Ancient Portage Trails

Photo by Calixte Leblanc
Photo by Calixte Leblanc

Small feeder to Gordon Meadow Brook
Small feeder to Gordon Meadow Brook

Photo by Calixte Leblanc
Photo by Calixte Leblanc

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In a time before roads and highways, waterways tied the people of New Brunswick together. More often than not, the humble portage trail connected these thoroughfares. The trails served as critical links in a vast chain of historic travel corridors. As settlement occurred across the continent, many of these ancient portage routes were lost forever.  However, because New Brunswick remained sparsely populated, some trails simply went dormant as the car replaced the canoe.  In 2008, Canoe Kayak New Brunswick -- in collaboration with numerous stakeholders -- set out to awaken this part of our provincial history and re-establish six key Ancient Portage Trails.

 

Our goals for this project were to:

 

  • honour first nations through portage trail restoration

 

  • promote stewardship in waterways and forests

 

  • highlight local and provincial history

 

  • create a unique tourism experience

 

  • partner with valued stakeholders, in particular, the First Nations of New Brunswick, Tourism, Heritage and Culture NB, and Sentier NB Trails

 

Under the leadership of our Heritage Committee, the Ancient Portage Restoration Project has been a tremendous success. After an untold number of hours deep in the woods, we are incredibly proud to say all six trails are nearly complete. The restored trails and connecting waterways are officially part of the Sentier NB Trails network. It is our hope that these trails will inspire people to get outside and walk in the footsteps of history.

 

Click on the portage signs below for more information. If you're interested in reading about potential canoe routes involving these trails visit our page on The Circuit.