Here’s an adventure for those whose perfect vacation days involves fishing, friends, and rollicking good times.
5-6 days, 274 km (170 mi.)
There’s something truly special about the mighty Miramichi River. Perhaps it’s the deep-rooted connections the region’s residents have to its ebb and flow, or maybe it’s the chill vibes as you hit the road with some good tunes and town-hop from its namesake city all the way to Boiestown. It must be a Miramichi thing.
Miramichi is beautiful in the fall as the autumn leaves grace the majestic Miramichi River. Whether it’s a tale of pioneers, a memory of being on the river, or just the fisherman’s story of the catch that got away, there’s something about the mighty Miramichi that keeps the conversation flowing. Fall is a wonderful time of year to visit the valley and its communities.
Happening this fall on the
Miramichi River Road Trip
Days 1 - 2:
City of Miramichi & Metepenagiag
~51 km (32 mi.)
This region is known as Atlantic Canada’s Great Outdoors, and for good reason. Here, it’s all about slowing down and taking it all in - the lush landscape, the cosy wood cabins, the “live and let live” ethos of its locals. Learn to fly-fish, go 4-wheeling, or enjoy some peaceful river time at a quiet cottage. Get to know the Mi’kmaq culture of Metepenagiag, and grab a pint at a local Irish pub. The Miramichi River is yours to explore.
If you’re coming from the Acadian Shores or Hub City road trips, you’ll begin in the city of Miramichi. Defined by its shipbuilding roots, fishing culture, and strong Irish heritage, the locals here are friendly as it gets - and have crafted some exceptional pubs and breweries for you to discover. Those on the hunt for craft beverages can sip their way to New Maritime Beer, Carroll’s Distillery, Timber Ship Brewing or Three Dog Distilling Company.
If you’re craving some seriously great food, head to their local Irish pub, O’Donaghue’s, where you’ll get to savour local favourites like the O’Don’s Famous Fish & Chips, along with a perfectly poured pint of Guinness, of course.
Here, you’ll find brightly coloured Italian sodas, comforting caramel apple tea lattes, and an impressive collection of coffee creations. Favourite this one in your map app, because you’ll definitely want to come back for more.
Spend the day experiencing the history and culture of the area at Beaubear’s Island National Historic Site, Middle Island Irish Historical Park, and Ritchie Wharf Park where you can head out for a river boat tour with the charismatic Captain Azade aboard the Max Aitken.
Head west about 30 minutes outside the city to Metepenagiag Heritage Park for a tour of the exhibits and grounds. The Mi’kmaq people of Metepenagiag have lived on these lands for over 3,000 years and, as you explore the national historic site - home to the Augustine Mound - you’ll get a sense for their ancient culture. To complement this cultural experience, you can get a Taste of Metepenagiag or do an overnight Tipi Retreat.
Days 3 - 4:
Salmon Fishing Lodge
~89 km (55 mi.)
World-famous for its Atlantic salmon fishing, it only makes sense that you’d follow up your time in the city with a stay at one of the scenic fishing lodges that dot the riverbanks. Located in and around the communities clustered along the river - Sunny Corner, Blackville, Doaktown, Boiestown to name a few - they feature all-inclusive guided fishing or hunting packages for anglers or hunters of any level.
Let Debbie and Dale be your guides at Upper Oxbow Adventures, get the full all-inclusive treatment at Pond's Nature Resort or Country Haven Lodges, get your own waterfront cottage at Betts Kelly Lodge or Wilson’s Sporting Camps, combine fishing with gourmet dining at Ledges Inn, or angle for striped bass at Miramichi Sport Fishing.
No matter which you choose, you’ll be in the perfect place to slow down and set the pace for your journey. Spend the day fly fishing, break for lunch, then get back on the water. Evenings are enjoyed over some seriously good food and countless tall tales.
Fishing packages vary and can often be customized, but typically last for about 3 days, or the length of a non-resident fishing license. If you don’t fancy yourself an angler, it’s equally as enjoyable to spend a few days at these riverside getaways without a rod in hand. You’ll often find other outdoor activities on offer such as guided ATV rides and watercraft rentals. Or, an adirondack chair and a book might be just what the doctor ordered.
Days 5 - 6:
Upper Miramichi Adventure
~134 km (83 mi.)
Each little community holds its own hidden gems, but a not-so-secret fact about the Miramichi River is that the conditions are simply perfect for days spent soaking in the beauty of nature.
While in Doaktown, stop at the Atlantic Salmon Museum to learn all about salmon fishing on the Miramichi. While traveling on the main road (Route 8) you will also notice the Doak Provincial Heritage site. The buildings are a testament the rich history of Doaktown. The site is open to visitors during the summer months, so plan a visit to see what life was like when farms ruled the area.
Love to spend a nice fall day on the golf course? Head to Old Mill Pond Golf Club, named after the Old Mill Pond "Grist Mill" that was operated by the Doak family in the 1800s. Watch for the golf ball stealing fox!
Venture in the countryside to find the Mill Brook No. 0.5 Covered Bridge (Nelson Hollow), tucked away on a quiet country road. It’s the oldest covered bridge in New Brunswick, and one of only two in the province that has a ‘hip’, or cottage roof (with four sides).
While in the Upper Miramichi region, be sure to make a quick stop at the McNamee/Priceville Footbridge! At 200 metres, this makes it the longest suspension footbridge in New Brunswick.
Boiestown is the last community before you meet up with the Hops & Harvest Road Trip. Here live the lumbering legends and folklore of the “Canadian” lumberjacks, with tales as old as the trees in the forest that you can experience at the Woodmen’s Museum (open June-September). Stop at Candle in the Window, a cozy home decor and gift shop in the heart of town for design inspiration and unique finds. And if you need any supplies for the road or on the way to your cottage rental, McCloskey’s General Store is a must!
Road Trip Eats