It is powerful to have a goal. On January 1, 2017 we hit the hiking trails of Rockwood Park, Saint John, NB to get a jump on our annual goal to hike 300km but also to spend some time with the kids setting family and personal goals. I am an avid hiker and I prefer a longer hike or to get further off the beaten track to explore but the practical reality is that I often don’t have time to travel that far to get outdoors regularly.
Kirby suggested we go to Rockwood Park and I am sure glad he did because we found a gem which is not even hidden, it is completely out in the open and I had been skipping over it. The entrance to the park can be accessed off the Sandy Point Road where it connects to Foster Thurston Drive and looks like it could be someone’s driveway as there is no sign until you are up the hill and down the road a little.
When we arrived there is a nice trail map, here is out crew in front of the map.
I have since found a full colour printed copy of the trail map and it can be obtained from for free at the Rockwood Park Interpretation Centre, which is located just past the Lily Lake Pavillion inside the park entrance off Mount Pleasant Avenue. The trail is very well-marked but since there are so many little trails it is good to make a plan so you can decide in advance how far you want to go. Especially this time of year since you can’t see the trail you must have a good idea if where you want to end up so you don’t get lost.
Starting out you are on the Zoo trail and there are a wide variety small trails which veer off this main trail starting almost immediately. The trails are not long so as long as you are prepared you should be able to play it by ear and stay within a reasonable distance. The Zoo trail itself is very wide and appears to be quite well maintained, especially for the time of year.
Golf Trek Trail
We decided to take the golf trek trail. It is a nice trail through the woods, what comes to the edge of the Rockwood Park golf course at a couple of places and goes for .94km as a harder trail and continues as a medium difficulty trail for another .74km. You can cut back over to the Zoo trail at several intervals or you can continue down through the centre of the park.
We decided to cut across at Donnie’s Detour to get back to the main trail and head back to the car. Also very well-marked and every though we hadn’t made a plan we managed to figure our way out fairly easily. I would say this is a good example of do as I say and not do as I do – definitely safer to make a specific plan and follow it – always being prepared is a good idea and deciding on a plan in advance can avoid a dangerous mistake.
The total hike was 4.8km. It was short by our standards but at this time of year it is great to get out and it is also much harder going through the slushy snow in winter boots.
I can’t believe I have lived in Saint John for almost 10 years and not taken better advantage of this beautiful space. It shows you, look around your local area there are probably places and things you have overlooked!