Matthews Head Trail

Fundy National Park

Hiking Lookout Park Bench Parking

Distance: 4.5 km loop
Time: 1.5 to 2 h
Difficulty: Moderate Moderate
Steep Section(s): Yes
Habitat: Forest, Coast

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.

Be Prepared!
  • 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.
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