Grand Manan New Brunswick Canada

HIKING TRAILS - "Eel Brook - Ashburton Head"

As you travel west along Whistle Road, you pass over a small bridge - this is Eel Brook, which runs from Eel Lake in the highlands to the ocean. The entrance to the hiking trail to Eel Brook Beach is just before it; the one to Eel Brook Falls and Ashburton Head, just after the bridge. They are not marked at the Whistle Road - but are clearly marked as you get nearer the ocean and get back on the main trail leading from Whale Cove all the way to the Whistle on Northern Head.

The trail entrances off Whistle Road are private lanes, so park at the old garbage dump entrances, located just before the Eel Brook Beach Trail - large stones block off the original dump entrances, and help identifiy where you can safely park.

It is possible to cross over Eel Brook at the Falls - but that depends on your agility for jumping from rock to rock, and the recent rainfall. Eel Brook can be quite powerful after a good rain. On the Beach trail side, there is a fork in the trail with one leading down to the beach and the other over to the Falls and then on to the Ashburton Hiking Trail.

The trail down to the beach (the only ocean access through the cliffs between the Whale Cove area and the Whistle) is actually a fairly easy downhill walk through forests and meadows - until the last few hundred metres! Then it is pretty steep and challenging - but well worth the ocean view, the unique rocks wich have washed up on Eel Brook Beach, and a close up look at the "Seven Days Work" geological feature. Cell phone reception, in case of emergency, is spotty.

Eel Brook Falls is a beautiful spot to stop and spend some time as well.

Hikers will immediately notice a dramatic change in the vegtation as they go further on the Ashburton Trail. A few years back, there was a forest fire on this section of the island - and the larger trees were destroyed - the regrowth is underway, and the views of the ocean are still impressive from Ashburton Head. The trail continues to the Whisle along the cliffside. This section is fairly challenging, with steep climbs up and down, and some precarious paths close to the cliff's edge.

There is a large observation deck at the Whistle (so named because the fog "horn" used to be a "whistle' sound). Now it just has a different tone from the fog horn at the light house on the northeast - so in a fog, you get a stereo effect! There is a parking area by the Whistle, and of course, you can start the trail to Ashburton Head and points east from the observation deck area.


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