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.
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!
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 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.