Fundy Footpath – Day 3

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Goose Creek Campsite to Goose River – 7.4 km (4.6 miles)

*NOTE*  An additional 7.9 km (4.9 miles) is required to actually FINISH the trail and get to civilization.  This is the “mandatory approach trail”.  The hike from Goose River to find the approach trail is NOT explained well in the guide, and I recommend reading the bottom for help with navigation. 

Total Day 3 – 15.3 km (9.5 miles)

Total hiked after completion – 49.3 km (30.6 miles) TOTAL.

We made the 9.5 miles by 1 pm, crushing the day, because.. HUNGER!!!  All we could think of was, oh man – the car is right there!  9 miles away.  We can potentially get there at noon and immediately drive to eat the most food ever.  Warm showers were also on the mind.  But first, food.

We had a tough decision to make.  Low tide was scheduled for 6:51 am, we had 2 crossings to make that were 7.4 km apart, with a 4 hour window to make both.  Knowing our previous days hiking rate, and our current exhaustion level, it wasn’t looking good.  However, we had hunger on our side.  I was not about to wait until 5 pm to cross Goose River.  We were up at 5 am, and out of camp by just before 6 am.

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Crossing Goose Creek sucks.  Neither of us had water shoes, because, who has time for those.  They are too heavy for camp shoes, and I have never really needed them.  I’ve made all my river crossings to date in my boots.  THIS crossing, however, was not sandal friendly.  I immediately lost my first sandal hiking the .5 km up river to the crossing.  The mud came up to our knees.  I didn’t even bother looking for it, I was too tired.  The mosquitos were on us, the rain had started, I was barefoot, and it was only 6 am.

 

We made it to the crossing, a slow trickle of shallow water.  The rocks were cutting into my feet, I was ready to put on some shoes and get my hike on!  The crossing took about 20 minutes for the minimal distance, which was a little disappointing.

On the other side, however, we went beast mode.  I carry mio energy whenever I hike, which came in handy.  The hike from Goose Creek to Goose River is super easy, comparatively.

We hiked up and over to Azore Beach, it was raining, but it was still a pretty site.

We got a little worried that we weren’t going to be able to make the crossing, until we came upon 2 hikers that had just crossed it, and said the water was still below their knees.  We ran from there.  We found the river!   We found the 0 km!  It was 3 hours past low tide and the crossing was super easy.  Rock hopping.  Never got wet.  What was all this about in the book then?

  • NOTE – Well, that’s when things got tricky.  We had to find the approach trail.  We saw some yellow blazes, assumed we were going the right way and walked for a couple hundred yards until it just ended.  We ended up in deep ocean channel, that was just void of water.  There was water in the center, with sloping hills on either side filled with mud, and a high tide water mark well above our heads 20-30 feet on either sides of us.  We realized it was 3 hours past low tide, with the safe crossing gone 1 hour ago, and started to get worried.  With no more blazes visible, panick set in a little bit.

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This is pretty much the end of the blazes.  Up ahead, it diverges left and straight.  There are footprints and paths going both ways.  The correct sequence from here is to hike straight, try to keep out of the mud, and once you get to the divergence, go straight across, up the hill, and on top of that hill you will see a log bench and some rocks.  Look very carefully and you will find a poorly marked entrance to the beginning of the approach trail.  The ONLY reason we found this, was because we saw a person.  We had walked around for a good 10 minutes in the wrong direction, and then turned around to try to find our bearings again.  This is not good to do when high tide is looming.  Hope that helps!

This section is beautiful!!!  And only 7.9 km from our car!!!  Did I mention I was hungry?  What did hot food taste like?  Is there lobster in New Brunsick?  How fast can an injured person run 5 miles with a 40 lb pack?  These are all questions in my mind as I surveyed the awesome scenery.

After taking 30 minutes to find the actual damn trail, we started on it.  IT WAS A ROAD!  We hiked the 5 miles in a little under 2 hours.

The End.  Aaaaand ready for the next one.

 

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Fundy Footpath – Prep and beginning day 1.

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The Fundy Footpath.  The largest tidal zone in the world.  A continuation of the Appalachian Trail (international Appalachian Trail).  Ocean.  All reasons I chose this hike this summer.  Also, the hike was only 30 miles, and I would be taking my girl friend on her VERY FIRST backpacking trip.  In retrospect, this was not the best hike for a first timer…  It is extremely difficult :).  She’s still with me though!

I was able to find lots of information about this hike, including various blogs and youtube videos.  Understandably, most blogs and videos complained about how rugged and tough the trail was.  Being the over-confident hiker I am, I laughed at most of what was written and wrote it off.  (I’ve hiked the 49.3 km or 3o miles in just a day before with a full pack).  I shit you not, it took me 10 hours to hike 1o miles on this trail.  I realized on day 2, they weren’t joking!  This is an intense hike.  Compared to the Appalachian trail, where you will climb a mountain, get a spectacular view, climb back down, repeat.  This was climb 1000 vertical feet in less than 1 mile, no view, immediately descend, repeat.  Getting past that part, its beautiful, remote, rugged, and most of the trail is completely destroyed by the coastal rains.  Be prepared to hang on to a lot of roots as you try to space your feet perfectly on the 6 inches of what remain of the trail.

SO, that being said, let’s get to it!  Preparing for the hike.  The hike ends (or begins) at point wolfe campground.  We decided to camp there, and get a taxi to the other end, the suspension bridge at big salmon river.  I called various sites and Alexi offered to take us for 150 Canadian.  The people at the information center were charging about 250.  If you are feeling adventurous, and lucky, we ran into a couple from Quebec that parked their car, and then waited to meet someone heading the opposite direction, giving them their car keys, and asking them to park their car for them at the opposite side!  Dang guys!  Canadians sure are polite!

The drive from Pointe Wolfe campground to big salmon river is about 2 hours.  We got there around 10 am, signed in the register and started our journey.  We quickly got lost immediately after passing the suspension bridge.  Which I will get to in my next post.  Did anyone mention it was really easy to get lost on this hike???

 

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