When to visit New Brunswick for the top activities

by W. Andrew Powell
Fownes Head Lookout at Fundy Trail Parkway

New Brunswick is an excellent outdoor vacation destination any time of year. There’s no wrong time to visit. But there are a few months that offer a bit more.

Read on for my top tips on when to visit New Brunswick, and if you’re looking for NB road trip tips: read the full New Brunswick road trip guide.

The best seasons for road trips in New Brunswick

St. Martins village, New Brunswick
St. Martins village, New Brunswick

If you’re planning a road trip around New Brunswick, the best time to visit is between the start of June and the end of October.

Between those months you can go camping, explore hiking trails, and enjoy a number of activities that are only open during peak season and the start of fall.

If you’re hoping to swim, go boating or kayaking, and enjoy peak festival season in NB, then the best months to visit are between June and late September, when the most places are open for travellers.

In some areas, smaller hotels, restaurants, and even stores may shut down for the fall and winter when there are less visitors, and that includes places like Shediac, St. Andrews By-The-Sea, and rural areas along the Saint John River.

As well, during the summer months and around the ocean, you can also find whale watching, water skiing, and of course there are also bike trails, to name just a few ideas.

If you don’t care about swimming and boating, fall is a quieter time in the province, and it’s beautiful from late September until the first week or so of October. Across the province you’ll see incredible colours, especially around Sussex, the Bay of Fundy, and so many other valleys and regions across the province.

Winter road trips are definitely possible, and there’s a lot to do in the province, like cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, skating, and other snowy activities. However you should plan ahead and be sure that your vehicle has winter tires, as it can get slippery and treacherous in places from December until March.

Spring in New Brunswick

St. Andrews By-The-Sea
St. Andrews By-The-Sea

Last, but not least, let’s talk about spring.

Spring may officially start in Canada around the end of March, but it can take a number of weeks for many parts of New Brunswick to melt and blossom.

While January to March can be icy, April to the end of May can be wet in many areas. It’s always hard to predict the weather each spring, but if you’re planning an outdoor trip to New Brunswick in these months, you should have layers, and plan to have good boots and an umbrella or waterproof outerwear.

There is a lot to do in spring though, so it’s a fun time to visit if you don’t mind a little wet. Maple syrup starts flowing throughout the early spring, and there are a number of maple syrup farms around the province.

Depending on the weather, late May and early June are also great for picking a New Brunswick delicacy: fiddleheads.

The furled fronds pop up along the Saint John River, and they’re excellent grilled or boiled. Just a note though, if you haven’t picked fiddleheads before, you’ll need someone to help you get started so you can identify the right plant, and know how to clean and cook them. When they’re cooked properly, fiddleheads are delicious, but they do have toxins in them when they’re raw, so you need to be careful.

Around the province you’ll also find fishing, farmers markets, as well as theatre, concerts, and of course, shopping, so don’t rule out a spring road trip in NB, just be prepared.

More information

Looking for festivals in New Brunswick? Visit the Tourism New Brunswick website.

For more information on planning your trip you should also visit Fredericton Tourism, Discover Saint John, and Experience Moncton.

Want to get a look at one of my trips? Watch my New Brunswick road trip video.

Looking for more travel stories? Visit our Canadian Travel Guide for ideas across the country.

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