Matthews Head Trail
This trail combines both the natural and cultural history of Fundy National Park.
From the parking lot located off Herring Cove road, the trail goes over fields regenerating into a second-growth forest. An old wagon road then slopes down to the remnants of a 19th century homestead. A short side route opens up to the mighty Bay of Fundy.
Backtrack to the intersection and complete this loop trail on a portion of the Coastal trail. Beautiful and quiet!
Highlights Throughout the Year
- As you walk the first section of this trail, imagine that until 1974, Agriculture Canada operated a research facility here. It was locally known as the “potato farm”. Field experimentations led to the development of the Shepody potato: one of the preferred varieties of today's French fry industry.
- Tom and Ellen Matthews settled here in 1865. The farm prospered and additional buildings were added to their home: a dairy, barns for livestock, and sheds for tools and supplies. It was abandoned around 1910.
- In the summer, the fragrance of the hay-scented fern (Dennstaedtia punctilobula) fills the air. It forms small compact colonies where sunlight can reach down to the forest floor. In the fall, the light green fronds turn golden.
- At the lookout, notice the red rock formation. It is known as Hopewell conglomerate – the same rock formation found at the Hopewell Rocks flower pots 40 km east of Fundy National Park.
- Know your physical limits; Fundy’s wilderness is famous for its rugged cliffs and river valleys. Choose a trail that is challenging but enjoyable for you.
- Pack for comfort and safety: A sweater and a windbreaker are good insurance against variable weather. We recommend footwear with good traction and support. Pack fresh water and a snack, even if you’re planning a short hike.
- Plan your route and stick to it. Let someone know where you plan on hiking and your estimated time of return.
- For your own safety and to preserve the ecological integrity of our Park, stay on marked trails.
- Leave no trace! Please carry out all garbage, yours and any you may find on the trail.