Please check our COVID‑19 website regularly for the current status of these activities and others.

Hike or bike through our vast network of trails. Find hidden containers known as caches using a portable satellite navigation device. Or sit down in our big red Adirondack chairs that have been placed in quiet, scenic locations carefully selected by Parks Canada staff.

Calm and relaxation awaits anyone who wish to paddle on the river. You can also go for a swim at the beach, or go fishing on the open waters of our rivers.

Activities

Beaches A family walks on the beach

Beaches

Located along the Northumberland Strait, Kouchibouguac National Park is popular for its sandy beaches and warm coastal waters, and is ideal for swimming and spending a summer’s day at the beach. Tranquil lagoons and tidal rivers, protected by sand dunes, provide ideal conditions for kayaking and canoeing.

Two beaches have been groomed for the enjoyment of our visitors. Come get your fill of salt water, wind and nature!


Kellys beach

A woman and her daughter walking on a beach

Amazing sea life, sand dunes, family fun and unique discoveries awaits in Kouchibouguac's Kellys beach. Begin your adventure with a scenic stroll atop Kellys Beach Boardwalk, wandering above salt-marsh grass toward lagoons brimming with life.

With an engaging interpretive guide at the lead, kick off your shoes, roll up your pants and peruse these waters, wading through the natural home of dozens of vital marine species—all hiding in plain sight within biodiverse seawater.

Dip net and bucket at the ready, you’ll search for hermit crabs, mussels, oysters, sand shrimp, moon snails and sticklebacks—unearthing a plethora of intriguing information about each before you gently return the creature to its natural habitat. Though popular with children, adults revel in the fun as well, recapturing youthful memories in an enchanting ecosystem.

The lagoons of Kellys Beach beckon—discover their secrets for yourself.

Boardwalk

The 1 km-long boardwalk at Kellys Beach is without a doubt the most travelled trail in the Park. As well as providing access to Kellys Beach, this trail will also help you understand the evolution of the barrier island dunes.

Take time to read the interpretive signs on your way to the beach. You will be amazed at how much life really exists in this very fragile habitat.

Please note

  • The canteen usually operates from Mid may to early September
  • Respect the fences set to protect Piping Plover nesting sites and the vegetation
  • Bicycles are not permitted on the boardwalk
  • Dogs are not permitted on the boardwalk or on the barrier islands of Kellys Beach
  • Call 506‑876‑2443 for more information

Callanders beach

A women and her young daughter taking a dip in the ocean

As you look in front of you, in the distance, a barrier beach separates this shallow lagoon and narrow salt marsh from the sea, making it an ideal place for wading, kayaking or canoeing.

The large field here is an excellent spot to fly a kite, throw a frisbee or host family picnics. Geocaching activities also take place in this area of the park. It is located 5 km from the South Kouchibouguac campground, and is easily accessible by driving, walking or biking.

One of Kouchibouguac's most popular experiences is softshell clam fishing, and Callanders Beach is certainly one of the park's hotspots for this activity (permit required).

First Nations Heritage

At Callanders Beach, fresh water and salt water mix, creating warm nutrient-rich pools that are ideal for fish, shellfish, crustaceans, waterfowl and plants. Archaeological finds confirm that resources such as these helped sustain First Nations communities in this area for thousands of years. The entrance to the Migmag - Cedar Trail can be found here, as well as a giant wigwam, where First Nations interpretation programs take place in the summer.

Dogs

Dogs are welcome at Callanders Beach. However, they must be kept on a leash at all times. Please scoop and dispose of your pets' waste in a sanitary manner.

Biking A couple on fat bikes crossing a bridge

Ride a bicycle along gentle trails

Kouchibouguac’s 60 kilometres of bicycle paths are ideal for gentle exploration. Pedal along well-maintained gravel-topped trails that lead past striking fields of wildflowers, multifaceted peat bogs, saltwater lagoons and grand Acadian woodland.

Alongside the Kouchibouguac River, natural formations of Sandstone Garden invite Zen-like relaxation—and make sure to get a photo of the famous Leaning Pine. Later, search for the “bridge under the bridge”—a less-travelled route traversing the meandering Black River. Popular Major Kollock Trail leads mountain bikers past bogs, through woodland and atop sand on a varied-terrain adventure.

Then watch the lobster fishermen bring in the day’s catch at Loggiecroft Wharf—one of two working commercial docks—and park your bike for a walk on Osprey Trail. Numerous rest shelters dot the crisscrossing routes. Directional signs are plentiful. Equal parts active and relaxing, this is some of Atlantic Canada’s finest riding.

Fat bike

A fat bike is a bicycle with over-sized tires on wide rims. They are designed to ride on soft unstable terrain like snow and sand. They are a special type of bike that accommodate a much wider tire, often ranging from 3.5 to 5 inches in width. They have been a growing trend for several years and now considered an emerging sport.

Cycle over 60 km of bike trails interconnecting throughout the park to discover the diverse maritime plain ecosystems. The more adventurous will not want to miss the Major Kollock Creek mountain bike trail. The park grooms fat bike trails in the winter, making Kouchibouguac a year-round cycling destination.

Imagine riding your fat bike through the Major Kollock mountain bike trail - what a ride!

Fat Bike Rentals

Want to try out a fat bike? Rent your equipment at Ryans Equipment Rental. Contact us for additional information at 506‑876‑1297.


Additional Notes
  • Bikes are not permitted on the beach, dunes or coastal areas (beach, lagoons and rivers)
  • Shelters and dry toilets are located along the bikeway in the central area of the park
  • Way finding signs and locator maps are distributed throughout the trail system
  • Fat bike users must stay on the bike trails
  • If you are renting your fat bike at Kouchibouguac National Park, we recommend that you use a bike rack on your vehicle for safe transportation

Pedal for Safety

Whether you cycle for sport, fun or just getting around, one fact is certain: your best protection against serious head injury caused by a fall or a collision is a bicycle helmet.

While a helmet can't prevent an accident, it can reduce the risk of severe injury, disability or even death. The group most at risk are children aged five to 14. About one sixth of children's deaths each year are due to head or neck injuries that result from biking collisions or falls.

Adults must encourage children to wear helmets and set a good example by wearing them themselves – they can save young lives as well as their own.

The helmet should fit properly, be worn correctly and should be manufactured to meet strict safety standards.

Safety Approvals - In the province of New Brunswick, cyclists are required by law to wear an approved "certified" helmet. In Kouchibouguac National Park pedal for safety.

Hiking A woman and her son walking their dog on a trail

Hiking

Whether you’re a lifelong hiker or new to the experience, the key to a safe, memorable adventure is to plan your trip in advance. Consult our website for tips on how to prepare for your hike, or contact our knowledgeable Parks Canada staff before your trip; they would be happy to recommend a trail based on your interests and to provide you with tips on what to carry.

Share your experience with us! Post your favorite photos on our Facebook or Twitter pages, and report any wildlife sightings at the Visitor Centre using a species observation card.


Be Prepared!
  • Know your physical limits. 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.
Paddling A women alone on a paddleboard in the middle of a river at sunset

Explore the rivers of Kouchibouguac National Park

Paddling in Kouchibouguac is an excellent opportunity to see the park like you've never seen it before! Canoe, kayak, paddleboat, paddleboard or rowboat along the waterways where the Mi'gmaq paddled for thousands of years.

Short or long distance paddles bring you to destinations that offer discovery, seclusion and peace.

Kouchibouguac's flat rivers and lagoons hide many bays and inlets, where nesting ducks gather and otters feed. The sheltered lagoon is carpeted with large beds of eelgrass hiding fish and crabs.

If you choose to spend the night, two backcountry campgrounds are available for canoe camping: Sipu and Pointe-à-Maxime.

Canoes, kayaks, paddleboats and rowboats are available for rent at the Ryans Rental Centre.


Paddleboarding

Two feet on a paddleboard in the middle of a river

Test your balance and core strength and try stand up paddleboarding on the Kouchibouguac lagoon. Rise early with the sun and try yoga on a paddleboard or take the whole family out to explore along the shoreline of the park.

Whether you’re looking for a more relaxing day, or a good core workout, paddleboarding is a great way to explore Kouchibouguac on the water.

Visitors can rent paddleboarding equipment at Ryans Rental Centre. Call 506‑876‑1297 for reservations and information.

Leaning red pine tree!

A couple in a kayak taking a picture of a leaning tree

A paddle of approximately 20 minutes from Ryans. Make your way up Kouchibouguac River – West. The best way to really appreciate the view of this “bonsaï tree” is from the water.

The tree, which grows out of a sandstone outcropping, stretches itself horizontally over the river while its roots stay firmly planted in the stone. Don’t forget your camera!

Excursion from Ryans to Major Kollock Creek

Three kayaks next to each other

Paddle your way south to Major Kollock Creek. You will be gliding through the lagoon's shallow and wind protected waters. Along the way you will pass under Kellys Beach boardwalk.

Follow along the shore until you arrive at an opening that leads to Major Kollock bridge. Go under the bridge and up the creek. You're almost there because the creek narrows down quickly.

You'll need between 2 to 3 hours for this return trip.

Other recommended paddling excursion Voyageur canoe adventure

Fishing A man fishing in a lake

Fishing

Reminder: A permit issued by Kouchibouguac National Park is always required to fish within the park's waters.

Recreational angling and clam digging permits are available exclusively at two local businesses: JMC Grocery (St-Louis-de-Kent) and Co-op Grocery (Pointe-Sapin). Permits will remain on sale at these locations until the end of the 2020 season.

Exceptionally, recreational angling and clam digging permits will not be sold from Kouchibouguac National Park this year.

Permit requirements

A National Parks Fishing permit is required to fish in all National Parks of Canada. The only exception is a person under 16 years of age who may fish without a permit if accompanied by a person 16 years of age or older who is the holder of a valid National Park Fishing permit. The catch of the person under 16 years of age must be included in the daily catch and possession limit of a licensed fisher.

Provincial fishing licences and permits are not valid in national parks.

Annual and daily fishing permits are available. Consult our fees for the costs associated with each of these permits.

Registration and reporting requirements

The park may require fishers to provide their catch for inspection and population inventory and/or submit catch reports before leaving the park.

Fishing seasons and catch limits

  • Eastern Brook Trout
    Eastern Brook Trout (or Speckled Trout)
    • Season: April 15 to September 15, 2021
    • Maximum daily catch and possession limit: 5
  • American Eel
    American Eel
    • Summer season
      • May 15 to August 15, 2021
      • Line or spear
      • Minimum size: 53 cm
    • Winter season
      • December 15, 2021 to February 15, 2022
      • Spear only
      • Minimum size: 20 cm
    • Maximum daily catch and possession limit: 10
  • Rainbow smelt
    Rainbow smelt
    • Season: April 15 to November 30, 2021
    • Maximum daily catch and possession limit: 60
  • Striped bass
    Striped bass
    • Season: July 1 to October 31, 2021
    • Catch and release only
    • Maximum daily catch and possession limit: 0

Any other fish species incidentally caught are required to be returned to the water immediately.

Creel census

Conservation staff are conducting annual creel census so as to gather data that will permit us to evaluate fish migration patterns, age structure of population, growth rates and the overall health of our trout population.

Trout fishers are encouraged to share information on their catches by sending the Conservation team a logbook at the end of the season.

Regulations pertaining to fishing in a national park of Canada

  1. You may not leave your fishing line unattended.
  2. Jigging or foul hooking (snagging) or catching a fish in parts of the body other than the mouth of the fish is illegal in National Parks.
  3. Tailers or gaff hooks are illegal to possess in National Parks.
  4. Possession of fishing equipment that is illegal or having fishing equipment near streams during closed seasons can result in seizure of said equipment.
  5. It is unlawful to fish with a line having more than one artificial fly or other type of bait (or any combination) attached. Lure/fly or bait cannot be capable of catching more than one fish at a time.
  6. It is unlawful to fish with a lure that has more than two single hooks or two gang hooks, or a single hook and one gang hook. Gang hooks cannot have more than three hooks on them.
  7. It is unlawful to fish with an artificial fly attached to a spinning device or natural bait.
  8. It is unlawful to fish in certain closed park waters that have been posted as such or to exceed the extent of fishing set out in that notice.
  9. Fishing is prohibited during the period from one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise.
  10. Fishing permits may be suspended and seized by a park warden, who has reasonable grounds to believe that person a person who is the holder of a fishing permit has violated the National Park Fishing Regulations. A fishing permit will be returned after 30 days if no charge has been laid or if the person is acquitted of the alleged violation.
  11. It is illegal to use for bait or have in his/her possession in a Park live fish eggs or minnows.
  12. It is illegal to catch and retain more fish than indicated in the daily catch and possession limits set out in the regulations.
  13. The possession of any fish species cannot exceed one day’s legal catch.
  14. No person shall when fishing in park waters use a lead sinker or lead jig that weighs less than 50 g.
  15. Fishing within 100 metres of any fish counting fence or device is prohibited in National Parks. Areas where fishing is prohibited will be marked or signed accordingly.
  16. Incidental catch: Any other fish species incidentally caught are required to be returned immediately to the water.

The foregoing regulations are intended for the information and convenience of anglers who plan to fish in Kouchibouguac National Park of Canada. This summary may not reflect current regulations as modifications are made periodically. You may consult the complete regulations at a National Park office or online at: www.laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/PDF/C.R.C.,_c._1120.pdf

Note: You are required by law to provide your valid fishing permit, equipment, bait or fish to a Park Warden upon request, when fishing or in possession of fishing equipment in a National Park of Canada.

Visitor Safety

Ice conditions on Kouchibouguac’s lagoons and rivers are not monitored and can remain hazardous all winter.

In mid-April, when the recreational fishing season opens, slipping on the ice and falling in the freezing cold water remains a hazard since ice can still be present on the water and along the water’s edge.

  Learn about ice factors and ice safety (Canadian Red Cross)
Clam fishing A family walking in the water carrying buckets

Clam fishing

Fishing season: May 15 to September 15, 2021

Conservation Measures for Clam Fishing

Please respect the following measures to protect spawners:

  • Legal size: 5 cm (2 inches) and over
  • Limit of 75 softshell clams per day per fisherman
  • Harvesting with a plunger is prohibited

Recreational Softshell Clam Fishing Licences

The fishing licences are available at the following locations:

  • Park administration office
  • Visitor Information Centre
  • Campgrounds
  • Coopérative de Pointe-Sapin
  • Épicerie JMC Grocery, Route 134

Persons under 16 years of age may fish without a licence if they are accompanied by a person 16 years of age or older who is the holder of a valid softshell clam fishing permit issued by the national park. The clams harvested by the person under 16 must be included as part of the daily allowable catch of the permit holder and in that person’s possession.

Permit fee Duration
$4.00 1 day
$7.00 2 days
$11.00 3 days

Once a permit is purchased, it cannot be reimbursed.

Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

List of trails

Check out the complete list of hiking and biking trails offered at Kouchibouguac National Park.


Trail Conditions

Conditions can vary on a daily basis: