I Backpack Canada » New Brunswick http://ibackpackcanada.com A backpackers travel guide to Canada Fri, 15 May 2015 19:13:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Check out these Canadian Backpacker Tour Companieshttp://ibackpackcanada.com/canadian-backpacker-tour-companies/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/canadian-backpacker-tour-companies/#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 03:47:20 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=4480 There are many different types of travellers. From long term travellers, to weekend warriors, finding something that will suit you is crucial to getting the most bang for your buck. If you’re short on time, but want to pack in as much adventure, sights, and memories into a week or two, then these three Canadian […]

Check out these Canadian Backpacker Tour Companies is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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There are many different types of travellers. From long term travellers, to weekend warriors, finding something that will suit you is crucial to getting the most bang for your buck. If you’re short on time, but want to pack in as much adventure, sights, and memories into a week or two, then these three Canadian backpacker tour companies are definitely worth checking out.

Moose Travel Network Backpacker Tours

moose-travel-network backpacker toursI’m going to start with Moose Travel Network, because they’re the only one I’ve had a chance to experience. Their staff are incredibly helpful and knowledgable. When you book a tour with them, you can pick from several routes, allowing you to see a variety of regions throughout BC, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland. You’ve got a ton of flexibility as well, as they allow you to setup hop on and hop off style itineraries. If you decide mid way through your trip that you want to explore Banff a little while longer, it’s just a matter of letting your driver know, and then you take care of your hostels and you’re set. When you’re ready to pick up where you left off, just inform Moose Travel Network and you can hop back on the tour.

Their drivers ensure that they break up the drives between destinations with fascinating stops at stunning panoramic views, random trips and excursions, and some of the best food and drink joints along the way. Good music, laughs, and company are easily found on their trips.

Check out my interview with a Moose Travel Network Guide.

Read my experiences in the Rocky Mountains with Moose Travel Network.

Salty Bear Adventure Travel Tours

Salty-Bear-tours canadaSalty Bear Adventure Travel was started by a local Nova Scotian backpacker who was keen on showing off the maritimes to people from across the world. Salty Bear hires local Canadian drivers with a passion for their locale, ensuring you’ll know that what you’re seeing and experiencing authentically Canadian. Salty Bear is similar to Moose Travel, as they do drop offs at hostels, but will accomodate anyone if you’re staying elsewhere. They also supply tours along the way, ensuring that you get to experience the best tours along the way.

West Trek Tours

West trek tours backpackerWest Trek provides high quality adventure tours to backpackers both young and old, interested in seeing and experiencing the best of Canada. Explore the Rocky Mountains, mountain bike in Whistler, Surf in Tofino, Explore Victoria, Vancouver, and even parts of USA. Their award winning tour company is rated highly by visitors across the world.

Am I missing any other awesome Canadian Backpacker Tour companies? Don’t hesitate to share below in the comments.

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The Giant Flowerpots at Hopewell Rockshttp://ibackpackcanada.com/the-giant-flowerpots-at-hopewell-rocks/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/the-giant-flowerpots-at-hopewell-rocks/#comments Mon, 23 Jul 2012 15:40:22 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=5069 Straining your neck upwards it’s hard to grasp the immensity of these massive boulders. Carved out of the landscape by thousands of years of erosion from the largest tides in the world, with the assistance of the hot heat of summer in New Brunswick and its frigid temperatures in the winter (known formally as “Freeze […]

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Straining your neck upwards it’s hard to grasp the immensity of these massive boulders. Carved out of the landscape by thousands of years of erosion from the largest tides in the world, with the assistance of the hot heat of summer in New Brunswick and its frigid temperatures in the winter (known formally as “Freeze Erosion”). The Flowerpot Rocks are one of the most serene natural wonders of Canada. High tide or low, it’s hard not to shake your head in disbelief at this enormous landscape of boulders the size of small buildings, surrounded by the Bay of Fundy, home to the worlds largest tides.

Southbound to Hopewell Rocks

Located south of Moncton New Brunswick at Hopewell Cape, you’ll drive past covered bridges, beautiful farmlands, and then finally you’ll see the waters of the Bay of Fundy. Driving down into Hopewell Cape you’ll come across a rather large parking lot. Don’t let the amount of cars scare you off, Hopewell Rocks is massive, and there’s plenty of room for all – even those that steer clear from big tourist destinations.

The interpretive center located before you descend to view the Hopewell Rocks is superb, with information relating to the formation of the area, the fauna that call Hopwell home, along with some great explanations of how exactly the Flowerpot rocks were formed. Be sure to look for the historical photos of the Hopewell Rocks, as tourists have been visiting this area to gaze at these natural wonders for decades. It truly lets you appreciate the age of the rocks along with how much erosion has taken place since the early 20th century. The changes to many of these Flowerpot Rocks in just the last 60 years will astound you!

High Tide Or Low Tide

A visit to the Hopewell Rocks can be done at either high tide or low tide. During high tide you can rent a kayak for $59 (plus tax) and padding through the megalithic boulders. A handful of hours later in low tide, you can be walking along the sea floor of the Bay of Fundy observing the Flowerpot Rocks from ground level and snapping some of the most wild photos you’ll take during your travels in New Brunswick. Remember the number 100 Billion, as that’s how many tons of seawater goes in and out of the Bay of Fundy!

Our guide knew more about these rocks than I know about myself, and it’s clear to see that the staff here aren’t just doing their job, this is something they are all clearly passionate about. The Hopewell Rocks staff meticulously keep the area clean & safe, any garbage that shows up around these parts from the waters of the Bay of Fundy or from forgetful tourists is quickly picked up, and disposed of properly, while safeguards are put in place to keep tourists away from rocks that have seen so much erosion that they’ve become a danger to the public. In September 2002 there was a massive landslide at Hopewell Rocks which could have been disastrous had anyone been near by.

A Humbling Experience at Hopewell Cape

Walking between two Flowerpots can make you a bit clausterphobic, but knowing that most of these rocks have remained standing for centuries allows you to breathe a sigh of relief. Pictures and video of the area really don’t do this place justice. While they showcase the beauty, in order to fully take in the size and immensity of each of these massive rocks, you need to walk around the floor of the Bay of Fundy and observe them from each and every angle. If you’ve never been blessed with that belittling feeling large landscapes can give you, gazing upwards upon a small forest growing on the top of a rock in the middle of the Bay may just what you need to ignite that intrinsic feeling. Talk about a humbling experience!

For more information on the Hopewell Rocks be sure to check Tourism New Brunswick’s website on Hopewell Rocks, which is full of images, video, tide tables, and all the information you’ll need in order to plan a trip to the Hopewell Rocks. The Park is open mid-may until mid-october, Adults $9.00, Seniors (65+) $7.75, Students (19+ with valid student card) $7.75.

Note that visitors may still enter the park during off-season; however, no facilities are open and you visit at your own risk. It’s good to remember to play it safe with tide timetables, it would make for an uncomfortable visit if you get trapped by rising tides. 

Special thanks to Tourism New Brunswick for helping organize my trip through Grand Manan Island and Hopewell Rocks! 

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Camping on a Cliff at Hole in the Wall Campgrounds – A New Brunswick Experiencehttp://ibackpackcanada.com/camping-on-a-cliff-at-hole-in-the-wall-campgrounds-a-new-brunswick-experience/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/camping-on-a-cliff-at-hole-in-the-wall-campgrounds-a-new-brunswick-experience/#comments Tue, 10 Jul 2012 15:24:39 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=4915 Looking out from the edge of a cliff, I watched as the Grand Manan ferry sails over the horizon, off in the distance to my right is the Swallowtail Lightstation, shining light on it’s tiny corner of the Bay of Fundy. My eyes wander down from the horizon to my footing. A jagged 15 meter […]

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Looking out from the edge of a cliff, I watched as the Grand Manan ferry sails over the horizon, off in the distance to my right is the Swallowtail Lightstation, shining light on it’s tiny corner of the Bay of Fundy. My eyes wander down from the horizon to my footing. A jagged 15 meter cliff lies right below my feet. I take a cautious step back from the edge and smile – one strong gust on an unbalanced foot could make for a spectacular fall. I look back at my tent, located 10 feet from the edge of the cliff. I thought to myself – “That’s got to be a safe distance, right?“.

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North of North Head

Located just a short drive beyond North Head, a small community on Grand Manan Island, is a campground unlike any I’ve ever had the fortune of visiting. Hole in the Wall Campground is known for being the only accessible point for hikers and campers to view the scenic geological formation. Over the countless thousands of years, erosion carved a massive hole through a rock, making a beautiful and highly photogenic stone arch. While the Hole in the Wall is a great attraction to bring people to the campgrounds, the experience is home to more than simply finding it. A visit to the Hole in the Wall campgrounds wouldn’t be complete with at least one night on one of the cliffside campsites that surround their corner of the island.

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Touring The Campgrounds

As Riley and I were given a tour of the grounds by the incredibly friendly Darren, we were shown many of his favourite spots. Needless to say, it wasn’t a surprise that they were all cliff side locations. Staring out from the top of the cliffs it was clear to see that Grand Manan Island is much bigger than we thought. The expanse of trees atop sharp jagged rock colliding with the blue waters of the Bay of Fundy was enough to send shivers down my spine. With rougly 64 campsites in the grounds (seasons can cause this to vary), the variety in landscapes allows for camping for anyone. Safer more inland sites for families, less downhill for those who rode in on their bikes, and obviously the water front locations for those who are a little more adventurous.

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Hike to the Hole in the Wall

After setting up our tent, we decided to start the trek to the namesake of the campgrounds. The Hole in the Wall – a majestic piece of rock on the coast of Grand Manan Island, made famous for it’s massive hole inside the center, forming a beautiful arch that reaches out into the Bay. The hike is fairly intermediate, good shoes, and a proper sense of self will help you wonders on these tight narrow trails. One wrong foot and you could find yourself in a situation that most wouldn’t find fun. The Hole in the Wall is about a 15 – 20 minute hike in from the edge of the bush. As the trees open up and this massive example of erosion peers from below, I found it hard not to smile. The sun was shining beautifully, the rustling of leaves and the gentle breeze off the water made it one of those moments that need to be experienced to truly believe.

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The Great New Brunswick Outdoors

Hole in the Wall Campground is owned and operated by Kaye Small, a local to the island with an outstanding knowledge of the history of the island and a clear passion for providing travellers from all over the world with a unique experience that can only be found on this small island in New Brunswick. Kaye happily accommodates both hikers and campers interested in experiencing the outdoors of Grand Manan Island.

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Clear Night Skies on Grand Manan

Our night camping on our own piece of cliff included a warm campfire, hot dogs on a stick, a few beers, and one of the most unreal night time skies. After a few attempts I managed to capture what I thought was a beautiful image of what we were looking at. Stars slicing through clouds, the Swallowtail Lightstation a few miles south shining its light, and the silhouette of hundreds of trees. Riley and I celebrated after the image with another beer and a few laughs around the campfire.

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Not a Camper? Not a problem!

Hiking in the park and to the Hole in the Wall is completely free; so if lack of camping gear is keeping you from spending the night, don’t hesitate to wander up anyway. Hiking Maps are available for those interested, but if your sense of direction is good, you can follow the trails without any problem. A hike to the Hole in the Wall will take you 15 to 20 minutes if you start at the head of the trail – and closer to 45 minutes if you start from the campground gates.

For those looking to experience this unique campground in it’s entirety, book one of the cliff side campsites for $32 per night and take in the fresh air off the Bay of Fundy, the beautiful sunsets, some incredible stargazing, and you might even get lucky and be woken by the sound of breaching whales. Hands down, Hole in the Wall Campgrounds is one of the most unique and exciting accommodations you can find on Grand Manan Island.

Hole in the Wall Campground is open during the summer months. For more information on the Campgrounds and trails check out the Hole in the Wall Campgrounds Website.

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A Weekend on New Brunswicks Grand Manan Islandhttp://ibackpackcanada.com/weekend-on-new-brunswicks-grand-manan-island/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/weekend-on-new-brunswicks-grand-manan-island/#comments Mon, 09 Jul 2012 15:12:49 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=4852 Hopping onto the massive Grand Manan Ferry from Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick – it’s hard not to anticipate what lies on the the largest island in the Bay of Fundy. A light fog had settled over the water, limiting visibility. We overheard from some locals that it would open up by the time we got […]

A Weekend on New Brunswicks Grand Manan Island is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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Hopping onto the massive Grand Manan Ferry from Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick – it’s hard not to anticipate what lies on the the largest island in the Bay of Fundy. A light fog had settled over the water, limiting visibility. We overheard from some locals that it would open up by the time we got to Grand Manan Island. As the engines roared to life and our boat pushed off from the jetty, we watched as “Land, ho!” became “Land, No Mo!” – our hour and a half journey to the island officially began. Standing atop of the upper deck, seabirds bid us farewell as we left the mainland of New Brunswick.

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Blacks Harbour to Grand Manan

The hour and a half ride flew by thanks to the luxury ride by Grand Manan Ferry Service. With flat screens located all over the passenger deck, a cafeteria, a superb viewing deck, and some of the comfiest seats you’ll find on a ship, it made getting off the boat seem like a chore. Climbing up to the upper deck, we took in our last bit of open sea air. As predicted by the locals, the fog opened up just as the Ferry approached the island – making for a unique vista of wet rocks, sharp cliffs, lush trees, and warm glowing fog.

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The Marathon Inn

As the ferry unloaded its passengers and cargo, I drove our rental car two minutes from the island jetty to the Marathon Inn. Accommodations are pretty limited on this little island in the middle of the Bay of Fundy; but you’ll find all the comforts of home in this old manor. Located just up the road from the Post Office and the delightfully decadano Island Arts Cafe. Speaking to Jim, the owner of the Marathon Inn, it’s clear to see he’s passionate about life on the island. A tour through the Marathon Inn allows you to explore every creak in the wood floors and take in the Grand Manan decor of this old cozy house.

The Marathon Inn is also part of the HI Canada Network – which means budget travellers can rejoice in saving a few dollars off each night if you’re a member of the HI Network. 

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Hike The Island Trails

A visit to Grand Manan Island wouldn’t be complete without a few hikes. I was craving some outdoor experiences, which eventually ended with an evening hike up to the Swallowtail lightstation. This lighthouse is great for photos and provides a superb view of the large expanse of the Bay of Fundy. If the cliffside winds of the lighthouse hike scare you off, hang tight until the morning for a drive to Anchorage Provincial Park. There’s a few light hiking trails with hidden viewing cabins, which have been setup for bird watchers and wildlife fanatics. The trails to the station are pretty tame in comparison to some of the more experienced trails, such as those at Hole in the Wall campgrounds – they have a large network of hiking trails, perfect for getting your heart going and even better for snapping photos!

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Sea Kayaking in the Bay of Fundy

Being surrounded with the largest tides in the world, some of the most picturesque scenery, and an ongoing amount of whales visiting the island, there’s no reason not to get out on the open water in a sea kayak. The fine folks at Adventure High on Grand Manan Island, located on Route 776, a short 2 minute drive from the Marathon Inn, warmly welcomed us to the island. Our guide for the day was Elliott, a local who’s spent the majority of his life on Grand Manan Island. His knowledge of the history of the island was superb, and his patience and advice he provided Riley, a first timer to the world of kayaking, was second to none.

We paddled towards the Swallowtail lighthouse to take in the view from below. An old lighthouse that proudly looks over the shores of the island. Remnants of the history of the lighthouse could be found all around, including lifts that would supply the lighthouse keeper with goods that kept him alive during the entire year. We paddled through massive wooden spikes that had been hammered into the ground, my prairie upbringing forced me to ask “What’s with the wood?” – Elliott explained that Grand Manan is home to countless Fishing Weirs. Fish are trapped with the large tidal bores and these massive netted fences, then hauled from the waters once they’re full. My flatlander mind was officially blown. Sea Kayaking around Grand Manan Island is a must-do activity! It really lets you appreciate the size of the island.

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The North Head Bakery

Grand Manan Island is also home to a cute little bakery, serving some of the freshest goods you can find on the island. Walking into this little shop, the smell of fresh baked bread and coffee flood your senses, practically forcing you to whip out your wallet and scream “Please, I’ll take anything! It all smells so good!“. The friendly staff welcomes each visitor as if they’re a local, smiling and happily explaining what baked goods you’re staring at longingly for. Be sure to stop by around lunch for their home made pizza. During my lunch time stop they were serving Oregano Parmesan Pizza – after finishing my giant slice it was hard not to jump over the front counter and hug the staff for baking that magical slice. A visit to Grand Manan Island requires at least one visit to this shop of tasty dreams come true.

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Castalia Marsh

Driving back to North Head from Anchorage Provincial Park, be sure to make a quick stop into Castalia Marsh, a serene topography change that covers a good chunk of the island. A small boardwalk and a few paths allow you to walk through the marsh without getting stuck. The flat surface of the marsh gives you a great appreciation for the elevation changes on the island. If you’re big into bird watching, be sure to check out the Castalia Marsh Retreat, where you can stay in some beautiful little cabins that overlook North Head, Swallowtail lightstation, and the Bay of Fundy.

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Hole in the Wall

Whether you’re looking for a unique camping experience, or to see an incredibly old geological formation, a quick jaunt north of North Head will bring you to Hole in the Wall Campgrounds. The grounds are open to hikers and campers (camping will cost you a bit, hiking is free). If you’ve never had the luxury of camping on a cliff side overlooking the Bay of Fundy – this is hands down the best place to do it. Hike the 15 – 20 minute trail to Hole in the Wall and find one of Grand Manan’s most photographed formations. The stone arch leaps out of the water connecting to the sharp edges of Grand Manan Island.

I hate using the cliche words like ‘Hidden Gem’, ‘Quaint’, ‘Unique and mystifying’, but there’s no better words in the english language to describe Grand Manan Island. From the friendly locals, to the scenic drives, to the rugged beauty, to the interesting history of the island, it’s no wonder that visitors from all over the world will somehow or another find a way to this little island in the Bay of Fundy. If you’re going to stop at all in New Brunswick, a side trip to Grand Manan Island is well worth the effort!

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A Half-Day in Downtown Saint John, New Brunswickhttp://ibackpackcanada.com/half-day-downtown-saint-john-new-brunswick/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/half-day-downtown-saint-john-new-brunswick/#comments Tue, 26 Jun 2012 14:17:14 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=4830 The port city of Saint John, New Brunswick is one of Canada’s oldest cities, and the largest city in New Brunswick. With over 70,000 residents, this maritimes city is also home to a thriving downtown area with plenty of sights and sounds to take in for the budget traveler. On my recent trip to Grand […]

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The port city of Saint John, New Brunswick is one of Canada’s oldest cities, and the largest city in New Brunswick. With over 70,000 residents, this maritimes city is also home to a thriving downtown area with plenty of sights and sounds to take in for the budget traveler. On my recent trip to Grand Manan Island with Riley Platt (see: Riles For Miles), we had several hours to kill before catching the ferry at Blacks Harbour, so we chose to spend them browsing through the downtown core.

Walk the Harbour Passage

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Located along the Saint John harbour is a series of paths for walking and biking that gives you an incredible view of the entire city. From the historic downtown skyline to the cold blue waters of the Bay of Fundy, it’s no wonder tourists and locals converge along these paths to see the city from a distance. We spent just over an hour wandering through these paths snapping photos of trains, overpasses, and even stumbling upon a group of the happiest Harbour Passage walkers that have ever existed.

Refuel at the Saint John City Market

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It’s always a treat to come across active city markets, even in smaller cities such as Saint John. Walking into the historic Saint John City Market, we were treated with a flood of delightful smells from fresh made bread, to dark roast coffee, crispy samosas and the the scent of wild flowers. As we squeezed through aisles full of artisans, merchants, bakers, and cooks we were greeted with a smile from every corner. One friendly local saw us snapping photos and kindly pointed to a staircase in the far corner – “You’ll get the best shots from up there! It’s one of the only places to really take in the size of the market” – we smiled, thanking her graciously. After climbing a flight and a half of stairs, we snapped a few photos and stood there, watching the hustle and bustle of the market.

Ice Coffees & Brownies at Java Moose

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Located near one of the exits of the City Market is the Java Moose, the mid day heat was slowing us down. The only cure that I know for heat & a sluggish pace is ice coffee and chocolate. We purchased a couple large ice coffees with a giant home-made brownie and sat the outdoor picnic tables, enjoying the weather and readying ourself for the next leg of our journey.

Be sure to commit at least a half day wandering the downtown area of this beautiful city. Saint John has that maritimes city vibe about it. A young coastal city with plenty to see and do for people of all ages, soaked in history and kissed by the warm reflections off the Bay of Fundy. Everything from the people to the patios, this little city could force a smile out of Satan himself.

For more information on things to see and do in Saint John, check out the Tourism New Brunswick Website.

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Snowboarding in New Brunswick at Crabbe Mountainhttp://ibackpackcanada.com/snowboarding-in-new-brunswick-at-crabbe-mountain/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/snowboarding-in-new-brunswick-at-crabbe-mountain/#comments Wed, 29 Feb 2012 13:25:42 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=4057 Many people make the foolish assumption that snowboarding and skiing is done only out west in the Rockies. While the quality of the snow, the size of the mountain, and the complexity of the runs out in British Columbia and Alberta may be a tad bit higher on the awesome scale, there’s still plenty of […]

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Many people make the foolish assumption that snowboarding and skiing is done only out west in the Rockies. While the quality of the snow, the size of the mountain, and the complexity of the runs out in British Columbia and Alberta may be a tad bit higher on the awesome scale, there’s still plenty of smaller ski & snowboard resorts in Canada worth checking out. Last week I was invited by a few friends to road trip out to the beautiful province of New Brunswick to spend the start of Spring Break tearing it up on Crabbe Mountain.

crabbe-mountain-snowboard-newbrunswickAny Canadian roadtrip that includes 5 guys, a large truck, and winter gear is typically accompanied by beer. Lots of it. Due to our strong cultural ties with Canada we felt it was necessary to abide by this “tradition”. Needless to say the first stop in New Brunswick was the NB Alcool where we filled any remaining space in the truck with beer, gin, and my favourite road trip bubbly, Baby Duck Sparkling Wine; the epitomy of refinement.

Our first night was spent in the Ramada on the North Side of Fredericton. The north side of Fredericton is known primarily for its view of the south side, the “apparent” cooler side of Fredericton, which is also home to the downtown core. We took in the view, remarked on its similarities between Halifax and Charlottetown, and then promptly got acquainted with our new carbonated friends.

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The Journey to Crabbe Mountain, New Brunswick

The drive to Crabbe Mountain from Fredericton takes approximately 30 minutes, a whopping 40 minutes less than any GPS will tell you. Either satellites are stupid or we were slightly speeding, but I have a sneaking suspicion it was the latter. It’s been my experience that most ski & snowboard trips are accompanied by nausea inducing hangovers. I’d love to tell you about the drive up to Crabbe Mountain, but being true to tradition, I was more concentrated on not ruining the inside of my friends truck than what was going on outside of it. All I can say is there were trees, and snow.

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Breathe it in boys!

We made it to the mountain in one piece and breathed in the cool New Brunswick air. Blue skies surrounded us and the weather was perfect for a day on the slopes. My snowboard gear is still calling Saskatchewan home, so I was forced to rent. Thankfully the folks at Crabbe Mountain kept things moving fast, and I was fully outfitted with board, boots, and bindings in under 5-10 minutes ($30 full day rental). The rest of the guys happily donated extra winter apparel to keep me from freezing “mes fesses” off. For those who weren’t aware, New Brunswick is a bilingual province, so including French out of the blue is kind of the norm, and also fun.

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Crabbe Mountain Chairlift

For the next 8 hours, the five of us hosers enjoyed the Crabbe Mountain slopes. The liftees were friendly, the chairlift speed was fast, and we couldn’t have picked a better weekend. There had been a recent snowfall before our arrival which meant we had some great snow and freshly groomed trails greeting as at every bend. During the entire two day ski & snowboard trip I didn’t see a single snow machine at work.

Crabbe Mountain Terrain Park

The Terrain Parks

The terrain parks had some technical boxes, tables, and rails along with the death-inducing jumps one would expect to find in a terrain park. Having not been on a snowboard in a couple years, and because I’m one of those “too cool to wear helmet” types, I stuck to simple boxes, wimpy jumps, and the occasional run through the glades. That is whenever I could sneak by without being caught, apparently out east it’s the norm to not let people into the terrain parks without helmets. Regardless, I vowed to myself to make it back in one piece. Thankfully my hangovers kept me from doing anything I would have regretted… and they say alcohol is bad for you? Ha!

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Who’s ready for Lunch!?

A friend of mine who’s been living in Fredericton set my hopes up high for lunchtime at Crabbe Mountain. He was going on and on about their poutine and how supposedly incredible it was. A smile grew across my face and shiny cheese curd shaped stars shone in my eyes at the thought of a gravy infused New Brunswick Apres-Ski. He went on to tell me it was a french-canadian poutine so awesome it would melt your face off at the sight of it. Gravy filled every crevice, and fries so perfect people would have plastic fork fights in the lunch area just to get a taste. My mouth oozed in the best possible way. It was scary.

Lunch-time rolled around on Day 1 and my hangover was reaching that “feed me or I’ll punch you out” stage. I’m not one to argue with my hangovers. I kind of let them captain the ship and just roll with whatever they need. As I recalled what I heard about the poutine my heart fluttered. My hangovers tight grip on my intestines eased. I was about to be fed a miracle.

Then I overheard the worst possible convorsation a hungover snowboarder could hear. The customer in front of me asked,

“Does your poutine use cheese curds or grated cheese?”.

A silence spread within the line as clearly this customer and I weren’t the only ones curious.

“Grated cheddar”replied the lady behind the counter.

The line erupted in a sobbing chorus, “Ohwwwwwww…”. Then I saw the fries.I did not want to engage in all out plastic-fork warfare with anybody. They looked like store bought shoestring fries…yawn. My soul died after that. I no longer wanted to eat. I no longer wanted to snowboard. I wanted to cry, and hurt, and rage against the machine, and inflict pain upon my lying friend. I imagined myself yelling at the cook, then my friend…

“CHEDDAR?! Grated cheddar!? Are you out of your mind!? There are strict rules in the poutine recipe, and nowhere does it say grated cheddar!!!! And really…shoestring fries!? Common!!!”

crabbe-mountain-snowboard-newbrunswick-glades

Breathe Corbin, it’s just Poutine

I breathed in deeply, using all of my will to settle down and just be happy with where I was. Good snow, good times, good friends. Then my hangover began punching me. It was time to feed the monster, poutine or not. I ordered a burger. Crushed it. I don’t remember it. The whole time I was eating the “silver prize” I was picturing myself devouring a Miracle Poutine. It was the saddest moment of the trip, but kind of funny none the less. I don’t like insulting people or businesses for no reason, but Crabbe Mountain, if you ever read this…please for the love of Gretzy, fix this poutine faux-pas.

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Regardless, I plan on coming back to snowboard again

The skiing and snowboarding continued for hours, and needless to say by the end of Day 2 my body was turning on me. Muscles ached, bruises formed, and being in “Guys Night Out” mode for 3 evenings was beginning to beat the crap out of me. The fresh air was clean. The weather was great. Blue skies greeted us each morning, and the slopes were surprisingly long despite not being in the Rockies. Crabbe Mountain, you are A-OK by me! I would even go so far as using the ‘L’ word if you work on that poutine of yours. All in all, Crabbe Mountain is definitely worth a stop if you’re the snowboarding/skiing type hanging out in Atlantic Canada. Just whatever you do, ask before you order the poutine.

Visit the Crabbe Mountain Website for more information. If you plan on doing any of you’re own skiing be sure to keep an eye out on some of these great cheap ski holidays.

More Photos from Crabbe Mountain

crabbe-mountain-snowboard-newbrunswick-1 crabbe-mountain-snowboard-newbrunswick-2 crabbe-mountain-snowboard-newbrunswick-glades crabbe-mountain-chairlift crabbe-mountain-snowboard-newbrunswick-6 crabbe-mountain-snowboard-newbrunswick crabbe-mountain-snowboard-newbrunswick-8 crabbe-mountain-snowboard-newbrunswick-9 crabbe-mountain-snowboard-newbrunswick-10 crabbe-mountain-snowboard-newbrunswick-11 crabbe-mountain-snowboard-newbrunswick-12 crabbe-mountain-chairlift snowboard-newbrunswick crabbe-mountain-snowboard-newbrunswick-15 Crabbe Mountain Sign NB Crabbe Mountain Terrain Park crabbe-mountain-tables-1

 

Snowboarding in New Brunswick at Crabbe Mountain is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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Backpack Canada – Information on Canada’s Provinces And Territorieshttp://ibackpackcanada.com/backpack-canada/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/backpack-canada/#comments Sun, 15 Mar 2009 01:07:00 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=3 Backpack Canada – Information on Canada’s Provinces And Territories is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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Backpack CanadaCanada is the proud parent of 10 provinces and 3 territories, which contain the most land, and fewest people. If you are considering backpacking Canada, you should know that the majority of the Canadian population is located just north of the US border. Why so close you may ask? Few reasons.

  • The further North you go, the colder it gets. We’re tough as nails, but not crazy…Well not all of us.
  • The Trans Canada Highway (7,821 km) – A super long stretch of road that links all 10 provinces. The majority of the population lives in cities either linked to or damn near close to this highway.
  • Keep your friends close… Ah you know the old saying.

A little about each province:

British Columbia – Capital: Victoriabackpack b.c

Home to Vancouver & The Island (Local term for Vancouver Island). The NHL (National Hockey League) team Vancouver Canucks. Lots of trees, plenty of mountains. Bunch of rivers. The most hostels are found in this province. 40% of Canadas marijuana is grown in this area. 39% of which is smoked. BC is informally known as the stoner province. Other provinces like to cut it down as much as possible…perhaps out of jealousy of all it has to offer. If you’re keen on picking fruit or trying out WWOOFing this is the place to be. Looking for a job in the Rocky mountains. You can find it here. Oh – and lastly, the 2010 Winter Olympics are being held here. So suit up!

Alberta – Capital: Edmontonbackpack alberta

Home of the Rocky Mountains and NHLs Edmonton Oilers & Calgary Flames. A province free of PST (Provincial Sales Tax) – Sidenote: Alcohol seems to be particularly cheaper here. In Alberta you’ll see where Mountains meet Prairies. Home of farmers, cows, big city folk and oil. Informally the Dubai of Canada. A few years back Alberta had so much money from it’s oil it was litterally giving it away ($200) to anyone who resides in Alberta. But like any well that you pump non-stop – things are starting to dry up. Alberta’s a great place to learn how to snowboard or ski. Visit Banff & Lake Louise, enjoy thermal hot springs all year round, go white-water rafting, or saddle up and give horseback riding a shot. Also home of the Calgary Stampede (a huge Canadian Rodeo & Great excuse to dressup like a Cowboy and party. …more

Saskatchewan – Capital: Reginabackpack saskatchewan

The land of the living skies, as this province likes to boasts. Which isn’t stretching the truth. Its skies are far more pretty than the rest of Canadas. A great place to spot the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) A superb place to find some peace & quiet – by far one of the flatest places found in Canada. Apparently you can watch your dog run away for 2 days. Although according to my Grandpa Elmer it can vary. Over the years Saskatchewan has become the “nerdy kid” amongst the other provinces, and is jokingly made fun of more than others. But once you get to know this “nerd”, it can be one of your greatest friends. With over 100, 000 different lakes. The sunniest province in Canada. Home to Regina (…yes something does rhyme with that) and pot holes. Reginas a great place to “BarStar” it up with people who rarely hear an accent. Check out Dewdney Avenue if you want to hit the strip full of Clubs, Pubs, and Bars. Winter gets “effin” cold…think -40 to 50 degrees (celcius) – Summer gets “effin” hot…think 35 to 40 degrees celcius. All in all, well worth the 10 hour drive from Calgary. …more

Manitoba – Capital: Winnepegbackpack manitoba

Another prairie province – but finally not so land locked. Home of the Hudson Bay & the only Canadian Arctic Sea Port. Home of Lake Winnipeg, the tenth-largest fresh-water lake in the world – which is a superb place to check out during the summer. A very cool place to explore, home to a bunch of uninhabited islands along the Eastern shore. Manitoba is also home to Winnipeg and has earned the nicknames “Polar bear capital of the world” & “Baluga capital of the world” – If you’re feeling adventurous head out on a tour in autumn and see Polar Bears in their natural environment. If indoors is more your thing, I’m sure you can find a place to have a drink in one of Winnipegs hundreds of bars & pubs. Due to its size, more music events take place here than its neighbour to the west Saskatchewan. So be sure to keep on eye out on Ticketmaster.ca for any shows in the area. …more

Ontario – Capital: Torontobackpack ontario

According to Lonely Planet, Ontario is the bees knees of Culture, Cuisine and sophistication… although I don’t know how true that is, because one time, I heard a guy from Ontario fart. The most populated province in Canada, and second largest after Quebec. Home to the Nations Capital, Ottawa, and the provincial capital, Toronto (most populated city in Canada). A lot of local Canadians insist Toronto is an American city on the wrong side of the border, but I suggest you reserve those judgments to yourself. Most Torontites/Torontians/Toronteers/ and Torontonians take offense to this. Toronto is located right near the Great Lakes and a great place to hop around from if you plan on visiting the Yankee side of things, including the Big Apple itself (New York City). Ontario is home to the Niagra Falls, warm summers, The Toronto Maple Leafs, approximately 20 tornados per year, and London of coarse, Which is a wild city that mimics the Patron City down to street names and even a Thames River. Ontario is also the birthplace of the majority of famous Canadians, including… Rachel McAdams, John Gosling, Jim Carey, Mike Myers, Tom Green, Wayne Gretzky, Alex Trebek, Avril Lavigne, Rush, Barenaked Ladies, Howie Mandel & yes, even Shania Twain. Ontarios got plenty of places to eat, drink, party & experience the multicultural side of Canada. …more

Quebec – Capital: Quebec Citybackpacking quebec

Birthplace of Poutine, Celine Dion, and possibly the French language (sources unconfirmed) – This province is Frances baby, it shot this knuckle child out way back when North America was considered the “New World”. Quebec is full of culture, cuisine, fine dining, cafe au lait, and yes, French people. This place can rock your socks. For one, its relatively cheap compared to the majority of places in Canada. It is also the home to the Montreal Canadians. A great time can be found on just about any night. What’s great about this place, is if you speak French, you rock that much harder here, and even if you don’t, the majority of Quebecers speak English too. Quebec is packed full of old Rustic buildings, particularly in Montreal & Quebec City. If you’ve digested a little too much culture, perhaps you need to vomit. In which case, what better place to do it than in the wilderness. Quebecs full of trees, mountains, parks, and the eastern coast! Be sure to escape the big cities, it’s the small towns where you’ll truly find your own piece of Canada. …more

Nova Scotia – Capital: Halifaxbackpacking Nova Scotia

Latin for New Scotland – and for good reason. It’s strikingly similar to the Scottish highlands. Trees upon trees over hills, rocky coasts, icy seas and friendly locals. If you’ve grown sick of the Canadian Accent – fear not, Nova Scotia is a reprieve from that. Actually most of Eastern Canada is. It’s somewhat, not so American sounding. Maybe you’re craving some delicious sea food – There isn’t a restaurant here that doesn’t serve lobster, fish, scallops and other ocean crustaceans. Even McDonalds serves lobster – see the “McLobster”. Home to Halifax – a very cool party city with great sights, sounds, rustic buildings and a youthful feel to it. Keen on surfing in the Atlantic? Check out Lawrencetown – and on the way – be sure to stop at some of the coastal towns along the way. Always lots to see and do in Nova Scotia. …more

New Brunswick – Capital: Frederictonbackpackers New Brunswick

One of the three Maritimes provinces, home to both English, and Francophones (primarilary the Acadians). If you’re keen on checking out the Bay of Fundy, home to the Worlds Highest Tides (16m or 50ft for you imperialists), it’s just a short drive. It’s definately worth visiting, especially if your an admirer of all things aquatic. You might find the East of Canada a refreshing change with its shorter distances between sights. It’s rare that you’ll find yourself ever travelling more than a few hours in this province. Like all Eastern Canadian provinces, you’ll find a fare share of rustic buildings, significantly influenced by the French and English. Just a heads up for everyone planning on visiting Saint Johns. It is home to the steepest main street in Canada. King Street can rise 80 feet in the span on two city blocks. So hitting the Stairmaster may not seem so farfetched if you plan on a long stay. If walking amongst humans isn’t your thing, and you fancy yourself a Whale Watcher, you should be happy to hear that New Brunswick has a wide variety of whales and many different whale watching tours. …more

Newfoundland and Labrador – Capital: St. John’sbackpack newfoundland

The most Eastern province in Canada is sure to knock your socks off. Newfoundland and Labrador are the proud owners of its own dialects of English, French, & Irish. Its home to the most pubs per square foot in Canada, humbly located on George Street. Some facts you may like to know: Newfoundland & Labrador are home to the most sexually active people in Canada, also home to the most Attractive people, and are apparently the Funniest people in Canada. Now that I think of it, perhaps they were joking when I found out the first two facts…? You’ll have to go there and find out. But if half of what I write is true, then Newfoundland & Labrador is definitely worth checking out. …more

Prince Edward Island – Capital: Charlottetownbackpackers PEI flag

What do you get when you take a tiny island, and call it a province. P.E.I! Prince Edward Island is the birthplace of confederation. It is most commonly remembered as the setting for Lucy Maud Montgomery’s book, Anne of Green Gables. For over four decades the musical play, Anne of Green Gables, has performed at the Charlottetown Festival (Mid May to Oct). If your ear is itching for music, then P.E.I can definitely help scratch it. The arts in this area alone is worth checking out. Be sure to go for a walk around Charlottetown, you’ll find countless different stores housed in brick buildings, all of which have a way of luring you in. …more

Northwest Territories – Capital: Yellowknifetravel NWT flag

A piece of advice, practice your J-stroke ahead of time. The amount of rivers and lakes here will seduce you one way or another to find yourself a canoe or kayak and explore some of the wildest terrain found in Canada. During winter the land in this area becomes the frigid winter wonderland you’ve all heard of. If visiting the Arctic Circle is somewhere on your bucket list, you’ll be pleased to hear that it bisects the NWT. Solitude is easy to come by here, the density of population here would give Manhattan a whopping three people. Home to moose, bear, caribou and bison. Northwest Territories displays nature at it’s finest. Hop on the nearest dog-sled and find out.

Nunavut – Capital: Iqualuittravel Nunavut

The newest, largest, and least populated Territory in all of Canada. There are approximately 30,000 people spread across the area roughly the size of Western Europe. Nunavut remains the only area in Canada never to be fully conquered by Europeans. Approximately 85% of the population in Nunavut are Inuit. In 1999 they gained Democratic Control of the area. Home to polar bears, dog sledding, Caribou hunting, mountains, cliffs, the arctic circle, and the Northwest Passage. The Arctic pace truly does take effect here. Travelling through this area can be extremely frustrating, but should you have the time and expenses to make it in this rugged territory you’re sure to be pleased.

Yukon – Capital: WhitehorseBackpackYukon

The Yukon is synonymous with adventure. This is the place for a unique Canadian road trip. Pack an extra tire or two, because roads around here can be as rough as the terrain. Home to Mount Logan, the highest peak in Canada, which sits at 5,959 metres (19,551 ft). Home to Robert Service, One of Canada’s most famous poets who captivated the world with his poems “The Shooting of Dan McGrew” and “The Cremation of Sam McGee.” Spend a weekend partying in Whitehorse or try the Sour-toe cocktail in Dawson City, which is basically a highball with a twist of human toe. Yep, you heard right. But remember, in order to join the club, you’ve gotta kiss it. Now if toe kissing just isn’t your thing, you can always get more in touch with all this nature that’s around. If hiking’s on the agenda then Tombstone Territorial Park is the place to be, just remember to pack your insect repellent!

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Backpack Canada – Information on Canada’s Provinces And Territories is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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