The sun is setting earlier, you’re pulling those warm coats out of storage and wondering what to do with yourself as the winter months draw nearer. Although many of our provincial parks are closed for the fall and winter, we do still have three great parks to explore and enjoy!
Mactaquac Provincial Park
Mactaquac Provincial Park, the Four-Season Playground, is open year-round to enjoy both fall and winter activities after the summer has ended. Mactaquac transitions throughout the fall to a great hiking destination as we wait for that first snow fall. With ten hiking trails ranging from easy to intermediate, there is a trail for every skill level.
The Alex Creek loop is an easy terrain featuring aged birch trees with the possibility of catching a glimpse of woodpeckers or porcupines. Connecting to this, is the Beaver Pond Trail, an easy loop that circles the beaver pond. This beautiful hike offers a 360° view of the beaver pond, home to the occasional beaver, and you may even be lucky enough to see the resident snapping turtle that has made Mactaquac Provincial Park its home before he does a deep dive for an induced winter sleep. For those looking for more of a hiking challenge the park invites you to try the Murch Field Trail. Passing under Treego with a terrain that takes you in and out of ravines, you’re sure to enjoy the scenery along with the challenge.
As winter approaches, you will see Mactaquac Provincial Park turn into a winter wonderland. Friends of Mactaquac, a non-profit organization that supports Mactaquac’s efforts, offer fun winter gear free of charge to the Park’s visitors. You can give cross-country skiing and snowshoeing a try in the park at no cost to you!
New this year, the skate in the forest trail will open. This figure-eight style loop will take you through the forest on a level ice track. Glide along and enjoy the snowy view of the evergreens throughout this 900 meter trail, or you can still enjoy pond skating over by the golf course lodge.
Mactaquac also offers winter gear for a small rental fee such as fat bikes and sliding tubes for our well-lit trails and sliding hills.
Sugarloaf Provincial Park
Heading to the North of the province? Make your way to Sugarloaf Provincial Park! The beauty of fall colours is tough to match on this mountain. Late in the Fall season most leaves have fallen, but beauty can be found in the starkness of the mountain. This is your chance to see beyond those hardwoods to what they’ve been hiding all year. Views of the mountain as you walk the year-round trails become clearer with a unique art-like perspective as you await those anticipated flurries to bring on the winter season.
Sugarloaf Provincial Park transforms into a new version of the mountain of adventure when that snow hits the ground. From novice to advanced, their snow park is something you don’t want to miss! Rent your skis or snow board, grab a lift pass and hit the mountain. Stick to the Bunny Hill, test your skills in the terrain park or push yourself to your limits with the longest and more challenging, black diamond ski trail, the Panorama. With 13 downhill ski trails you won’t be bored in this park! Rental and lift pass fees apply.
Not a fan of heights? Keep your feet on level ground with cross-country ski and snowshoe trails or skating on the duck pond! Experience the mountain and surrounding trails with that glittery blanket of snow. The trail to the top of Mount Sugarloaf is a nice challenge rewarded with an amazing view of the city of Campbellton.
At the end of the day, the T-Bar restaurant is there to take a break from the cold with a warm meal.
Mount Carleton Provincial Park
Last, but certainly not least, Mount Carleton Provincial Park will come out of hibernation the first week of January after a short closure which was spent preparing the park for winter. For those who enjoy the challenge of hiking in the winter, Mount Bailey is open for snowshoers to climb (Mount Bailey is the only trail open during the Winter months at Mount Carleton). Friends of Mount Carleton are there to offer you the winter supplies you need like snowshoes and cross-country skis!
A unique experience offered at Mount Carleton Provincial Park is ice fishing! Fishing enthusiasts can dig out those rods and hope for the catch of the day! Bring your portable fishing hut and set up at Nictau Lake. Contact the park for further information about how you can get in on this unique experience!
When you’re ready to warm up, the Lodge café is there to relax and enjoy a warm drink. The cozy setting looking out over Nictau lake and Mount Carleton is the perfect winter experience.
Spend your winter with us!
For our adventurous visitors, winter camping is available at our three winter parks but spots are un-serviced with limited access to amenities. Campers braving the snow should be experienced in winter wilderness camping.
Be sure to follow the Parks NB Facebook page to stay up to date on all the wonderful winter activities.
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