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This summer we were exceptionally lucky to have had access to a cabin in beautiful Riley Brook, only a stone’s throw from the Tobique River. The idea was to pack up the kids, meet up with some friends, and spend a week floating in tubes down the river. Well maybe not a full week; I’d probably be found somewhere near Greenland. But thanks to post-tropical storm Arthur we had to put off the tubing idea as water levels were a little higher than we would have liked. Oh, and apparently no one rents tubes anymore. Bummer!
So instead we spent the week hiking in search of waterfalls, jumping on a 6ft inflatable soccer ball, playing cards, and counting bug bites. (Rachel claimed the win with 82 between both arms). Yeah, the mosquitos and black fly populations were insane… more than enough to make me question my dream of one day owning my little piece of paradise on a lake somewhere.
Riley Brook is beautiful, but you know that you’re in the middle of nowhere when you have to consider driving driving 30 minutes to Plaster Rock “going into town”. But if we wanted to go to a grocery store, or a burger place, going into town was what we had to do! Oh.. and the first waterfall was out there somewhere too. Maggies Falls. A beautiful spot on private land that is relatively easy to get to, and well worth the time it takes to get there.
The next day we thought that we’d go in a different direction. Mount Carleton Provincial Park is the largest provincial park in New Brunswick, which seems rather fitting since Mount Carleton is the highest point in New Brunswick… (817m for those of you wondering) oh wait… it’s also the highest point in the Maritimes! And it just happened to be a short drive from us!
The park entrance fee is only $8 per vehicle. The challenging part is that you have to register each and every person in your car. This can become a wee bit tedious. Because I have a SUV, Jess and I were shuttling children from 3 different families… some of whom I had only recently met! Imagine how that must have looked as I said to the women “Umm.. if I say that I have 7 people, do I have to write down all of their names? Because I’m not even sure what some of them are!” Yeah.. when I got back to the car I told a couple of them “Congratulations. You’re now Belyeas.”
I’m sure that there are probably a few waterfalls at Mount Carleton, but we chose an easy one to get to. In fact, the guide said Williams Falls was “wheelchair accessible”! I dunno about you, but that sounds like the kind of “hike” that I’m interested in! My days of stomping through the woods with a rucksack and compass are way behind me! Bring on the waterfall!
The only real issue I had with Williams Falls is that it really didn’t allow for you to get right down to the water. I suppose there’s something to be said about a provincial park not wanting to lose a couple of visitors every summer, but still… Maggies was better.
On the other hand, Mount Carleton had something that Maggies Falls didn’t have… a lake with a beach! I’m sure that it probably had a name, but it was one of those unexpected finds and I didn’t think to take note of one. It was just nice to be able to stop somewhere and let the kids play around in the water. Plus we managed to get just enough of a tease of cell service to receive a couple of texts and emails that had been in the network. Good times!
All in all it was a great trip, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I sat down to write at least one more blog post, concentrating on specific things that happened. It was fun! I can’t stress enough how lucky we were.. and how very appreciative we still are that we were able to get away because it really didn’t look like we were going to be able to do much of anything this summer.
Oh hey… what’s post without a “hiking through the woods” selfie?
And remember… like TLC said…
Don’t go chasing waterfalls,
Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to…