Most of us have probably had the romantic idea once or twice in our lives of enjoying the outdoors through the adventure of backpacking: striding off into the wilderness with nothing but our backpack and wits to keep ourselves alive while absorbing the wonders of nature!
Like me, though, those grandiose visions of backpacking off into the sunset are short-lived, when you actually contemplate the logistics, discomfort, and knowledge necessary for such a trek. But experiencing nature along a wonderful easy day trail can be transforming! It’s not too much of a leap to understand why people would take on Kilimanjaro, or the Appalachian Trail.
So on this edition of Saturdays Around the World, we are heading off to Eastern Canada to explore the Fundy Footpath with an unexpected guide—we’ll introduce you to him in a second.
First, let’s acquaint ourselves with the trail. The Fundy Footpath runs along the northern coast of New Brunswick’s Bay of Fundy in Canada. This 49.3-kilometer trail is noted for its difficult coastal terrain and stunning views and is often on the list for one of the best hiking trails in North America!
The Bay is a remarkable gem of nature. It’s not only home to stunning vistas and coastal life, it’s also notable for its dramatic tides. In some areas, the water will rise and fall twice a day as high as a 5-story building! As the water rushes in and out, it has carved beautiful coastline rock formations, and in some places even reverses the course of rivers. 1
Let’s meet our guide!
Though it may seem like a relatively short hike to some (it takes around 4 days to traverse) it’s certainly not a trek to be taken lightly by beginners. This makes our guide for the trip we’re about to go on a little out of the ordinary.
Bruce, our unlikely guide for the adventure we’re taking you on is like many of us; a complete and utter amateur to the world of backpacking.
As a life-long city dweller, the slopes, tides, and ravines of the Fundy Footpath are a far cry from the streets of Toronto and Montreal he knows well. In the series we’re about to introduce you to, we follow him along his first hike: tackling the Fundy Footpath. (He was joined by some expert guides. We cannot stress enough: do not try this hike out for yourself unless you are an experienced hiker.)
This hilarious adventure documentary from the creator Videoband lets us trek alongside Bruce, picking up some backpacking tips along the way (like don’t bring expensive white leather boat shoes), and experiencing one of Canada’s most beautiful corners of wilderness!
Below is a playlist with six videos depicting Bruce’s journey on the footpath for your enjoyment. Just keep clicking the “next” arrow to find more!
If you’d like to see more from Videobrand you can check out their YouTube channel or explore their website.
And if you’d like to learn more about the Fundy Footpath, or are thinking of taking it on yourself, check out their site for more information! As you saw in the videos, and as we mentioned before, be properly prepared for this hike! Ben Phillips, who you met in the films, wrote a great piece on the Fundy Footpath and how to prepare that you should check out as well!
Oh, and if you’d like more of an artistic introduction to the Bay of Fundy make sure you check out this article we wrote for a previous visit in our Saturday’s Around the World series. It features an exceptionally talented mural artist working with the tide to create breathtaking pieces!
Embracing your spirit of adventure!
Usually, when we watch adventure documentaries they feature professional athletes taking on the highest cliffs, the steepest peaks, or the most difficult waterways. Rarely, do we get to see our novice selves in these films. Surviving the Fundy Footpath is a great reminder that exploring the natural world doesn’t have to happen in grandiose ways. We can feed our spirit of adventure in the ways that suit us.
Whether we’re venturing off into the woods with nothing but our packs, or visiting a new city or corner of the globe, there’s a niche for us.
We don’t have to start big to have a big experience.
Moreover, if you do have the knowledge and skill to do so, try passing on your tips and knowhow to friends who might be interested! I had the pleasure of passing on my skills as a backwoods canoe-camper to a few friends this past year. It was a great way to rediscover my love for the outdoors!
So, get out there, find the adventure that suits you. Share a little bit of that passion with others. And most of all, be safe!
Stay beautiful & keep laughing!