Johnson's Mills

Coordinates: Lat 45.836162°N, Long 64.514834°W

Johnsons-Mills Description and directions: A rocky and sandy beach with extensive mud flats not far from Dorchester, situated six kilometers south of the village along route 935. Besides having an awesome view of Shepody Bay, it is one of just a handful of sites in the Upper Bay of Fundy used as important migratory stopovers for up to 85% of the world population of a small, arctic nesting shorebird known as the Semipalmated Sandpiper. These birds come to the Fundy Biosphere Region and surrounding areas as a stopover on their migratory route, and during their visit they usually double their weight from 20g to 40g by feeding primarily on mudshrimp.

Nature Notes: This 472-acre site (to date) is managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada. From late July to mid-August, tens of thousands of shorebirds can be seen here daily, both feeding on the mudflats that are exposed at low tide, then roosting in tight flocks on the upper beach when the world’s highest tides come in.

The twice daily high tide periods (2-4 hours a day) are the only time in the 24-hour cycle that the birds get to rest. It is therefore the time when they are at their most vulnerable from opportunistic predators, such as Peregrine Falcons, Merlins, other hawks and gulls. Therefore, in as much as possible, they should be left undisturbed by people and their pets. When roosting, the birds occasionally harassed by natural predators lift up in tremendous flocks which wheel and twist, performing an intricate and beautiful aerial ballet to our eyes, but which is actually an instinctual response to danger that apparently aids to confuse aerial predators and lessen the chance of individual predation. Although beautiful, these aerial displays are costly in terms of fat stores and energy, so that harassment by people and predators can reduce the survival of these birds on their long migration south. Visitors to the area are best served by making use of the excellent interpretive centre at Johnson’s Mills.

During the balance of the time, they are out feeding on the mud flats on a tiny mud shrimp known as Corophium volutator. The Upper Bay of Fundy sites such as Johnson’s Mills are the only places in North America where this tiny amphipod crustacean the size of a grain of rice occurs in such incredible, critical densities, in some cases reaching 60 000 individuals per square meter. This incredibly rich, easily accessible food source enables the sandpipers to literally double their body weight in just a couple of weeks. This is crucial to the next leg of their journey, for when they depart the region after fattening up, they will be flying non-stop some 4 300 km over the ocean, all the way to northern South America, in a two to three day journey!

Links: Nature Conservancy of Canada; Awesome group shot of sandpipers from Birding NB


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There are over 50 Amazing Places in the Fundy Biosphere Region.


Irishtown Nature Park

Coordinates: Lat 46.141767°N, Long 64.772381°W

Irishtown-Nature-Park Description: A 2200 acre, mostly forested, Municipal Park with access to a large artificial lake. The park has an important network of hiking and cycling trails and it is slated to soon be enlarged.

Nature Notes: This is said to already be one of the largest Municipal Park/Green Spaces in Canada. There are many nice stands of mature trees found here and that is certainly one of the highlights of this amazing place. Many residents are very aware of the wonderful privilege of having such a wonderful, expansive green space within city limits and the park is becoming increasingly well-used. Some of the nice stands of trees include some essences which are somewhat to quite rare in this part of the province, such as White Pine and Black Cherry. The large reservoir has recently played host to nesting Bald Eagles, Osprey and Common Loon.

Irishtown Nature Park | City of Moncton


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There are over 50 Amazing Places in the Fundy Biosphere Region.


Hayward Pinnacle

Coordinates: Lat 45.817410°N, Long 64.917592°W

hayward-pinnacle Description: A rocky promontory east of the Dobson Trail which is quite an impressive view from different vantage points along the Dobson Trail near the feature.

Nature Notes: At 381 m elevation, this is the highest point alongside the Dobson Trail. However, it is not quite as high as the highest point in Albert County, which is an area in the Kent Hills at 413 m according to various sources. The Dobson Trail passes by the Pinnacle and its imposing shape is visible from a long ways off in either direction, so it acts as an important landmark along the route.


Explore the Region

There are over 50 Amazing Places in the Fundy Biosphere Region.


The Hopewell Rocks

Coordinates: Lat 45.820918°N, Long 64.576970°W

Hopewell-Rocks Description: A well-known Provincial Park showcasing the world famous “flower pot” rocks and the Ocean Tidal Exploration site. The site is located 47 km south of Moncton along route 114.

Nature Notes: The Hopewell Rocks has long been a local tourist attraction and a provincial park, but in the late 1990s, the province decided to “up the ante” and make it the flagship of their provincial parks network and market it as one of the crown jewels of the Bay of Fundy tourism destination. With its monolithic and picturesque “flower pot” rocks, it is certainly a scenic and impressive place. Add into the mix some of the highest tides in the world at 14 m or 46 ft between low and high tide during the highest tides of the year and you have a winning combination! The monoliths or Flower Pot rock, whose bases are covered at high tide, are explorable up close on foot at low tide, and uniquely explorable by kayak at high tide. The rock formations are made of conglomerate cemented together by gypsum and limestone and were formed in river deltas from raging torrents flowing down from the ancient Caledonia Mountains over 300 million years ago. Amazingly, they were built up as sediments in monsoon climates, when what is now this part of New Brunswick was at the equator! Stromatolite (Blue-green algae) fossils at the far end of the beach can also be found here. More recently, the beach at the Rocks is also being used by migrating Semipalmated Sandpipers, sometimes in excess of 50 000 at a time, in late July or early August. Coincidentally, it is almost directly across Shepody Bay from the shorebird site at Johnsons Mills.

Links: The Hopewell Rocks


Explore the Region

There are over 50 Amazing Places in the Fundy Biosphere Region.


Goose River

Coordinates: Lat 45.526415°N, Long 65.095697°W


Description: A valley-flanked river with a gravel bar and small salt marsh complex at its mouth. This river flowing into the bay is situated right at the border of Fundy National Park.

Nature Notes: The gravel bar found at Goose River is astoundingly tall and steep, rising over two stories tall at low tide! It protects a small mudflat and salt marsh from the pounding waves of the bay. There are few other places along the Bay of Fundy better than the Goose River gravel bar to watch the changing of the tide.

Image by Ben Phillips


Explore the Region

There are over 50 Amazing Places in the Fundy Biosphere Region.


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