Will find unique opportunities to pursue their
hobbies. Unusual natural lighting effects, picturesque vistas of seacliffs and
quiet coves, quaint fishing villages huddling in the lee of protective coves,
gingerbread Victorian architecture, cascades of wild flowers, and spectacular
sunsets and sunrises over the sea.
Whether you're a naturalist,
photographer or plain just like flowers in a natural setting you'll enjoy the
profusion of wildflowers found on Grand Manan from late Spring until early
fall. Fields of wild lupins devils paintbrush, and wild roses
cascades of delicate woodland species
rare seaside species
their time and season greet and dazzle the eye.
Situated on a major Eastern flyway, the Grand
Manan Archipelago is renowned as a bird watcher's paradise. Over 338 species
have been reliably identified, 131 of which have been found breeding here since
While "birding" is a year round past time for many
Islanders, the best times for visitors are the Spring migratory period ( early
April to early June ), followed by the Summer nesting season and the fall
migratory period. The latter actually begins in late August when many
shorebirds return from nesting in high Arctic regions.
Tourism Grand Manan publishes " GRAND MANAN BIRDS ", a
comprehensive guide to the occurrence, breeding, etc. of all species, plus a
field check list. Compiled by Brian Dalzell, a local naturalist, it is
available locally. Guided nature tours are also available and reservations can
be made through your hosts. Seabird enthusiasts should watch while crossing on
the ferry or consider whale watching tours.
This island, outermost of the Grand Manan group,
is the southernmost breeding site of North Atlantic Puffin. In addition
Razorbill Auks and Arctic Terns breed on this remote, rocky island. While they
begin arriving in late May, actual breeding and nesting activities usually
commence in mid-June. Seawatch tours take visitors to Machias Seal Island from
the Seal Cove Wharf, Monday through Saturday, LATE JUNE THROUGH EARLY AUGUST,
weather permitting. Reservations are required and can be made through your host
or by calling Seawatch directly, Machias Seal Island is a Canadian Migratory
Bird Sanctuary maintained by the Canadian Wildlife Service and restricts the
number of daily visitors during the seabird breeding period.
There are more than 18 interesting and well
marked trails on Grand Manan covering approximately 70 kilometers of shoreline,
cliffside and beaches, that can be hiked or cycled. These vary in length from
as little as 30 minutes to day long to overnight. Detailed descriptions, with
section maps, can be found in HERITAGE TRAILS AND FOOTPATHS ON GRAND MANAN
ISLAND, published by Tourism Grand Manan and available locally. FRIENDS OF
GRAND MANAN TRAILS is a volunteer organization dedicated to trail preservation.
Find out how you can contribute by contacting Don Baldwin, Seal Cove, EOG-3BO.
Bicycles can be rented locally.
The particular geology of
Grand Manan, part volcanic basalt ( Triassic period ) and part
sedimentary-metamorphic ( palaeolithic/Precambrian ), creates a unique
opportunity for visitors interested in rockhounding. Amethyst, agate and copper
are common finds. Areas of particular interest are at Whale Cove ( the Seven
Days Work formation ), Red Point Beach at low tide ( point of geological
contact ) and White Head Island.
The only other inhibited island in the Grand
Manan Archipelago, White Head is a satellite of our Island society. Here a
small number of families, primarily fishermen, have lived for two hundred
years. This island is unique in many ways, with quiet coves, ideal overviews of
weir fishing operations, plus flora and fauna not seen on the main island. A
small car ferry from Ingall's Head provides six round trips daily. Some
accommodation is available on the island or you can return to Grand Manan on
the last ferry at 4:30 p.m.
Paddle the rich waters of the
Bay of Fundy and see exciting marine life, weir fishing and even whales, seals
and seabirds at close quarters. Trips range from easy to challenging but be
aware of the tides, fishing boats and whale watching regulations. Kayak rental
and guided trips can be arranged through your host or directly with tour
The mouth of the Bay of Fundy, including the
Fundy Isles, is a haven to these large, magnificent mammals. Attracted by large
schools of fish and zooplankton moving into the Bay, these leviathans of the
deep also find a natural habitat for nursing their young, courtship and mating.
Finback, Humpback and Minke Whales, and rare North Atlantic Right Whales,
abound around Grand Manan and can sometimes be seen from shore. Harbour
Porpoises and occasionally Atlantic White-sided Dolphins can be seen from the
ferry and from lookouts on shore.
Whale & Seabird
Research Station in North Head offers an interpretative centre of Bay of Fundy
marine fauna, including whales, porpoises and seals, through biological and
photographic displays. Researchers are available to answer any
Several tour boats offer day trios, weather
permitting, JULY THROUGH SEPTEMBER. Reservations are required and can be made
through your hosts or directly with the tour company, for an unforgettable
adventure on the high seas.
The fisheries of Grand Manan
are and have always been the mainstay of our island
Both inshore and deep water lobstering are major
contributors during the late Fall, Winter and Spring seasons. The tidal lobster
pounds at Woodward's Cove and between Ross Island and the main island
collectively represent one of the world's largest lobster holding centres. Live
Lobsters from all Atlantic Provinces and Maine are shipped here and held for
future shipment to both North America and world markets.
Our herring weir fishery is one of the largest
in the Bay of Fundy, both for sardines and large herring. During recent years
much of the catch of large herring has been sold "over the side" to foreign
factory/freezer ships for export. SMOKED HERRING is perhaps the oldest
traditional fishery on the island. Cured, hard smoked herring (bloaters) and
herring fillets provide a valuable food source that will keep for months
without refrigeration. The various smoke stand operations usually begin in late
July when the first herring are seined from the weirs and continue into the
Fall and Winter months. Once a mainstay of our fishing economy this trade has
declined in recent years with the advent of better refrigeration methods. Most
of the smoke stands still in operation welcome visitors.
Seining, dragging ( or trawling ), handlining and gill
netting of fish, and scallop dragging are also important sectors of our fishing
industry. Digging clams, picking periwinkles, and dragging for sea urchins and
shrimp supplement fishing incomes. The Seafood Aquaculture industry is growing
rapidly and at present a number of sea cages for Atlantic Salmon can be seen
around the island.
Excellent descriptions of the various
methods of fishing can be found in Eric Allaby's book " GRAND MANAN " published
by the museum in 1984 and again in 1994. Copies are available at the museum and
from Island merchants.
Grand Manan IS the dulse capital of the world.
This edible seaweed, known locally as Dark Harbour Dulse, is hand picked at low
tide on the Western side of the Island, landed at Dark Harbour, sun dried and
packaged for export as a condiment and seasoning. Some dulse is also picked on
the eastern side of the Island. Visitors can see the drying operations at
various locations around the Island. Try it the way most Islanders prefer it,
as a snack food, fresh dried and eaten with the fingers. Nori, a thin seaweed
used for sushi and sushimi, is now also harvested at low water and exported to
Japan and other locations.
Centrally located in Grand Harbour, our Museum
offers the Allen L. Memorial Bird Collection, the McLaughlin Marine Gallery, a
display of Island geology, plus historical artifacts, archives and genealogical
records. Truly a " Living Reflection of Island History".
GRAND MANAN-PAST AND PRESENT is an interesting and
informative series of films, slide shows, talks and demonstrations about Grand
Manan, it's unique life-style, history, natural features and industry, held on
Tuesday and Thursday evenings in July and August. Also watch for special "rainy
day " programs in the afternoons. The Museum is open daily from mid-June
through the end of September. Tours for groups can also be arranged.
The Moses Memorial Bird
Collection at the Grand Manan Museum in Grand Harbour is an excellence resource
for serious birders. It was donated to the people of Grand Manan by the late
Allen L Moses ( 1881-1953 ) famed "Island Bird Man" who spent a lifetime
observing and collecting valuable specimens for both Canadian and U.S. museums.
Locally grown, freshly
harvested produce plus fresh and smoked fish, home baking and preserves, and
local crafts are available every Saturday morning at our Farmers Market in
North Head, from mid-June until late-September. GET THERE EARLY FOR THE BEST
July 1st is Canada's Birthday
and each year the Village of Seal Cove, at the south end of Grand Manan, hosts
a three day CANADA DAYS CELEBRATION to honor our country's founding. Old time
events such as greasy pole races, scallop shucking contests, village suppers
and children's fancy dress parades highlight the program. EVERYBODY IS WELCOME!
Grand Harbour and North Head also have Canada Day celebrations. Events are
usually advertised or ask your hosts for information.
Sponsored by the Rotary Club
of Grand Manan Island during the first week of August, our Rotary Festival is
an annual community celebration and a highlight of the Summer season. This five
day event features sports events, entertainment, midway rides and games,
exhibits and crafts displays, children's events, etc., plus a street parade,
lobster roll supper and fireworks on Saturday, and one of our special Rotary
Barbecues and a Gospel Singspiration on Sunday. GREAT FAMILY FUN FOR EVERYONE.
DON'T MISS IT !!!!
THE ANCHORAGE PROVINCIAL PARK, located between
Grand Harbour and Seal Cove, offers supervised camping sites on a seasonal
basis, with sanitary and cooking facilities, trailer dumping station, etc.
There is also a large seaside picnic area, as well as the Anchorage Beach and
the Long Pond Migratory Bird Sanctuary.
There are also
many secluded coves and glades around the Island, plus a government picnic park
at Castalia Beach, suitable for family picnics and outings. If your site
appears to be on private land, please seek the owner's permission when
possible. Most are very cooperative. DON'T FORGET TO CLEAN UP YOUR PICNIC SITE
BEFORE YOU LEAVE IT.