Grand Manan, New Brunswick

Southwest Head, Grand Manan
Southwest Head, Grand Manan

The Grand Manan Archipelago, part of the Fundy Isles, is located at the entrance of the Bay of Fundy. Spend some time hiking or biking the miles of seaside trails, take a short ferry ride to White Head or explore the island’s rare geography. Interesting attractions on the main island include Swallowtail Light and Hole-in-the-Wall. Popular activities on the 142 sq. km (55 sq. mi) Grand Manan Island include beachcombing, bird watching, biking, hiking, nature walks, sea kayaking, and whale watching.

Population: 2,700
Industries: Fishing, Aquaculture, Dulse (seaweed) harvesting

Community Links:

http://www.grandmanannb.com/
http://www.gmwsrs.org/seabird.htm

Getting to Grand Manan

To reach Grand Manan, travel to Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick and get in line.

During the summer months ferries depart the mainland approximately every two hours between 7:30am and 5:30pm with an additional crossing at 9:00pm*. At the same time one ferry is departing Blacks Harbour, a second ferry is setting on from North Head, Grand Manan. The crossing takes 90 minutes and whales are often spotted en route.

There are no reservations or tolls for getting to Grand Manan – the first in line in Blacks Harbour is the first on board the vessel. Reservations for departing Grand Manan can be made 24 hours prior to departure at the Coastal Transport office in North Head. A toll is paid upon departure.

For more information pertaining to the Grand Manan ferry service please visit www.coastaltransport.ca.

*Crossings occur year-round, however schedules vary by season.

Anchorage Provincial Park

Explore the untamed, natural beauty of Grand Manan at Anchorage Provincial Park. Hike the park’s nature trails, fish its freshwater ponds or set out in a canoe or kayak. To enjoy the Bay of Fundy, relax on a sandy beach or take a dip in its cool waters. Bird watchers and naturalists alike will enjoy a visit to the park’s migratory bird sanctuary. Picnic and camping facilities are also available within Anchorage Provincial Park.

The Grand Manan Museum

Showcasing the island’s history, the Grand Manan Museum offers it visitors many fascinating facts and displays. Stroll through the Marine Gallery, read about the Geology of the Island and see the Allan Moses Bird Collection. This Bird Collection, bequeathed to the children of Grand Manan in 1953, features over 300 different species of mounted birds – many of which can be spotted, alive, in the Fundy Isles.

Grand Manan Whale & Seabird Research Station

Located across from Coastal Transport’s ticketing office in North Head, find the Grand Manan Whale & Seabird Research Station. Established in 1981, the GMWSRS addresses issues concerning, among others, the accidental entrapment of harbour porpoises and whales in fishing equipment, the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale and the general marine conservation of the Bay of Fundy. Inside the Station view interesting interpretive displays of local marine life. The Grand Manan Whale & Seabird Research Station is a non-profit facility.

Swallowtail Light

Swallowtail Light
Swallowtail Light

As the ferry from the mainland docks in North Head, Swallowtail Light welcomes visitors to Grand Manan. Swallowtail Light is one of the few remaining wooden lighthouses in Canada and is set on a piece of land almost detached from the rest of the island – to only be reached by a footbridge.

From Swallowtail spot seals, harbour porpoises and whales, as well as two herring weirs, and in the early morning witness simply breathtaking sunrises over the Bay of Fundy. Today the lightkeeper’s house is leased as a bed and breakfast, however the lighthouse is still owned by Transport Canada.

Gannat Rock Light

Built in 1831, Gannat Rock Light is one of the most exposed lighthouses in Canada. Located nine miles south of Grand Manan Island, Gannat Rock, named after the birds that once rested here, is merely a stone islet. The fact that this wooden tower has withstood countless, horrific storms for over 170 years in a true testament to its builders. Gannat Rock Light is the second oldest wooden lighthouse still in use in Canada, however it was destaffed in 1996.

4 comments received

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    Binky

    Typo. “Gannet” rock.

    Not recommended for cyclists. It’s ironic; this is seen as such a quiet little place, doesn’t have big-city traffic. But motorists pass too fast, too close, with oncoming traffic. If you should happen to meet up with a driver and politely ask that they leave bikes a little more room, they are quite rude.
    The back roads are better, but stay off the main highway.

      Mike Postma

      You’re right, I’ve fixed the typo. Thanks Binky.

    Cathy Fynn

    Where is your info on trails in Anchorage provincial park? You are connected to every social media channel, but where is the content? People are looking for details, not connections. We’ll ‘like’ you if you give us information – or at least link us to a site that does!

      Mike Postma

      Hi Cathy,

      Thanks for your input, we are always looking for ways to improve the information offered on this website. However, there is so much information to share on the Bay of Fundy, it’s almost impossible to collect all of it.

      I think it’s also worth noting that this website isn’t run (nor funded) by the government, but by a couple of individuals who are simply passionate about the region. All information provided is absolutely free, and running this website costs more money than it makes. We really try to do the best we can.

      To answer your question. More information on the rails in Anchorage provincial park can be found on the Tourism NB website (http://www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca/Products/T/The-Anchorage-Provincial-Park.aspx), but I am afraid there are no good maps available online. Tourism NB offers the following PDF: http://www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca/images/product/NBProvParksMaps-Anchorage.pdf. There’s also some information and a basic map on this page: http://www.grandmanannb.com/trail97.htm. They seem to offer better maps that you can get on the island or order by mail.

      As for the social media on this website. We’re not forcing anybody to click those buttons if they don’t want to. We’re just providing people the option to like us in the hopes that word about the Bay of Fundy will spread.

      Again, thanks for your input and if you have additional questions/suggestions we’d like to hear from you.

      Mike

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