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.
Industries: Fishing, Aquaculture, Dulse (seaweed) harvesting
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.
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.