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October visit

Clemson, South...
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October visit

My wife and I are planning a trip to Maine and New brunswick in October. Plan to visit the island of Grand Manan as well as Fundy National park. Would appreciate any advice on where to stay around Fundy NP or Alma. Also, wonder if the ferry to the island will be crowded around Oct 13th or 14th.

About funds. Will we need to convert our money in order to pay for things in Canada or are US funds acceptable?

We will probably spend the nights of 10/13 & 14 on the island and the nights of 10/15 & 16 at Fundy NP. Will drive back to Bangor, ME. on the 17th for flight back.

Any help and guidance will be appreciated.

waterloo, ontario
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1. Re: October visit

I don't think crowds will be a problem that time of year. Incidentally, so long as it doesn't rain every day you are picking the BEST time to travel. October is simply spectacular in the park. Staying in Alma is the ideal if you aren't camping, we stay in the bed and breakfasts, here's a link for you to cut and paste in your browser:

bbcanada.com/new_brunswick/fundy_shore/alma

For Grand Manan I'm only sure of this link for accomodations, http://www.bbcanada.com/683.html

I think we've stayed in all of them and they are really all excellent so browse through them to pick what amenities, atmosphere, price you want.

For cash it depends where you spend it. At a restaurant, b&b, or park american funds are no problem. Even most roadside stands would probably take it though you may have to negotiate the going rate. I can't remember but email the b&b where you stay and they might exchange your cash when you get there and change back what you have left when you leave-they can certainly tell you where you can do it close by.

I can't remember the name of the highway, but from Alma you'd be heading inland toward the Trans Canada Highway. There are some beautiful trails there as well and a little further up is an ice cream stand where they make their own ice cream-the best I've ever had! Sussex is worth a visit if you like farm produce, it's the dairy capital of New Brunswick. Be sure to try the Pumphouse Blueberry Ale, and of course Mrs. Dunsters Doughnuts!

Eastern Canada
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2. Re: October visit

I live an hour away from Fundy Park. One of the nicest spots in Alma to stay is a place called Cliffside Suites. We have stayed there and the place is amazing. They have three Bay view suites up on a hill, overlooking the village of Alma and Fundy Park. They also have a couple of chalets. The prices are reasonable and they are spotless and completely outfitted with everything you would need. There is a hotel in Alma just at the entrance to the Park called The Parkland. I would choose cliffside as you can cook your own meals.

There are many bed and breakfasts in Grand Manan but some are quite seasonal. Check the websites before you go. There is one campground, called Anchorage if I recall that I have stayed at. Its quite nice. US funds seem to be widely accepted, but the exchange rates my vary. Feel free to email me with questions about Fundy in particular heatherj_1961@hotmail.com

Clemson, South...
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3. Re: October visit

Thanks for all the helpful information. I think we will try to stay at the Parkland since neither of us cares to cook while travelling. Not sure about the island but have found a site which lists various B&B's as well as at least one inn. The main attraction for us is the hiking trails that we hope to find on the island and understand are numerous in the park. Where ever we stay will be used primarily for sleeping. Since we don't plan to do any cooking we will be sampling the local fare - looking forward to some good lobster and other seafood - fresh, good seafood is scarce here in western SC, close to the Appalachian Mts.

Thanks again. I never cease to be amazed how nice and helpful folks are on these forum boards and you two bear that out.

Lee

waterloo, ontario
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4. Re: October visit

No problem here, I know a fair number of people in North Carolina so it's fun to help out another carolinian (everybody seems to be moving there so we're official moving van loaders). I didn't know that about Carolina, that's quite interesting. It's somewhat different here in Canada, I don't want to get too political but as a maritimer in southern ontario it has always seemed that the maritimes has been a place to send stuff from to Ontario, so here in Ontario we get seafood the next day from the maritimes, just a day later than most places in New Brunswick itself.

Alma and Grand Manan should be easy but perhaps the poster above who lives right by fundy can name some good seafood places. I know the seafood places in Kouchibouguac National Park, but not Fundy. You want places that are as close to the water as possible so as to get the seafood as fresh as possible. And of course it comes down to the chef, which is why good seafood is often rare anywhere. I would assume there are LOTS of places in Saint John, but maybe there's a forum dedicated just to restaurants and food? The only place I've been lately is the Red Raven Inn across on the ferry in Digby, Nova Scotia, which has SUPER seafood (of course as a former New Brunswicker I'd rather you plunked down your money in NB:)

waterloo, ontario
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5. Re: October visit

PS: we expect a review of your trip when you get back!:) You'll definitely want to bring some Dunsters Doughnuts home on the plane, I usually bring a box whenever I get home.

Clemson, South...
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6. Re: October visit

I will try to give a trip report after we return. We are really looking forward to the trip. Called the Parkland and found that they close on Labor day - just before our dates for staying in Alma. The gentleman I spoke with recommended the Falcon Inn highly and mentioned that the colors at that time of the year should be beautiful. Anyway - expect we will try to stay there and enjoy what was described as a beautiful view and excellent accomodations.

Again - thanks for all the good information.

Lee

Clemson, South...
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7. Re: October visit

PS - North Western South Carolina isn't as deprived as I made it out to be - we do get some fresh seafood up here - trucked in from the coast daily to some restaurants - but it still isn't the same as the really, really fresh stuff you get off the boats.

LS

Eastern Canada
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8. Re: October visit

Just wanted to add a couple of things. The Parkland Hotel in Alma has in the last year renovated and added some rooms. Ask for an ocean view. The dining room is very good, but after Thankgiving weekend, Fundy closes, and Alma basically turns into a ghost town. Check your dates and make sure its from Canadian Thanksgiving. Something else to consider is Alma has a fairly well equipped general store called MacDonalds. There is a satellite liquor store and you can also buy basic supplies. But if your looking for anything but the basics your a long way from anything. Depending on the direction your coming from stop in either Riverview ( where I live) or Moncton to buy your supplies. Dont count on Alma to have what you want. As far as hiking in Fundy Park, Third Vault Falls is a must. This trail is found off the Laverty auto road. It has the highest falls in the park and totally beautiful. Dickson falls and the Devils Half Acre are also nice. The other trail to see is White Plains. If you have any questions at all please dont hesitate to email me at heatherj_1961@hotmail.com

Toronto
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9. Re: October visit

Just a warning about Third Vault Falls: the last 800 m of the trail are difficult! But if you like hiking that includes steep climbing, rocks, etc., you'll love it. Dickson Falls are absolutely lovely, and the hike is very short and very easy.

Clemson, South...
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10. Re: October visit

Just a quick note to let those of you who may be interested know that we made the trip and had a great time even though the weather was pretty miserable when we were at Fundy NP. We did get to Grand Manan Island and enjoyed the hiking there - did Dark Harbor north to Money Cove and back - also Hole in the Wall. We did Acadia in Maine first - on 10/12, then took the ferry to the Isle for hiking on the 14th then to Fundy for hiking on the 16th. Weather wasn't terrible til we hit Fundy, then on the 16th Alma had a horrific storm - lots and lots of wind and rain - but we still hiked the Coppermine trail and Point Wolfe and Dickson Falls. We were soaked when we finished but we had, by d*@%#, hiked Fundy. Also got a look at Hopewell Rocks at mostly high tide, but nice none the less. Since we were there after they had closed - viewing was free. The tides are amazing there. Dry ground at Point Wolfe at low tide and very angry seas there at high tide. At Alma the water recedes for 1 KM at low tide then, at high tide, is back with waves crashing over the seawall next to the road out of Fundy NP. Road had much dirt, rocks, and other debris washed over it from the storm.

Ate my first boiled lobster in Bar Harbor - very good but not enough meat to justify the price. Had an excellent lobster roll in Alma at the Harbour View Market (the only place still open that served a decent menu). You were certainly right about Alma shutting down after Thanksgiving there. Almost eveything was closed. The Falcon Inn, however, was a jewel. High on a hill side overlooking the Alma harbor with tremendous views. Breakfast was excellent and the hosts were most helpfull and friendly. Had the best fried scallop dinner I have EVER had at Capt. Nicks in Bangor the night before we flew home. All in all, we had a wonderful trip and appreciate all the advice and help we got here on this forum immensely. Thanks so very much.

Lee

PS - we did stop in Sussex on the way home and got some Mrs. Dunster's doughnuts - and some cheese bread - and some cheese/garlic rolls - all of which, though somewhat crushed from being packed in the luggage, are delicious. We are still enjoying all of them as well as sharing with friends. Thanks for the tip.

l