Goose River August 12,13,14, 2005
The Crew: SherpaJeff and Shaun (aka Booyah)
Location: Fundy National Park
Fundy Park Map
Once at Fundy National Park take the Point Wolfe Road 5.5kms and turn into the Foster Brook Parking Lot. The Trailhead is obvious and is titled "Foster Brook".
Trailhead: Foster Brook
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Distance: We did a modified loop starting at Foster Brook travelling to Goose River and coming back to Foster Brook via the Shiphaven Trail and the Point Wolfe Road. The total Distance was approximately :
Foster Brook to Marven Lake Trail: 4.4KMs
Marven Lake intersection to Goose River Intersection: 2.1KMs
Goose River Intersection to Goose River: 6.7KMs
Goose River to Point Wolfe: 7.9KMs
Point Wolfe Road to Foster Brook trailhead: 1.9Kms
Shaun (aka Booyah dont ask!) and I planned this trip as an introductory foray for him. He had just graduated from University and had recently returned from a 6 week backpacking tour of Europe with his Cousin. In preparation he had purchased a spanking new Gregory pack, sleeping pad and a sleeping bag...what else do you need! Both of us work for the same outfit so we met on Friday after work in the mall parking lot and made it to the trailhead at about 8pm. Our plan for this first evening was simple and easy...hike 3.2kms in to the Foster Brook campsites just before dark so we would be ready for our next days hike to Goose River. The Foster Brook trail is well marked and generally very easy even in the dark when you have headlamps. As soon as we climbed the short hill that begins the hike the trees closed in and it became much darker instantly. The only tricky part is a rocky steep descent to the Point Wolfe River at about 1.5kms. This hill is a good if short test if done in the reverse direction. We stopped to admire the River at the junction sign before moving on. In years past this would have ended our hike and we would had to retrace our steps. Quite a few years back the Park extended the trail another Kilometer or so up the river to connect with the Rattail Campsites. (Now called Foster Brook Campsites.) This is a great improvement and the trail is very pleasurable as it is largely flat all the way until you reach the side trail that heads left down the hill past the outhouse to sites 8,9 and 10. The next day we would continue on this trail and head towards the Marven Lake Trail. I had selected site 10 for us. This site is the best of the three. You can fit three or 4 tents on this site and it has a direct, level path right to the River for gathering water. Site 9 is good as well accommodating two tents and has decent access to the river over a small ledge. Site 8 is small and very rooty and would only accommodate 1 tent. It is however, closest to the outhouse and the firewood which is located at the top of the side trail. There are a few cross trails created by campers cutting behind sites 8 and 9 to climb back up the short ridge to avoid trekking through site 8. We set up camp including the siltarp (forecast was rain in the am) in the dark with our headsets and relaxed by the fire with a few snacks. Booyah and I walked out on the rocks of the river and were able to see the stars quite well. Just before hitting the hay we went back out again and noticed that all of the stars were replaced by cloud. The forecast appeared correct.
I woke on Saturday morning to the forecasted rain. It poured and after checking that the siltarp was holding up I went back to bed and listened to the rain pound on the tent. (MSR Ventana) The rain did not let up until 9:30 am and we emerged to get a fire going and make a quick breakfast. I buy these little firestarters made of wax and woodshavings at the general store in Alma that work like a charm. They light like a candle and burn steady and hot for about 20 minutes. I always bring one for every fire I plan (for this trip 4) as they eliminate the need for paper and will light even when wet. We didn't have too far to go today so we took our time packing up and got on the trail around 11:00 am. We climbed back up the side trail and turned left continuing the Foster Brook Trail. (Take note of the faint trail heading up the ridgeline to your right. This is the now closed Rattail Trail. I through hiked this old trail with Skeeter last Winter aided by GPS. There are old markers periodically but I dont know how obvious the trail is in the Summer with the undergrowth.) No sooner than you get started the trail turns left somewhat sharply and heads to the rivers edge where we prepared to ford the cobblestones to continue on the other side. At this time of year this is very easy ford however it can be testy in the Spring. Park officials will let you know if river crossings are passable when you arrive. I would advise calling ahead if there have been heavy and recent rains. After crossing and drying our feet off we climbed the steep hillside on the other side and headed toward the Marven Lake Trail. The conditions were hot, foggy and humid after the morning rains and we needed a lot of water to stay hydrated. Once you reach the junction of the Marven Lake trail we turned left leaving the footpath for the cartpath that makes up the next section. You can walk side by side from here all the way out to Goose River and the walking is pleasant. We turned right at the Marven Lake/Goose River junction where you will note a pile of firewood most times. The park stock piles wood here before taking it in to the camp sites at Goose River, Marven and Chambers lake. We continued on decending into of 1st mile brook (very good water source) and ascended the fairly steep but short hill on the other side. After doing the same at 2nd mile brook a short while later (just as steep but longer) we stopped for some lunch. We made camp at Goose River at about 4pm.
We had selected to stay at site 7 down on the beach. There are 4 sites at Goose River, 4,5,6 and 7 with 6 and 7 down on the beach (Both really nice) and sites 4 and 5 up on the bluff. Site 4 is large but is all slightly sloped. Site 5 has a small tent pad but has a nice look off at the back side of the site. (See the Goose River July 05 photo Gallery). The water source is a small stream with a pipe between sites 4 and 5. Both sites 4 and 5 have firewood stacked near them. You must carry (about .4kms) both firewood and water to the beach sites which can be laborious. There is however a pit privy in behind site 6. The sites down on the beach are glorious in great weather and very exposed in bad. It can be very difficult to find a decent bear bag branch and most times must head back up the hill to find a decent tree. We enjoyed a great supper and a decent fire and kept warm against the mounting fog. These sites on the beach are great and you can spend hours watching the tide come and go. If you are very fortunate you will see a Moose in the marsh behind the sites. Tomorrow promised better weather and a nice easy hike back to the Exploder!
We woke up to variable skies with some sun. The Goose River inlet area can be quite spectacular when you combine mist and sun. We enjoyed a relaxing breakfast and broke camp about 9am after taking numerous photos. We hiked back along the Goose River trail retracing our footsteps all the way back to the Goose River/Marven Lake junction and stayed straight hiking the last kilometer downhill to the Point Wolfe trailhead area and picked up the Shiphaven walking trail exiting by the covered bridge. We have almost 2kms left to the car but it was all road. It was getting quite hot by the time we got back to the truck. All in all this was a great trip and Booyah became hooked on backcountry camping. This little loop gives a variety of trail conditions and scenery from river valleys to coastal beach views. This is certainly not a difficult hike but there are enough hills to keep your interest. I highly recommend both of the sites described for a first backcountry experience or if you are looking for relaxing weekend. As always email comments or questions. Check out more photos in the gallery! As always please email any comments or questions!