Local Motion - New Brunswick

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October 17, 2010

Thanksgiving Hike #3: Caledonia Gorge

This is the third of three Thanksgiving Hikes I'll be writing about: 

Crooked Creek in the Caledonia Gorge Protected Area
On Thanksgiving Monday my friend Joanna and I hiked in the Caledonia Gorge Wilderness Protected Area, near Riverside-Albert just a short drive from Moncton. It was my first time at the gorge and when we arrived at the look-off my draw dropped. The view up the gorge reminded me of the Gaspe, highlands plunge into a deep valley. At the bottom of the valley Crooked Creek (what a great name!) meanders, cutting a stripe through the forest. This is the third wilderness protected area that I visited this weekend and it felt the most wild. Rockwood, Walton Glen Canyon, and the Caledonia Gorge are all quite different even though all are along the Bay of Fundy. Rockwood has lakes, Walton Glen has the crazy canyon, but the Caledonia Gorge just feels big.

From the look off we drove down the bumpy road into the gorge until we came to the washed out bridge across Crooked Creek. We parked and hiked up the creek hugging the steep hillsides. We were surprised to find a large covered bridge in good shape. We had a vague intention of finding Rattail Falls but after an hour of hiking we realized it was out of the question. We'd have to come back when we had more light left in the day. It was a great feeling to be walking in the bottom of a deep gorge beside the creek's turbulent waters. The hillsides were dappled with oranges and yellows. The sun set behind the west bank and the cool air carried a hint of sweet decay.
Old Red Spruce - in a true Acadian Forest

On our way back we followed the road to the washed out bridge. This time we took off our boots and forded the creek. Refreshed we decided to squeeze one more hike into the day. A local had recommended we check out the falls. We drove back down the road and parked near some cottages. We hiked downstream on a muddy ATV trail for 20 minutes and came to a big set of falls and a huge black pool. It's clearly a popular spot, the ground is beaten down and litter is everywhere. But regardless of that this was a cool place. Crooked Creek squeezes and crashed through a narrow slot, its wake churning into a deep dark pool. It looked like a great place to swim and cliff jump. The river canyon continued downstream for some distance.
Falls on Crooked Creek
Jo overlooking the pool below the falls.
This is definitely a place to come back to - the forests are huge, the creek is beautiful, and the steep terrain beckons. It's got swimming in the summer, skiing in the winter, and at this time of year the weather is perfect for hiking and camping (no bugs!!).
graham waugh local motion caledonia gorge hiking crooked creek riverside albert moncton bay of fundy trails national park cliff jumping


Father Ferrell said...

Thanks for the review of Calendonia Gorge! I can't wait to explore it myself. There is quite a dearth of on-line info about the Gorge, so your report is especially appreciated. Please keep up the good reporting!

LC said...

Agree with Father: 6 years later there is still almost nothing online (in English anyway).thank you for this post!