Kouchibouguac Fall Colors

There are 60 kilometers of bike trails in Kouchibougouac and when the autumn leaves are red and orange it is amazing to ride the gentle trails around the park!
There are 60 kilometers of bike trails in Kouchibougouac and when the autumn leaves are red and orange it is amazing to ride the gentle trails around the park!

Kouchibouguac is probably one of our favorite parks here in New Brunswick, especially since this year for the 100th anniversary of Parks Canada we bought an annual pass that allows us to get into any National Park in Canada for free all year! We’ve been back to Kouchibouguac about four times this year, maybe five, for the great cycling and beaches and canoeing!

This Thanksgiving Weekend we were so lucky to have warmer than usual temperatures, we were up to 28 degrees under blue skies and the fall colors were amazing! We drove to the park with our bikes and picnic essentials to enjoy what would probably be the last nice weekend of the year. It was so awesome!

The park has great bike trails and we started our bikeride at the bridge that crosses Major Kollock Creek right across from the Salt Marsh walking trail. The park was amazing that day! The fall colors were bright in the sun and the warm air blowing in from across the ocean was so nice! We biked about 16 kilometers on the trails.

My favorite part is the Major Kollock mountain bike trail which is a one way trail that runs about 6.5 km’s. The trail is very narrow and winding and you have to go one way only as it is very tricky to navigate around all the bush and trees…but it is such a treat!

The other trails in the park are nice and well groomed gravel but the Major Kollock trail is really raw and rustic with awesome boardwalks over swamps and winding root covered trails that go along the creek towards the dunes of the piping plover nesting zones.  It’s my favorite trail I’ve found so far in any of the National Parks we’ve been in in Atlantic Canada!

One thing I really like about the trails at Kouchi Park are they are fairly flat so you can go fast or slow depending on your mood…in Fundy Park we found the bike trails to be a bit too much of a workout to be any fun at all.

On the trail we saw this incredible white pine tree that was huge! It was enormous!! This white pine must have been several hundreds of years old! The trunk of the tree was waaaay bigger than the white pine we have in our backyard…we stopped our bikes and took a few moments to just enjoy this mammoth veteran of the forest…what a great tree!

Giant white pine tree
A giant white pine tree in the park. This gigantic tree must be hundreds of years old! Such a pleasure to stop and give a hug to this ancient tree who has been through so much!

After the bike ride we went to the beach and actually were able to have a swim at Kelly’s Beach! The water was quite cold and really burned the legs as we walked in at first but we both dunked our heads and were very impressed that we were actually swimming on October 9th in the Atlantic Ocean! We had a picnic on the beach in our funky new beach chairs. We had some tasty tuna wraps with some fruits and tomato juice which we followed up with some of DD’s homemade snickerdoodles!

What a way to spend Thanksgiving Long Weekend! Wearing our swimsuits and eating Snickerdoodles on the beach!! We had so much to be Thankfull for!!

As we were on the beach we saw a huge flock of Canada Geese fly by and it was such a nice moement watching these instinctive birds make their way south as the oncoming winter appraoches. The biurds all landed in the Saint Louis Lagoon that is on the west side of the South Kouchibouguac Dune. The honkers drifted in and landed en masse on the laggon and as we packed up a few little tribes of stragglers flew over in formation to join the group on the lagoon.

 

Canadian Geese Migration Formations over Kouchibouguac Park
Canadian Geese Migration Formation over Kouchibouguac Park

Nature is so great!

 

We are so thankfull for everything we have and being in Kouchibouguac Park for this winderful warm October day surrounded by elder trees and flocks of geese was truly remarkable!

Highland Village Museum Cape Breton Island

Highland Museum Cape Breton Island
Highland Museum Cape Breton Island

On our trip to Cape Breton Island we took a drive from Baddeck to the Highland Village Museum in Iona, Cape Breton Island. The museum is a living village that explores and explains the Gaelic heritage of Cape Breton Island. It was so interesting to learn about the Scottish Gaelic history of the region.

The Highland Museum is set-up like a trip through time and we start by climbing a hill to the Black House which is a simple home made of stones and sod roof where families would live with little comfort and many animals!

As you walk through the town you go from past to present and meet the people who were ancestors of the original settlers of the region. We loved seeing the lovely horse and sweet little pig that DD made friends with. The church on the site had been moved by barge onto the site and the old schoolhouse and general store had so much to see!

The general store was often the pharmacy and post office and we looked at old catalogs and watched some great sewing and hooking demonstrations from the costumed woman behind the counter.

School house at the Gaelic village Highland Museum.
School house at the Gaelic village Highland Museum.

The schoolhouse was open to visit and we sat in the small desks and looked at maps and books that were written years ago…what a treat to see how things were done long ago.
At the blacksmith shop we had a young fellow make an old-fashioned nail for us right in front of our eyes in the oven. He banged with his hammer as he told the stoiry of his family and of how things would have worked hundreds of years ago.

At the turn of the century house we met a woman who would have been five generations later from the family living in the black house and she had been trying to make some butter but the cow must have given sour milk because she couldn’t get the butter to work! But she and DD had a nice chat about the pig and what sort of leaves could be rubbed on infections to reduce swelling.

The Highland Village Gaelic Folk life Museum was one of our memorable moments on Cape Breton Island. It is so nice that people are involved in this way to present a living history because it is so interesting and fun to talk to people from the past!

DD will probably add some more about this but I wanted to get started…we’ve done so much this summer that it’s hard to update our website as much as we’d like!!

 

Gaelic church and farm buggy overlooking Bras D'or Lake on Cape Breton Island

Demonstrations at the general store at the Highland Gaelic Village Museum
Demonstrations at the general store at the Highland Gaelic Village MuseumSpinning wheel and Gaelic housewife at the Highland Museum explaining the spinning and dye technique of the old Scottish settlers.

Demonstrations at the general store at the Highland Gaelic Village MuseumSpinning wheel and Gaelic housewife at the Highland Museum explaining the spinning and dye technique of the old Scottish settlers.

Spinning wheel and Gaelic housewife at the Highland Museum explaining the spinning and dye technique of the old Scottish settlers.
Spinning wheel and Gaelic housewife at the Highland Museum explaining the spinning and dye technique of the old Scottish settlers.

Malagawatch Chursh Highland Museum Cape Bretopn Island

Gaelic Peg feeding

Visit the Highland Museum Website : http://highlandvillage.ca