Out on the snow in Riverview, New Brunswick

Snowshoeing in Riverview, New Brunswick
The trails along the Peticodiac River in Riverview are great for snowshoeing!

On a February day when it feels like Spring as the temperatures climb above freezing and the sun is shining down and the sky is blue it is a perfect day to go snowshoeing. Living near Moncton, in Riverview New Brunswick we have many options for snowshoeing right close to home. We sometimes go to the Dobson Trail but on a day like this it is a great trip to go across the causeway and park near the snow piles and travel the trail on the other side of Riverfront Park.

A beautiful sunny day on the trail.
A beautiful sunny day on the trail.

Right across from Riverview, in the open fields bordering the Peticodiac, between the Gunningsville Bridge and the old causeway is a fantastic tract of land with a great trail that in summer is a bike trail and in winter is just perfect for snow shoeing.

The view on a clear day like this is great. We can see Moncton to the left and Riverview to the right. The open flats along the river are flat and snow covered with little tufts of grass poking through the snow which is shining in the sun as the warm temperatures and wind turn the snow into a shining skin.

We have spotted a fox in the open space between the trail and the Peticodiac river. The fox zigs and zags across the snow hunting for something to eat. As we crunch down the trail we keep an eye on the fox, maybe 250 meters away, who has the appearance of an animal quite at home and happy with the vast fields that he has made his home. While on the other side of the river, two days before, we saw the fox and I had been really excited to go out snowshoeing today in hopes of seeing the beautiful animal again. We did!

Fox along the Peticodiac River in New Brunswick
Fox along the Peticodiac River in New Brunswick

The trail passes a few weathered wooden benches that are drifted up with snow and they make a perfect spot for a picnic. We sat on the bench and watched the fox with our binoculars and ate our hard boiled eggs, cookies and apples. It is a perfect spot for a picnic, we were warm in the sun and our coats were open as we sipped tea and watched the fox. DD saw the fox pounce!

What’s nice about this trail is that unlike Irishtown or the Dobson Trail this is wide open without trees to block the sun. It’s nice to be able to see into the distance. On this clear day we could see to Dieppe and the gulls and ducks overhead literally glowed against the blue sky as the bright sun shone off their feathers.

The view of the Moncton skyline from the trail on a winters day is awesome!
The view of the Moncton skyline from the trail on a winters day is awesome!
Fox in the snow beside the Peticodiac
Fox in the snow beside the Peticodiac

The other side of the river, on the Riverview side along the Riverfront Park is the walking and biking trail and after a heavy snow it is too deep and snowed in to walk but snowshoes make it a pleasure! You can start at the Chocolate River Factory in downtown Riverview and walk towards the Gunningsville bridge.

The trail winds along beside the Peticodiac allowing you to watch the tide coming or going and with the cold weather the river becomes an interesting landscape of icy round rafts, large muddy ice island, odd shaped canyons of frozen brown mud. Even though the trail is right in town it still feels a bit like you are out in the woods.

There are always ducks and gulls and because not many people snow shoe the trail you get a nice peaceful walk often without seeing anyone.

Today was amazing! With the sunshine and the fox and the fresh air and the picnic and crunchy snow we felt like we were spectators at a wonderful performance as we sat on our bench and watched the icy Peticodiac recede and the fox zig zag through the snow banks and grass tufts.

Lichen covered benches along the trails are great to stop and have a picnic when out for a warm winter day!
Lichen covered benches along the trails are great to stop and have a picnic when out for a warm winter day!
The fox, alone in the snow.
The fox, alone in the snow.
A perfect sunny day, ideal for a walk in the snow, watching birds and our friend the fox.
A perfect sunny day, ideal for a walk in the snow, watching birds and our friend the fox.

 

 

The Tidal Bore in Moncton and Riverview

The Tidal Bore flows up the Peticodiac River through Riverview. Moncton can be seen in the distance.
The Tidal Bore flows up the Peticodiac River through Riverview. Moncton can be seen in the distance.

The tides in the Bay of Fundy are the highest in the world. The Peticodiac River that passes through Dieppe, Moncton and Riverview gets tidal waters that flow in through Chignecto Bay and Shepody Bay. As the high tides enter from The Bay of Fundy the create a tidal bore; a wave of water that pushes up stream.

The Peticodiac fills and empties twice per day. At the lowest tide the muddy chocolate brown banks are exposed and at the highest level the water covers most all of the banks and raises up the level of the flat grassy flats that surround the river.

There are a few small branches that break off the main river and create interesting valleys and canyons!
There are a few small branches that break off the main river and create interesting valleys and canyons!

There are super viewing spots in Moncton, there is an outdoor amphitheater type of seating near for visitors to watch the daily event. Of course every day the tides are at different times and sometimes the tidal bore is at night. There is a clock on Main Street that shows when the bore will pass.

We usually watch from Riverview along Riverfront Park or on the trail that runs to Dieppe. The river is always changing and that is what makes it so neat!

When the moon is full the tidal bore is usually really big with so much force, and when it is calm and mid month sometimes it is almost difficult to perceive the waters flowing in.

Every season is different as well, in Winter the ice freezes in the brown muddy waters and the width of the river becomes narrower as huge shelves of ice are created.

As the river rises and falls twice a day it creates strange sculptures, caves, pillars and formations that will, in Spring, collapse and melt away and the river will again to her full width.

In Winter, the flowing Peticodiac creates amazing circular ice floes that contrast with the chocolate brown river water.
In Winter, the flowing Peticodiac creates amazing circular ice floes that contrast with the chocolate brown river water.

When it is very cold the surface gets iced over and circular islands of ice come swirling up and down the river. In Winter, the flowing Peticodiac creates amazing circular ice floes that contrast with the chocolate brown river water.

Sometimes parts of the river are frozen solid with an icy slush that sits motionless while the water flows beneath and as the tides retreat the ice slowly starts scraping along the edges creating a sound like sand or gravel being poured into a hole.

In the summer the waters dance and sparkle like diamonds in the sunshine and gulls swoop and cry overhead. Herons often stroll along the banks and there is a good chance you will see an Eagle up high and a Stoat down low and maybe the Fox who lives in the safe fields nearby.

There are ducks and geese who ride the incoming and outgoing waters. We have seen a dolphin in the Peticodiac three times in the short while we’ve lived here!

The river is always changing and moving, rising and falling and it is a beautiful symbol for the constant changes that occur in life and nature.

A pair of Canada Geese slide in for a perfect landing on the Peticodiac River in New Brunswick.
A pair of Canada Geese slide in for a perfect landing on the Peticodiac River in New Brunswick.