Great Canadian Parks / New Brunswick

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The Parks / New Brunswick / Fundy National Park



 


 

The 'Beach Crawl' is a popular activity at Fundy National Park. Park interpreters take groups of visitors on walks along the shore, exploring the habitats where a very particular suite of species exists. These are creatures that must adapt to two completely different environments - one under water and the other totally exposed to the air. There aren't many species so versatile, but those that can survive being abandoned by the ocean are prolific. The rocks are covered in thousands of barnacles and periwinkles, the mudflats are host to several types of seaweed and myriad small crustaceans.

 

Low tide also affords one the opportunity to view migrating birds that feed on the riches of the mudflats. The constant exchange of seawater replenishes the soil with ocean nutrients not found in dry land-locked environments.

The Acadian Forest is something of a transition between the evergreen boreal forests of the North and the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence hardwood forests to the south-east. It is comprised of two eco-regions - the Bay of Fundy spruce-fir coastal zone, and the maritime uplands sugar maple-yellow birch-fir zone. In its natural state it is dominated by red spruce, balsam fir, sugar maple and yellow birch, with a smaller percentage of larch, pine, aspen, beech and other hardwoods.

Most of the trees in the park today are less than 80 years old. Due to some selective logging in the early years, there are many stands of uneven-aged trees where natural regeneration was allowed to take place. But the predominantly softwood forests have been gradually replaced with a mixed forest of birch, balsam and spruce.

 

The forest areas can be explored by hiking trail. The 3.4 kilometre Caribou Plains Trail goes through a variety of habitats, from a coniferous stand, past a beaver pond, across one of the few bogs in Fundy National Park and back through a hardwood ridge; and, each area has its own variety of plants and birds to observe.

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