Mount Carleton Provincial Park- Exploring Four Seasons in the Canadian Appalachian Experience | Stories | Explore New Brunswick's Provincial Parks | NB Parks

Mount Carleton Provincial Park- Exploring Four Seasons in the Canadian Appalachian Experience

By Parcs NB Parks ; Posted on January 4 2024 ; Read Time: 7 min

No matter the time of year, when the gate at Mount Carleton Provincial Park opens, you can’t help but feel a sense of freedom with 42,000 acres ahead of you. Whether you’re arriving at the park with family, friends, a community group or visiting us alone, your adventure begins here.

Winter at Mount Carleton- Bundle up!

The Winter season brings a whole new look to Mount Carleton Provincial Park. A glittery blanket of fresh snow is like a full makeover that invites many winter-loving Canadians for everything from snowmobiling to snowshoeing. Whether you enjoy the thrill of fresh powder under your treads or the crunch of snow under your snowshoes, Mount Carleton is the place to be this Winter.

What you can expect to experience at Mount Carleton this winter:

  • Ice Fishing: Fishing license is required, bring your own gear, the lake will bring the fish!
  •         Ask our staff where you can get your license.
  • Skating: Bring your own skates.
  • Snowmobiling: Bring your own snowmobile or hop on with a friend!
  • Cross-Country Skiing: Skis available to borrow from the Lodge-Café
  • Snowshoeing: Snowshoes are also available to borrow from the Lodge-Café
  • Sliding Hill: Bring your own sled and helmet and we will show you the way!
  • Hiking: Mount Bailey is the only summit trail open and maintained for snowshoeing and hiking in the winter months.
  • Special Events like Family Day: Celebrated in the park on February 17, 2024 and February 15, 2025 (Check the Facebook page or website for all park event details).
  • Day use areas for fires: Firewood and everything you need for a fire can be purchased at the Lodge-Café. Bring your own fire-starting skills.
  • Winter Camping: This can be booked through the park directly at 506-235-0793 or by visiting the front gate. Be sure to prepare for our cold, mountain weather by reading this article: Winter Camping, are you in?
  • Warm drinks at the lodge-café: Check the Facebook page or website for Lodge-Café hours.

For more information on any of these park activities and events or to check trail statuses, you can visit the Facebook page or website. Our park closes on March 31, 2024 so we can begin our spring trail clean up!

Spring at Mount Carleton- Mind the Mud!

As the snow melts away and the sun starts to shine longer, Mount Carleton Provincial Park becomes a welcoming breath of new beginnings. Our trees are re-growing their leaves and our mountain views become full and are ready for hiking again. Each year, our park closes on March 31st to prepare for the transition from Winter to Spring. The length of time our Spring clean up takes can depend on how reluctant Winter is to take its leave. Sometimes the snow likes to linger up here in the mountains.

While closed, our park staff get to work clearing up any fallen trees and branches to ensure a smooth, but not too easy of course, hiking season when we welcome visitors back into our park.

This down time is the perfect opportunity to plan your spring/summer camping adventure as our reservation system is open and ready. When our park does re-open its gates, it’s important to remember that some trails may require more time to clean up than others, so be sure to check our website and social media pages to plan your hiking adventure.

Another important safety precaution to keep in mind is that some of our permanent park residents are well rested and ready to rejoin us bright eyed and bushy tailed.

We recommend following many of the same hiking tips as in the Fall only this time of year, our most irritating resident awaken so bring all of your bug spray! The trails are also kind of muddy this time of year, so to avoid your hike ending in a slip and slide adventure, be sure to bring appropriate footwear.

Summer at Mount Carleton- Here comes the sun!

Summer camping adventures are in full swing with our cabins open and visits from the Astrological Society of Canada for star parties! Hiking is at its peak season, if you don’t mind sharing the trails with mosquitos, and our lakes are just the right temperature to cool off after a long day of climbing mountains.

Over the summer you can enjoy a number of special activities including our annual wilderness survival workshop offered by the Department of Natural Resources. This workshop will prepare you for the Canadian Appalachian Experience with tips on what to do when lost, compass use, and hiking first aid overview (not certification). Keep an eye on our Facebook and Website for dates.

You won’t want to miss Parks Day at Mount Carleton! Although dogs are very welcome in our park on a leash every day, on parks day your furry friend is the VIP! We welcome pets with gifts and treats and of course pats if they want them! They take over the park and hike the trails with their besties in tow (that’s you).

Don’t have a pet? That’s ok! Come enjoy the park with others’ furry friends and stay tuned to our website and Facebook to find out what we have planned for our human visitors as well!

Fall at Mount Carleton- There is beauty in change!

What better way to experience the Fall colours than from the highest peak in the Maritimes? New Brunswick is known for Fall colours and we love to proudly display the beauty of our province to the rest of the world, inviting people from near and far to experience nature’s work of art. Climbing to the summit of Mount Carleton is a must during the Fall colours season but there is more to do in the fall! Our park offers 13 trails, four of which are summit trails offering expansive views. Be sure to find your way to Williams Falls to enjoy our little waterfall as well!

With fall comes shorter daylight hours, so we want to offer a few hiking tips for this time of year:

  1. We require all day-pass hikers to check with staff at the front gate. We want to ensure you have enough daylight hours to safely return from your hike. When planning your trip, take a look at our social media page for hiking time guidance and recommended latest start times each day.
  2. Dress in layers. This time of year the weather can change in minutes and those mountain peaks can be pretty chilly! That being said, you’ll want the option to shed some layers to avoid damp, sweaty clothing. This is a tip that should be followed all year round.
  3. Bring a camera! You will want to capture the beauty along the way. Your cell phone will work for photos too but remember, that’s pretty much all it is good for here in our park. Mount Carleton fully disconnects and pulls you into nature as it is considered a “coverage hole” (no-service area).

Tips for animal safety as some of our furry friends are heading for their long winter nap:

  1. Keep your ears open. It’s sometimes tempting to put your earbuds in and listen to music while hiking but you can never be sure your taste in music will align with that of our animals.
  2. Hike in pairs or groups, maybe choose your hiking companions based on how appetizing they may look to bears, we don’t judge.
  3. Pets must be on a leash at all times in the park. Dogs are friends, not food and we would like to keep it that way!
  4. Pack out anything you might bring with you. If you wouldn’t toss it on the floor at your Mom’s house, don’t leave it on our furry friends’ floor either!

Pitch a tent and stick around for the cooler nights and dark skies or visit during our first Fall season event, Seek the Highest Peak! Fall camping reservations can be made by calling the park directly at 506-235-0793.

With so much happening at Mount Carleton all year round, there is something for everyone and you’re invited!


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