Matthews Head Trail
© Parks Canada / B. Townsend
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.
- 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.