Start: Seely Beach campsite
End: Fundy Trail Interpretive center
Mileage: 6.7 miles Elevation gain :1,279ft
Elevation profile:We were up by 6 am, when we packed up all of our gear, which was heavy to carry. The campsite here was well protected but rather close and dank this sodden morning. I had a brief midnight battle with a racoon who was pushing his nose into my tent’s screening. I won. Next time I will be more careful about eating in my tent. There are excellent bear lockers at each of the official FF tent sites that are apparently there for a reason.
We had a noon deadline to meet our shuttle ride back to the Fundy National Park. Although this section was reported to be the easiest of the Footpath, there was still a path relentless ups and downs, although of a much more moderate nature.
Luckily it was low tide when we set off at 7 am, so we were able to walk on big rocks above the back flow of tidal water into the Bay.
Here’s a feature of this section: a formation known as the Dragon’s Tooth. Too bad it also had one of those garish promotional signs right close to the rock itself. I decided to keep this photo real. The thick moss and lichen cover here by the shore is soothing to experience just by itself.
The closer we got to the Western end of the Fundy Footpath the worse the footing became.
That surprised me. In my experience, the mile or so of trail that leads for trail parking lots is often the best kept aspect of a longer trail, as that seems to be about the extent of most people’s comfort with leaving their safe shell of a vehicle and entering the wild stuff. Not here. It was very apparent that the focus of the work down on this part of the Footpath is going into the development of an access road that will parallel the shoreline and lean toward the Fundy National Park, a mere 30 miles of line of sight up the coast.
We had a difficult time rediscovering the Trail when it passed through the new Long Beach parking lot, visitor’s center, picnic tables and privys. Everything was locked up and the lot was vacant even though it was 9:00 in the morning. Eventually we had to push through some very thick brush to return the last section of trail. The intersection here might be more clearly marked and the access opened up a bit. It would probably be easier to pass through here if one were heading east on the FF.
Eventually we reached the long suspension foot bridge that leads to the main parking lot and the Visitor’s Center, which unfortunately sold no maps for me to purchase and enjoy viewing at home.
Apparently the maps are out of stock everywhere and are awaiting a fresh print run.
In summary, this is a grueling hike, given the heat of the summer, the humidity, our tow days of rain, and depending on which valleys you include, at least a dozen times when you go down and up or up and then down as much as 750 feet in elevation above sea level.
A search of the Internet in preparation for hiking the the Fundy Footpath suggests that having the Fundy Footpath-Hiker’s Guide Book is essential for hiking the 30+mile trail.
The problem is that the book is sold out and out of stock at visitor’s centers on either end of the path as well as at the office of Red Rock Adventure, the guiding service that best serve the FF hiker. If you have unlimited time, and the ability to carry as much as 5 day’s worth of food (ten extra pounds in my estimate), then take it as it comes, but a four night experience I advise taking along tide charts of the region, or you may find your self crossing Goose Creek at the 2 AM low tide, like I did on my 2008 thu-hike of this highly interesting hike.