Provincial Archives of New Brunswick
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Canoeing on the River: Excitements and Pleasures of a trip down the Upper St. John

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Click to view full-size image - 30KBAndover and Perth' the twin towns' are joined by both railway and highway bridges' and are splendid points at which to fit out for fishing or camping expeditions to any of the many resorts in the neighborhood.

Between Andover and Woodstock the river' though its general course is north and south' winds east and west and west and east is a series of gentle curves'Click to view full-size image - 44KB traversing a beautiful country' the garden of New Brunswick.Click to view full-size image - 51KB Indeed' the whole journey to Fredericton is through a fertile and well-cultivated land. Woods are seen only in the distance. Most of the land is cleared and under cultivation. That it yields profitable returns the general appearances of the farm buildings show.There are no tumble-down houses' and no deserted homes. All dwellings and outbuildings are kept well painted and many of them are models of architectural beauty. These fine houses and well kept farms convey to the mind a far better idea of the general prosperity than could columns of statistics on the yield of the farms. The small towns along the river bank-Kent' Bristol' Florenceville' Hartland and Upper Woodstock-all reflect in their buildings and stores the prosperity of the farmers' while Woodstock itself is a hive of industry' a live' go-ahead town' where the canoeist will want to spend time and money' and where if not camping' he will find in the Carlisle a hotel that will meet all the requirements.

Click to view full-size image - 38KBAt Florenceville and at WoodstockClick to view full-size image - 39KB there are high hills that will well repay climbing for the magnificent views they give both up and down stream' views in which the river is seen like a silver thread winding for miles through the rich and fertile country with its alternate patches of dark green forest and light' waiving grain.

Down river the canoes steadily make their way'Click to view full-size image - 31KB the canoeists finding enjoyment in every minute of the trip. Now it is the scenery. Perhaps one can see for miles down the stream' or perhaps it is but a short distance till a bend shuts out the view. Again all attention is taken with the river itself. Maybe there are rocks to clear' or rapids to pass' or perhaps it is only a shallow spot where the water runs like a mill race over the clear white stones on the bottom that seem to be moving up stream with great speed. There is a strange fascination in watching the pebbles' which can be plainly seen through the clear water. Sometimes all attention is directed to the going back and forth of one of the quaint wire ferries' of which there are many in this section' or it may be that the interest centers in the maneuvering of a log raft or a deal raft.Click to view full-size image - 25KB Our party caught up with one of these on the first day out' hauled the canoes on board and rode for several miles' the current carrying us along at about five miles an hour. Interesting it was to see the skill and dexterity with which the three men in charge handled the big' unwieldy craft' using a sweep at one end and a rudder at the other. The pilot knew the channel' every inch of it' and where the channel crosses the river there were those curious contrivances' wing dams' to send him scooting over to the other shore. When making this canoe trip don't fail to chum with any raftsmen encountered' for a few miles of the trip made on their craft will prove a decided novelty' and the experience will be greatly enjoyed' particularly if some quick water is traversed.

From Woodstock to Fredericton' 63 miles there are more islands than above. The current is everywhere swift' but the only heavy rapids are the Meductic.Click to view full-size image - 42KB These are the wildest met with on the whole journey' and the water below them runs very swiftly for a mile or more. They may be safely run by keeping well to the right-hand shore' for there the descent is easy and there are no rocks. At Hawkshaw' a few miles below Meductic'Click to view full-size image - 65KB the canoeist gets a sight of the Pokiok falls' as wild a gorge and as pretty a fall and rapid as is to be seen anywhere in the province. One comes on it suddenly' and it is only for the moment that the canoeists are opposite the gorge that this truly beautiful sight is enjoyed. At the Nackawick bend the canoeist enters a stretch or reach exactly the same length as the Long Reach' eighteen miles' but containing islands' along the shores of which the current sometimes runs with great rapidity. In this stretch' in fact' anywhere between Woodstock and Frederickton' quaint tow boats are seen. These are hauled up stream by teams of horses driven along the bank' a long tow rope enabling the crew to guide their boat. When the channel crosses the river' the horses have to wade or swim. About twenty miles can be made in a day. As there is no railroad in this section' it is practically the only means of transport. At the foot of the reach the river makes a right-angle turn' and there is a nine-mile trip through slack water before the final stage of this wonderful journey is reached-the stage through the numerous islands that stud the river a few miles above Fredericton. It is a section as interesting as any portion of the trip' yet one is glad to see ahead the bridges and the tall spires of Fredericton' and to hear the hail of friends as he passes the summer cottages at Pine Bluff' the Beeches' Kaskiseboo and the other pretty camps that line the river banks above the capital.

Additional Scenes from the upper St. John River...

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More historical images of New Brunswick...

Introduction  Page 1  Page 2  Page 3  Page 4  Page 5