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spaceout Newcastle - A travel report by VK
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Newcastle,  Canada - flag Canada -  New Brunswick
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spaceout's travel reports

French Fort Cove Park

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At least once a year, the people of the area will say they witnessed the Headless Nun roaming the area. Cars will be park along the Miramichi river, and all present will be looking for the eerie lights in French Fort Cove.


French Fort Cove's Covered bridge for pedestrians only
French Fort Cove's Covered bridge for pedestrians only
To start lets talk briefly about Newcastle, which is actually a suburb of Miramichi city. In the early 1990's the main towns of Newcastle, Douglastown and Chatham got together with nearby communities to become Miramichi City. For more info about Miramichi you can read my article about that City. This article is actually mainly about the French Fort Cove Park and it's history.

Favourite spots:
One can walk on the suspended bridge across the Miramichi River
One can walk on the suspended bridge across the Miramichi River
Lets go back in time to know how this all started. A few million years ago, this area was filled with water. which was then filled with sandstone after the ice age. The Mi'kmaq Natives then settled here (many artifacts are still found here) until the white people arrived around the middle 1600. The Acadians and British fought on this ground until the wars subsided. In the early 1900, lumbering, shipbuilding and fishing became the main industries here. The Buckley Chimney is all that remains of the Lumber mill that burned down in 1922. A sandstone quarry was also opened on the cove (one can still see some chiseled rocks in cliffs and trails)around the same time period. Now the area is for leisure and recreation, as the park is open to all for picnics, long walks, and discovery of the area's history through interesting tours.

What's really great:
In the quarry, the sandstone cliffs hold treasures. Including an old urn. See top left side of pic
In the quarry, the sandstone cliffs hold treasures. Including an old urn. See top left side of pic
In the middle 1800, while the Acadians fought the British, a group of Acadians were hidden along the Miramichi River. But as they hid from their foes, they were also plagued by leprosy and scurvy. An Acadian dying widow and her son hid their valuable around French Fort Cove and only told Sister Mary Inconu and two widows where they had hidden it. Soon after the 2 widows died of scurvy therefore only Sister Mary Inconu knew about the secret treasure. One night after having helped a Mi'kmaq woman with a difficult childbirth, Sister was attacked on Crow Brook by 2 men mad with Leprosy. Sister Mary Inconu was badly beaten, but still she didn't divulge the hiding stop. The 2 men then severed her head with a sword. The body was left on the bridge to rot while the head was never found. It is said that whoever searches for the treasure encounters the ghosts of the headless nun whom beg them to find her head so she can rest in peace at last.

Sights:
A close-up of the urn in the sandstone
A close-up of the urn in the sandstone
French Fort Cove Park is a great place to experience the Acadian flora and fauna. From over 500 different plants, 92 different birds and many reptiles, insects and other, you're sure to find walking in one of the trails a rewarding experience.
The park is 130km overall, which means you should bring good shoes and water if you decided to hike all the trails. Some trails are a little more difficult than other as they are through the old quarry.
There are canoes, kayak and paddle boats for rent to explore the Miramichi River.

Accommodations:
Map of the French Fort Cove's trails
Map of the French Fort Cove's trails
Rodd Miramichi River Hotel is located in the Historic Water St district of Newcastle. Many rooms have patios and river views. See travel tips for more info.
The Wharf Inn is also very nice to stay at.

Nightlife:
Wild apples from past Acadian communities
Wild apples from past Acadian communities
The only club I know about is the Opera House on Water St. Country music is mostly played by a DJ. There are no live bands.

Restaurants:
A tiny frog
A tiny frog
There are many restaurants every where here. From PJ Billingtons's to Burger King and Mcdonald to Jungle Jim. Fresh seafood is popular as the city is situated close to the Atlantic ocean.

Other recommendations:
An old metal wheel part from one of the horse carriage used at the quarry
An old metal wheel part from one of the horse carriage used at the quarry
There isn't just the French Fort Cove Park to visit in Newcastle, but also the Ritchie Wharf Park where there are shops, outdoor entertainments and delicious foods to sample. There is also the Historic Water St to visit where there are gorgeous VIctorian houses and turn of the century buildings. There are also Farmers Markets to explore for local foods and arts. Fishing along the Miramichi River is known internationally for its salmon.

Published on Saturday September 4th, 2004


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Mon, Mar 27 2006 - 03:12 PM rating by terje

Good report

Sun, Sep 05 2004 - 06:08 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

hii vicki,
nice report indeed
ravi

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