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grandmanan450x270Grand Manan Island
The largest and most remote of the Fundy Isles, is a paradise for hikers, naturalists, bird watchers & artists.

Grand Manan, the largest and most remote of the Fundy Isles, is a paradise for hikers, naturalists, bird watchers, painters and artisans. The population swells from 3000 to 10,000 in the summer months, luring many adventuresome people.

Our first impression of the island was Swallow Tail, the lighthouse at North Head . Set high on a rocky cliff, this red and white structure guards the bay as it welcomes the incoming ferry. The moist salt air and lush greenery have an almost medicinal effect as you inhale the freshness of life.

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The peaceful island community is composed of fishermen, scientists and artists who all choose to reside here for their own reasons. The ocean, visible from any standpoint, is speckled with fishing weirs that dip in and out of the living waves. As it only takes minutes to drive from one end of the island to the other (it is 10 x 25 km.), much of your exploration can be done on foot. Hiking trails are in abundance , some alongside the ocean and others that climb the hills inland. We chose one of each.


The campground at Anchorage Provincial Park has a trail that we followed through the woods down onto a barren stretch of beach. The warm still fog gave a feeling of mystique, almost like being in a sauna, as we climbed along the volcanic rocks. The birds were lazily swooping along the water or skipping on the sand, totally oblivious to these two solitary human beings.


Another trail we hiked later that day brought us to Eddy Point Lighthouse (known locally as "the whistle") . Here we discovered a helicopter landing pad where we laid out a blanket and prepared ourselves an impromptu picnic. Our legs dangling over the edge of the elevated platform, we proceeded to share a bottle of French red wine, some cheese, and fresh bread from the island's bakery. We feasted not only on the food but the breathtaking scenery as well. The cliff below us fell over a hundred metres down to the deep blue ocean. Colourful fishing boats could be seen zigzagging through the almost transparent purple wisps of fog. On occasion we even spied a seal poking its black shiny nose out of the cold sea.

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