Fundy National Park is known for the big changes in the sea level due to the tides, but it also has other attractions that are very interesting. Third Vault Falls is THE waterfall to visit in the park, but it is a strenuous hike, in my opinion.
If you’re looking for something less exhausting, Dickson Falls may be the waterfall/attraction for you. Dickson Falls is about half the height of Third Vault Falls, though Dickson Falls doesn’t seem as imposing. The hike, though, is under 1 mile round-trip. It was a rather easy hike. There are boardwalks and stairs built into the hike, and this allows for many different views of the falls. It’s definitely worth a stop if you’re in the park.
NB-114 forms a horseshoe that diverges from Transcanadian Highway 1 near Four Corners/Sussex and then loops back into Moncton. NB-114 passes through Fundy National Park.
I came from Moncton, so was heading south/west on NB-114. You’ll reach Alma and then cross the Upper Salmon River into Fundy National Park.
If you continue along NB-114, that will lead to the trail for Third Vault Falls. Instead, turn left onto Point Wolfe Road.
Drive about 1.5 miles to the Dickson Falls Trailhead and start the hike to the falls.
Accessibility: 9/10 (easy) Height: 26′ Length of Hike: 0.9 miles round-trip
In addition to finding waterfalls in Nova Scotia, I went looking for waterfalls in New Brunswick. I had a generally easier time finding these waterfalls since there is a Waterfalls of New Brunswick website (and accompanying book). I chose to head to Fundy National Park (which isn’t terribly far from Moncton, where I was staying) to find these falls. The first waterfall I went looking for was Third Vault Falls.
This was a strategic decision on my part. The book and Fundy National Park’s website both list the hike Third Vault Falls as a moderate to strenuous hike. I usually prefer to do those hikes first so that I haven’t already walked some insane distance before getting to another insane hike. I appreciate that they listed it as this difficulty level because some of my least favorite hikes have been due to perception (“It’s an easy hike” when it’s actually not…).
The reason this hike is more strenuous is due to the last 20%. The first 80% of the hike is surprisingly on flat ground. The last 20% is a steep downhill trek on the way to the falls, and a steep uphill climb on the way back! In addition to being a steep downhill trek, the final 5% involves walking on the edge of the river at times. The wet rocks can be very slippery, so wear appropriate shoes! They have done a pretty good job of placing stairs in places where it might become a bit treacherous. I was overall impressed with the hike, even though I was worn out after arriving back at the car!
There are two ways to view the falls. The view you see in my photo is from what is probably the safer perspective, which is by heading right toward the sign that says end of the trail. There are trees that may block the top of the falls, and this could be problematic when they they are in full bloom. If instead of crossing the stream and heading toward the sign I mentioned, you head to the left on a faint trail that climbs uphill, you’ll find the other option that gets you closer to the falls. This one seems a bit more dangerous to do, though I still think it’s manageable. I decided against this because my current shoes don’t seem to grip slippery rocks very well. (Always use common sense…don’t do something just because someone else said it might be possible.)
Enter Fundy National Park along NB-114. It’s the only road that enters the park from both the northwest and southeast.
Pay the entrance fee (which was approximately $8 CAD per person).
Drive to Laverty Road. I was headed northwest, and Laverty Road was to my right.
Turn right onto Laverty Road and drive about 1 km to the parking area and trail head for Third Vault Falls.
Start the journey to the falls. (Bring water and some snacks.)
Accessibility: 3/10 (moderate/difficult)
Hike: ~4.5 miles round-trip