Discover the Loop Scenic Drive: Your Guide to Destination Nackawic
Summer is the perfect time of year to hit the open road and explore the stunning sights of Destination Nackawic! Stretching out across Routes 102 and 105 along the shores of the Saint John River, the Loop Scenic Drive allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, while showcasing some of the most beautiful landscapes that New Brunswick has to offer. At a brisk 75-minutes, the picturesque route offers breathtaking vistas and lookout points, making it an ideal option for a leisurely Sunday drive or a tranquil weekend escape. That said, the real magic happens when you stop along the way.
WIDE OPEN SPACES
As you navigate the lush forests, rocky cliffs and sparkling rivers along the Loop Scenic Drive, you’ll find our nature hard to resist. To take a deeper look and stretch your legs, visit the Shogomoc Walking Bridge on the western-most tip of the Drive. Spanning 265 feet, the bridge is located along the stunning Saint John River, at the mouth of Shogomoc Stream, just 4.52 km southwest of Nackawic. Part of both the Trans Canada Trail and the Sentier NB Trail, this iconic bridge is a must-see destination for nature lovers. What’s more, visits during low water levels may reveal some truly beautiful waterfall views.
If the water levels are high, head south on Route 102 to find the Big Pokiok Nature Park and another Destination Nackawic gem for hikers of all abilities. One of the park’s main attractions, the rocky Pokiok Stream boasts several small waterfalls, while you can take a dip in the refreshing waters on a hot summer day. If you’re travelling with a canoe or kayak, take the 4×4 road to the Pokiok Deadwater to launch your boat amid stunning views. The park’s various walking trails also offer different forest types to explore, from mainly softwood on the Hiker’s Dream Trail to the hardwood ridge on the Beechnut Trail. The Partridge Trail takes visitors through a cedar swamp, while several mixed wood stands throughout the park provide unique views of the forest
GET INTO THE SWING OF THINGS
For those who prefer a walk with clubs in tow, head north on the Loop Scenic Drive to experience one of the best golf experiences in the province at the Nackawic Golf & Country Club. This beautiful nine-hole, tree-lined course offers challenges for golfers of various skill levels and is an excellent detour that embodies New Brunswick’s pride in the great outdoors and its friendly, supportive culture. The Club’s on-site restaurant is also a staple meeting place in the community, and a great way to tee-up the perfect meal in Destination Nackawic.
By this time, you’ve surely worked up quite the thirst. Located at the heart of the Loop Scenic Drive on Route 105, Big Axe Brewery is renowned for its high-quality beer that is carefully brewed to style using specialty malts and various strains of yeast. The business leverages local to ensure the freshness of its products, whether using locally sourced ingredients or pure, untreated well water in their selection of styles, ranging from light and refreshing to rich and bold. Established in 2013, this family-run operation is devoted to welcoming folks in and showing them the best of Destination Nackawic’s hospitality. Their saloon-style taproom is easily accessible by foot, car, and offroad vehicles, providing the perfect environment regardless of if you’re looking to get some work done or kick back and enjoy some fantastic local beverages.
SERENE WATERFRONT SCENE
Situated alongside the beautiful Saint John River, Big Axe is also accessible by boat, as part of the phenomenal new 54-acre recreational and tourism area on the waterfront. A true boater’s paradise, the Big Axe Marina offers a launch, docking space, fueling and washing stations, and souvenirs. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-timer, their kayak or water bike rentals are the perfect way to create unforgettable memories, and the friendly and welcoming staff at the Marina will ensure that you have everything you need to make the most of your time on the water. A treasure of the Loop Scenic Drive, the Big Axe Marina is the perfect place to enjoy solo or gather with friends, family, and fellow travelers.
Once you’ve set sail, be sure to take advantage of Destination Nackawic’s exceptional angling opportunities for both novice and expert fishers. The bass capital of the Maritimes and home to some of the world’s fattest muskies, including the legendary 51×29.75 inch Nackawic Fatty, the Mactaquac Headpond boasts a rich population that also features rainbow trout, brown trout, Atlantic sturgeon, Arctic char, and salmon. With a bass season beginning weeks ahead of the national season, locals and tourists alike flock to this region for the chance to catch trophy-sized fish and enjoy the best of freshwater angling. For those fishing for a good time, look no further.
A stone’s throw down the waterfront from the Big Axe Marina, you’ll also find the Nackawic Nature Trail. This well-maintained path winds through some of the most beautiful scenery in the area. Just under three kilometers in length, the scenic route is perfect for hikers of all abilities, offering breathtaking views and a chance to stretch your legs in the great outdoors. Expect to spend around two hours walking to and from the trailhead, taking in the stunning views of the Lower Saint John River Valley Region along the way.
SEE YOU SOON
Destination Nackawic boasts endless possibilities for summer road trips, whether you’re travelling solo or have the whole family on board. From raising a pint to hitting the links, and going for the perfect hike or swim, the Loop Scenic Drive offers unique opportunities to discover new places, bond with family and friends or perfect strangers, and see the very best of our province. So, what are you waiting for? Come explore the beauty of the Destination Nackawic Region by taking a scenic drive through the Loop!