Last summer we went to Sussex Corner to hike the Walton Glen Gorge which is on the edge of the Fundy trail parkway system, is adjacent to the Fundy Footpath and is approximately 60 minutes from Saint John. It is also known as the Grand Canyon of New Brunswick.
I read a few websites before we went and I found the instructions a little lacking in some places. It didn’t help that there was construction on one end and the signs tell you to stop and go in at a different place than all the maps suggest.
Good Samaritanism – A rescue mission
Just before we reached Adair’s Wilderness lodge a woman was standing at the side of the road waving us down. As we approached I have to admit my first thought was a little fear wondering what was going on and if something bad was about to happen. Don’t horror movies start with someone pulling over to help a stranded stranger? Despite my fear we stopped and the lady told us that she had gotten her motorcycle stuck in the sand on a dirt road because she had been following her GPS. She was sure she could not move it on her own. We went in to look at the bike and it was indeed WAY off the beaten track, stuck on a hill and definitely too heavy for her to move on her own. We offered a drive and decided to head forward to Adair’s which was five minutes ahead instead of 30 minutes back to Sussex.
By the time we had reached Adair’s we had learned that she was from Florida and this trip was on her bucket list and she had taken all her vacation to travel on her bike to New Brunswick, PEI and Nova Scotia. I wish I had taken a little more time in hindsight to speak with her about her trip especially since in some way she also impacted my desire to write this blog.
At Adair’s we were welcomed with hugs and water for this lovely lady who finally broke down in tears once we all assured her we would take care of her. I could not have been more happy to have chosen to go to Adair’s and could not speak more highly about how kind and gracious everyone was there!
A little brawn does the trick
Kirby and I went back to the bike with a young guy who had stopped at Adair’s for lunch (100% eat coast hospitality). Between the three of us (the young guy Sean is a bike guy and Kirby and I being the muscle – haha) we managed to turn the bike around and bring it back up to the main road. A couple of minutes later one of the ladies from Adair’s brought our biker back and she was off back to continue her adventure.
Then we were off! Wow what a way to start the day!
Following along we turned onto the Shepody road and then onto the Little Salmon River Road. There is an orange sign that points to a detour – we decided to take this route and there are some spots to park on the road. This route takes you in an ATV trail which is well marked and by following the signs will take you to a spot to merge with the remainder of the trail coming in from the McCumber Road.
I plan to hike again from the primary entrance this summer because I’m hoping the trail is not an ATV trail.
When the trails merge, after about 4 kms, head to the left and you will end up at a fork. To the right you will find a lookout over the gorge which is gorgeous but because it is so steep you can’t see very far into the gorge.
We then backtracked to the fork and went left which connects to a couple of different trails down into the gorge. Then you just need to follow the water down to the bottom. The hike is very difficult and dangerous along the water, the rocks are slippery, the slope steep and the ground is difficult. That being said you will be rewarded with amazing views and a gorgeous spot for a quick dip.
We will definitely be heading back to this spot as we are sure we missed the highlights of the trip, it is close to home and was a really nice spot.
Adair’s Wilderness Lodge
On our way home we swung back into Adair’s for our post-hike beer and a snack. Adair’s is a family run place. It is a lodge with cabins that cater to outdoor enthusiasts like ATVers and snowmobilers. The Adairs have owned the lodge for more than 20 years and it has grown significantly over that time to include a large restaurant and quite a few cabins.
Everyone working there were very friendly and the food is homemade and we were disappointed that we weren’t hungrier! In particular, the desserts looked amazing, they are all homemade and enormous!
Such a great experience at Adair’s, we will be back!