Fundy Isle Island Hopping

Franklin Roosevelt Memorial Bridge
Franklin Roosevelt Memorial Bridge

Many people can say they have gone island hopping in the Mediterranean, Caribbean or the South Pacific, but how many can say they have hopped the Isles of Fundy? A collection of islands at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy, the Fundy Isles are a part of the Province of New Brunswick and are connected to the mainland, and each other, by ferry. The Fundy Isles’ only connection to the mainland is the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial Bridge at Lubec, Maine – the eastern most town in the United States – which brings travelers to Campobello Island.

Old Sow Whirlpool
Old Sow Whirlpool

To reach Campobello Island from Canada, however, one has to take two ferries – the first of which departs mainland New Brunswick at l’Etete. After approximately 30 minutes, travelers will disembark on to Deer Island, New Brunswick. The smallest inhabited island among the Fundy Isles, Deer Island is lined with many herring, lobster and salmon fishing villages and home of the Old Sow Whirlpool. Visible three hours prior to high tide from Deer Island Point Park, the Old Sow Whirlpool is the largest tidal whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere and the second largest in the world. There is even an Old Sow Survivors’ Association for those who have successfully navigated the whirlpool! (Deer Island can also be reached by ferry from Eastport, Maine late June through mid-September.)

East Quoddy Lighthouse
East Quoddy Lighthouse

Driving across Deer Island brings traveler’s to a second ferry landing where they can board a vessel that will deliver them to Campobello Island. (Similar to the Eastport-Deer Island run, this ferry only operates seasonally. Throughout the off-season, Campobello is only accessible via Lubec.)

Two ‘must-see’ sites on Campobello Island are the Roosevelt Campobello International Park – former summer home of President and Mrs. Roosevelt – and East Quoddy Lighthouse – one of the most photographed lighthouses in the world. Campobello Island is a fishing community, harvesting lobster, scallops, clams, sea urchins and more. Learn the history of the Island, from the aboriginals to Captain Owen, during your visit and take time to stroll the mile long beach at Herring Cove Provincial Park.

Swallowtail Light
Swallowtail Light

Finally, Grand Manan Island – part of the Grand Manan Archipelago – is the largest of the Fundy Isles and is accessible via a 90-minute ferry ride from Black’s Harbour, NB. Spend some time hiking or biking the 33km of seaside trails, take a short ferry ride to White Head Island or explore the island’s rare geography. Dark Harbour Dulse, harvested in Dark Harbour, Grand Manan, is the world’s finest dulse. Interesting attractions on the main island include Swallowtail Light, Hole-in-the-Wall and the Grand Manan Whale and Seabird Research Station just to name a few of the many.

Popular activities in and around the Fundy Isles include beachcombing, sea kayaking, bird watching and whale watching. Many marine mammals – whales, seals, porpoises – and a variety of seabirds will be spotted from land and sea. Amazing photo opportunities await!

This was the 15th article in our “52 Reasons to visit” series. Take some time to read our next reason: Fundy’s Historic Sites, or last week’s reason: Fundy Parks. We also think you may want to take a look at the overview of all the articles in this series and use our RSS feed so you won’t miss any further articles!

2 comments received

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    Deb Robards

    Do we have to have permission to go into Canada on your island hops?

      Mike Postma

      Assuming you’re coming from the States, it’s just like any regular border crossing (at least the one in Lubec is, I am not entirely sure how that’s done with the Eastport – Deer Island ferry). Either way, you don’t need anything special, just a passport.

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