. Check the ride files/maps or check the Fundy Parkway Trail Map for locations. It is very easy to spend hours stopping at the viewpoints and attractions.

Continue on the parkway as it turns north away from the coast. Eventually the road reverts back to the name Big Salmon River Rd. Turn right on Shepody Rd and follow it to Route 114 in Chambers Settlement. Turn right and enter Fundy National Park. The ride from here to Alma is an enjoyable 2 lane meander through dense forest. In Alma, ride Route 114 over the mouth of the Upper Salmon River. At low tide, it is common to see fishing boats sitting on the muddy riverbed waiting for the rising tide. Stop at the Fundy General Store/Gulf Station on the left in Alma for food and fuel (188 miles.)

Bear right onto NB Route 915 to follow the coast to Cape Enrage. The ride file and map mark the road to Cape Enrage, but does not follow it so riders can decide to visit, or not, without changing the route. Cape Engage Rd is a fun 2 lane chip seal road with nice curves and elevation change. The road ends at the Cape Enrage Lighthouse. All of the buildings at this site except the lighthouse were scheduled for demolition by the government. However, in 1993 a small group of high school students from Moncton, under the supervision of Dennison Tate, their physics teacher, began a restoration project at the site, renovating all of the buildings and slowly turning the site into a tourist destination. A charitable organization charges admission to the site (7.50 CAD, 6.50 CAD for age 65 and older.)

Hopewell Rocks in NB, Canada

Hopewell Rocks in NB, Canada

Proceed east on Route 915 along the coast of Shepody Bay and then inland back to NB Route 114. Continue east to Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park. Check out this great time lapse video of the tidal change here. You want to visit when the tide is low so you can walk the beach. Check the tide table before you plunk down your admission fee (15.54 CAD, 13.32 CAD ages 65 and older.) There is a shuttle (2.00 CAD) between the Visitor’s Center and the beach below. Some may prefer the shuttle to the stairways.

Continue east and north on Route 114 as it follows the shore of the Petitcodiac River to Moncton. The Rodd Hotel and the Bore Park next door are great spots to view the tidal bore (Tidal Bore Schedule.) What is the tidal bore? From Wikipedia: “A tidal bore is a phenomenon in which the leading edge of the incoming tide forms a wave of water that travels up a river or narrow bay, reversing the direction of the river or bay’s current. “Here is a great video of the bore from Bore Park in Moncton. The Rodd hotel is a nice older hotel with free breakfast and parking that is near numerous great restaurants.