New Brunswick's Best Coastal Beaches
The coast of New Brunswick boasts some of the most beautiful and rugged coastline in Canada.
Many of these beaches are isolated, but a few are accessible because they are connected to national or provincial parks, which makes them the perfect spots to spend a day or weekend. I wanted to share some of my favourites with you (it was hard to pick just three) so that you can experience them as well ... Oh, and I’ve also attempted to give a grade out of 5 to each location for your adventuring pleasure.
I've included: Accessibility (how hard it is to get there) Sand (is it soft, or is it a minefield of rocks and seaglass) Space (will you be sharing your beach towel with a stranger) Accommodations (anywhere affordable to stay nearby) and Supervision (will you find lifeguards).
Kouchibouguac National Park
The word “Kouchibouguac” (Mi’kaq for “river of long tides”) is an entirely appropriate name for this New Brunswick gem. Including approximately 25 kilometres of sandy beaches, housing some of the highest tides in the world, and boasting some of the warmest waters this side of Virgina, this national park (situated along NB’s Acadian Coastal Drive) will, no doubt, be a highlight for any beachgoers/campers lucky enough to grace its scenic shores. Swim, build a sandcastle, rent a sea kayak, stroll the boardwalk at Kellys Beach, take in the local acadian culture, or simply grab coffee and watch the sun go down (or come up!)
Additionally, Kouchibouguac National Park comes complete with 311 front country campsites: good for tenting and recreational vehicles. Not too shabby, Kouchibouguac National Park ... not ... too ... shabby!
Accessibility: 2 - While nothing is too “out of the way” when you’re travelling in the Maritimes, this park is definitely a little bit more out there on it’s own, though certainly within striking distance of cities such as Moncton, Bathurst, Miramichi and Fredericton. Sand: 5 - Immaculate, sandy dune beaches. You won’t be disappointed. Space: 5 - Lots of room to play. Accommodations: 4 - Plenty of space for camping. Additionally, Kouchibouguac National Park comes equipped with special oTentik “glamping” tent cabins; super cool, super functional and super cozy. The only reason why we gave this region a “4” is due to the lack of surrounding indoor accommodations. (There certainly are some; you just have to look). Supervision: 3 - Kellys Beach is supervised (typically, this beach is the swimming spot). Callanders Beach is not.
Find more about Kouchibouguac National Park HERE
Murray Beach Provincial Park
A stone’s throw from the Confederation Bridge and Prince Edward Island, Murray Beach boasts the same warm, soft sand as Parlee Beach, but without the Parlee Beach fanfair (though, keep in mind, this area still sees its share of foot/camper/day tripper traffic). Bonus: even though it’s less known than its big brother to the northwest, Murray Beach is still fairly easy to find. Bring snacks, some sort of shelter (if you don’t want a healthy dose of vitamin sun), and be prepared to spend the day (or the week ... or the month) soaking it all in.
Accessibility: 3 - Slightly less central in location. Sand: 5 - Shares the same coastline as Parlee. This means soft, warm sand. Space: 4 - Murray Beach is a decently kept secret. And because of its proximity to Parlee, this spot tends to fly under the radar for many travellers. Accommodations: 4 - Sits in the middle of Murray Beach Provincial Park - a campground which can accomodate most of your camping needs. Lots of cabin/cottage rentals also dot the countryside. So do your homework. Supervision: 3 - A portion of the beach is supervised during the summer.
Find more about Murray Beach HERE
New River Beach Provincial Park
New River Beach is a familiar haunt for those living on the southeastern coast of New Brunswick, between Saint John and St. Andrews. So, if you’re visiting, your sure to see lots of friendly locals. Of note, other than the beach itself which is comfortable and inviting, there are a selection of hiking trails to keep the non-beach goers occupied.
Warning: when the tide is out, be prepared to walk a fair distance to the water (all in a day's work when visiting the Bay of Fundy, of course).
Accessibility: 2 - A little further out of the way, off the Trans-Canada Highway. Sand: 3 - More of the beach is under water during high tide, so, while the sand is there, is most often stamped down. Space: 4 - decent amount of space with fewer beach goers than you’ll find within the higher traffic areas. Accommodations: 4 - Campground on site. Also about a 90 min drive from Fundy National Park. Day trip, anyone? Supervision: 0 - Beach is unsupervised. So, watch yourselves and your kids.
Find more about New River Beach HERE