Exploring Beaubears Island

Since 2016, nearly 70,000 guests have participated in programming provided by the Friends of Beaubears Island Inc. This year the doors of the Interpretive Centre will be open Wednesday to Sunday beginning June 17.

All of our programs will be offered to one ‘bubble’ at a time. Multiple guides will be onsite to facilitate time staggered tours, should more than one ‘bubble’ arrive at one time. With that in mind, we strongly encourage you to visit our website (www.beaubearsisland.com) and book your experience in advance by paying online.

Our ferry service, and access to our restored trail network will be a centerpiece in our on-Island programming. Our new boat, The Rustler, will provide ferry service from 10am to 4pm, Wednesday to Sunday.

In an effort to promote local patronage, spurred on by hearing that so many Miramichiers have never visited the Island, we’ll launch a “first-timer” promotion, that will see locals get a discount (10%) on the ferry.

Join a guide for a 45-minute tour of the Island and hear the stories of the many communities which called the Island home for centuries. Hear the harrowing story of the Acadian Expulsion, of Camp D’Ésperance, and of the great tragedy that followed. As you look on the last vestiges of the Island’s shipyard, take a moment to step back in time when the sound of auger, saw, and file were heard plainly among the pines.

Our “Tours Through Time” historic journey makes history come alive Sundays at 2pm beginning July 5.

Our characters will take you on a personal journey through the past. Hear the anguished cry of the Acadians, bowed but unbroken in their struggle to survive. Visit with Scottish settler William Davidson, fighting to retain his business interests in the midst of war. Converse with Island residents about the fate of the shipyard, and the vessels that it produced. This year, the stories will be so engaging that you might find yourself with a part to play as well.

NEW – Trail-based Nature Experiences
We are excited to announce a twice weekly trail-based nature experience this year, focusing on the Beaubears Island ecosystem. These half day excursions will take place from 10-12pm and 1-3pm, and attempt to take a holistic view towards relational ecology, paying particular attention to biological associations, particularly across species and between the plant and animal kingdoms.

Beaubears Trees are Forever – A program on forest regeneration, will be held on Thursdays (July 2-Sept. 24) and speak to the continual regeneration that takes place on the island, and the activities of red squirrels and eastern moose, among others.

Environmental Ecology – join us for this Friday morning excursion (July 3 – Sep 25) which looks at how the botanical life on the Island relates to and communicates with one another.

The Micro-Forest – The 300 million year-old history of the Island will be explored on Fridays at 1pm in a program dealing with which will place greater focus on mosses, ferns, and lichens. Both programs are available only through prior reservation and are limited to a single group of not more than six people.

Take a Hike!

The island features 6 km of restored historic trails. For a self-guided experience you can take a ferry service from the Interpretive Centre to the island ($10/adult). Marvel at the lofty pines which have stood sentinel for more than two centuries, and keep watch for the Island’s wildlife, including our family of bald eagles. View the remnants of the 19th century shipyard, and the foundations of several buildings. Maps and Flora/fauna guides are provided at no charge (allow 60-90 minutes).

The unique ecosystem on the Island, uninhabited for more than a century, is sure to be a quiet refuge from stressful times, with an opportunity to bathe in the fresh air abounding in our old-growth forest. With more than 50 different species of birds seen on the Island each season, and over 300 species of vascular plants, it’s always fulfilling to witness life returning to its annual abundance while strolling among the sentinel pines.

For more information on tours, to book your place, or for other events during the summer, call the Interpretive Centre at 622-8526 or visit www.beaubearsisland.com.

This article was first featured in the 2020-2021 Mighty Miramichi River Guide.

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