Welcome to the Sentier Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail!

river
Photo: The Nepisiguit River,
New Brunswick, Canada

Photo provided by Rod O’Connell
October, 2005

INTRODUCTION

Resulting from two presentations made by Rod O’Connell in March 2008, on a plan to re-vitalize the Mi’maq Trail, the “Friends of the Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail” was established. The mission of “Friends of the Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail” is to bring the Mi’gmaq Trail to a useable hiking readiness. The long term plan is to initiate a continuous maintenance program and to establish a link between Bathurst and Mount Carleton.

FRIENDS OF THE NEPISIGUIT MI’GMAQ TRAIL

The “Friends of the Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail” involves volunteers in maintaining and promoting the Trail.
Chairperson: Duties: Develops with the co-operation of the Secretary/Treasurer the agendas for meetings and chairs such meetings. Serves as spokesperson for the group. Also monitors and co-ordinates the activities of executive and members-at-large. With the Secretary/Treasurer, represents the “Friends” at the Chaleur Network Association meetings.

Rod O’Connell has volunteered to serve in this capacity. He will also serve as Project Director for the establishment of new trails in Sections 5 & 6. If you can help or want to volunteer as Trail Master for Section 5 or 6, please e-mail us.

Secretary/Treasurer: Duties: Records, prepares and distributes the minutes of all meetings. Assists the Chairperson in preparing the agenda for meetings, and distributes to members-at-large. Prepares general correspondence. Maintains accurate financial records and reports on financial matters. Seeks ways to obtain funds for the Trail. Prepares and distributes press release for major events. Maintains the web site.

Jamie DeGrace has volunteered to serve as Secretary/Treasurer. He will also serve in the capacity as Project Director for Section 1 or part of Section 1. We are looking for volunteers to serve as Section Trail Master. Please e-mail us.

Director of Cartography and GPS: Duties: Produces and maintains up-to-date descriptions and maps of the Trail. Co-ordinates the GPS tracking of the Trail or any new location or relocation of the Trail. Forwards digital maps for updates to the Web Site.

Karl Branch has volunteered for this position and is producing great maps for the Web Site. Check it out!

Director of Water Routes, Wilderness Camping and Portages: Duties: Oversees access to Water Routes, development and maintenance of Wilderness Campsites & Portages. Coordinates the Water Routes with the Land Routes.

Gerald LeBlanc, with the assistance of his wife Debbie, has volunteered for this position. Anyone who wants to volunteer in any aspect regarding the Water Routes, please e-mail us.

Section Trail Masters: Duties: Oversees the Trail inspection for the Trail Section. Coordinates trail maintenance outings for their section. Reports trail conditions to the Secretary/Treasure for updates to the web site. Contacts volunteers for trail maintenance.

Jonathan DeGrace has volunteered for Trail Master for Section 8. He has also volunteered for help in the mapping and GPS aspect of the Trail.

Roger Picot has volunteered as Trail Master for Section 7.

We are looking for volunteers for Trail Masters of Section 6, 5 & 4.

Bruno Haché has volunteered as Trail Master for Section 3.

We are looking for Trail Masters for Sections 2 & 1

Adam Peter-Paul has volunteered to serve as the Pabineau First Nation representative.

Gilles Godin has volunteered to serve as the Point Daly representative.

Moe Belland has volunteered as a Resource Person – Geology & History.

We are looking for representatives re: Fishing interest, Tourist outfitters.

We have a number of people who have indicated at the last presentation made on March 31, 2008, that they are willing to serve in the capacity of “cleaning/labour”. Please contact us and let us know if you want your name to appear on the web page as a contact “general resource person”.

In addition to the above volunteer jobs, we are always looking for volunteers to help us in any manner possible. Please contact us.

GENERAL MAP
A general map from “Bathurst to Mount Carleton” can be viewed. The is in the PDF format and is a fairly large file (around 7 mb), therefore, be patient, give it time to download.

Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail – Proposed Route from Bathurst to Mt. Carleton
This map shows the proposed trail, including existing sections of the Mi’gmaq Trail and proposed changes to certain sections. It also includes proposed link to the NB Trails and the Bathurst area trails and Daly Point Reserve. At the other end, it shows the proposed link to Mount Carleton Provincial Park and the International Appalachian Trail. It is very important to point out that these are proposed links only and any changes or links with the Mi’gmaq Trail will need prior approval by the appropriate land owners. Therefore the actual lines on the map are proposed only and are not an actual trail. The location of the proposed changes could also be altered.

CONDITION OF THE TRAIL
Although the Mi’gmaq trail was brushed out from Pabineau Falls to Mount Carleton in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Trail in its present condition is not recommended for hiking.  We do not recommend using the Trail before inspection of the Trail is done and reported on the Web Site.  As Sections are inspected and worked on, progress reports will be posted.

WHAT TO EXPECT
This Trail is a pedestrian trail only. The Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail will be maintained as a hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing and bushwhack skiing trail. In most sections, the Trail is too rough for any other use. It is also a waterway trail. Certain sections will also include portages and wilderness camping for canoers. This is a wilderness trail, so use at your own risk. Although the Trail is divided into approximately 20 km sections, do not expect to do more than 2 to 3 km per hour. As the Trail is cleaned, estimated times will be posted, depending on the condition of the terrain. Certain sections have limited exit points and this must be taken into account when planning your excursion. Other sections will have more exit points and easier access, making it ideal for a family day excursion. This is a true wilderness trail. It crosses streams, rocks and trees. Where windfalls have completely fallen to the ground and lie across the trail, more often than not, the tree will be left to rot and the hiker will have to climb over. In the spring, consider that spring runoffs will swell streams and the banks of the Nepisiguit River. This will cause parts of the trail to become inaccessible. In the summer, flies can be a problem. June is usually the worst month for black flies and mosquitoes. July may have less black flies and mosquitoes, but the horse flies usually joins the party. In some areas, even sand flies can be a nuisance. Sunrise and sunset are the worse periods of the day for flies. The fall is the most attractive time to hike. The fall colours are at their best from mid-September to mid-October. The days are shorter and the evenings can be cold. Plan your trip so as not to get caught out on the trail after dark. The twilight zone is shorter in the fall.

WILDLIFE
Remember your are in a wilderness area and can expect to see wildlife. Respect wildlife that you may encounter. Your are only visitors in their territory. The largest animals that you may see are black bear, moose and deer. However, it is home to other animals such as lynx, coyote, fox, beaver, mink, fisher, marten and weasel. A wide variety of birds also breed and migrate through the area. Animals and flies are attracted by smell. Use soaps, deodorants and shampoos with no scents. To avoid animal problems, never leave or bury any food. If camping, stow all things that might attract animals including cooking utensils in a bag. This bag should be hung over a tree branch located a distance from your tent and at least 3m (10 feet) off the ground.

LOW IMPACT VISITOR
Be a low-impact Hiker/Canoer. Hike only along marked trails and portages. Do not take short cuts. Leave flowers and plants for others to enjoy. Do not damage trees or strip off bark. Leave the Trail cleaner than you found it. What you carry in, you must carry out. Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints. Sections of the Trail are located in a Protected Natural Area and a Provincial Park. Open fires are prohibited. Forest fire risks are too great and the gathering of firewood very destructive. All cooking should be done over a lightweight portable stove.

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