Fundy National Park, Part 1: Dickinson Falls, Caribou Plain, and Kinnie Brook Trails
The day of my arrival was rainy and foggy with poor visibility so I decided to stick with the inland trails in order to save the coastal hikes for clearer days. I started with Dickinson Falls, easily the most popular trail in the park due to the combination of beauty and short distance. The trail provides a nice sampling of the local Acadian Forest before dropping down to the moist micro climate near the river where everything is draped in hyper-green moss and ferns. Here, downstream of the falls, the trail turns to elevated boardwalk accessed by multiple flights of stairs; after passing the falls, it continues along the calmer waters upstream that flow over a variety of granites, quartz, and other colorful rocks.
Before driving further inland , I stopped at Point Wolfe to view the covered bridge there, a replica of the original 1910 structure. Unfortunately, the road was closed so I was only able to see it from afar, though the red wooden planks against the back drop of green forest were lovely from that distance. I then made my way to Caribou Plain, a raised peat bog surrounded by evergreen forest. I loved how green the forest was here, the mosses nurtured by the moisture of the bog. Also really interesting were the dwarf larches and spruce trees near the edges of the bog, stunted due to the acidic peat. These bonsai-like trees were as old as a hundred and fifty years – the same age as the towering conifers I walked through earlier – but were incredibly no more than a few feet tall.
I finished walking the Caribou Plain Trail in mid-afternoon and, wanting to walk a bit more before I found a spot to make dinner, I decided to hike the short approximately two mile Kinnie Brook Trail nearby. The trail headed across a plateau of by maples, birch, and fir trees that repopulated the area after a nasty budworm killed the original red spruce here. Though a somewhat young forest, the sizeable trees here coupled with the lush ferns and extensive root systems viewable above ground gave the impression of old growth. The trail also offered some moderate elevation gains which was a nice change after the short Dickinson Falls Trail and the flatness of Caribou Plain. Near the end, the trail descended steeply via wooden stairs into a gorge, placing me at eye level with massive diorite boulders fractured from the valley walls. At the bottom of the gorge was Kinnie Brook – which is apparently buried under sediment deposited from the last ice age. The sign claimed that sections of the brook occasionally flowed aboveground but I saw no evidence of this on my visit. Still, it was a perfectly lovely hike and exactly what I needed to stoke my appetite.