On the way home from Portsmouth last year, we planned an overnight stop in Edmundston. We wanted to tube down the Green River, and check out Les Brasseurs de Petit Sault.
If you’ve driven to Quebec City or Montreal before, there’s a good chance you’ve passed through. But from the highway, you don’t get a good sense of the adventures hiding in the town.
We started at Les Tubes de Pont Boniface Tubing. It’s just outside Edmundston. After half a day in the car we wanted nothing more than to float down a river in the sun.
With the help of the owner, Ron, we picked out our tubes and hopped a ride 15 km up the road. A two-hour float down the river took us through trees, river bends, and gentle rapids. We waved to onlooking campers, spotted a bald eagle and soaked in the hot sun while dipping our fingers and toes in the cool, clear water.
After our ride, we grabbed a bite to eat at the on-site canteen, then headed into Edmundston to check-in.
We dropped off our bags then headed back out to Du Réel au Miniature, a train station museum. Throughout our travels these past few years, Canadian rail history has become a bit of a fascination for us.
Guy and his wife Geraldine built Du Réel au Miniature by hand, with the help of neighbours who have contributed more than 300 hours to creating this unique destination. They started in 2006, opened in 2008, and in Guy’s words, “will probably never be done.”
It’s a true passion project. Guy and Geraldine have over 6,000 pieces of train memorabilia arranged into exhibits that change every year. He has a small, fully operational train in the back that kids and adults can ride on, and a truly impressive miniature train set depicting the train stations and sights in the three Maritime provinces.
It’s all in the details. The very small, very handmade details. Like everything else in the museum, the set was built using mostly recycled and repurposed pieces. It’s a lesson in passion and sustainability as much as train history, a sight you simply must see for yourself.
On this trip we were staying at the Sheraton Edmundston, located within walking distance of the downtown. We’d heard the on-site restaurant was good and had a local tap line-up, so we ate on-site. The Petit Sault battered fish and chips paired with a pint was a great finish to the day.
The next day we drove just outside of town to the New Brunswick Botanical Gardens.
My dad is gifted when it comes to gardening. It’s a point of pride and envy for me, as my own personal gardening attempts have primarily ended in weeds, dehydration, and other unfortunate deaths. It was fun to explore the gardens with him and get his take on the horticulture.
In addition to the butterfly garden, stone fountains and statues, and lush property, there are some very cool features worth seeking out on the grounds. At the medicinal and aromatic plant garden and pavilion we sipped tea made from plants grown on-site and learned about the medicinal and nutritional uses for items in the garden. On summer weekends, you can take a workshop – topics range from homemade beauty creams to preparing flowers for cake decoration.
Next door we met well-known local wood sculptor Luc Cyr. He set up his workshop in the gardens a few years ago and you can watch him while he quickly works to carve, shape, and slice wood into captivating caricatures of historic figures and other people.
From the New Brunswick Botanical Gardens we headed to Petit-Sault, a craft brewery located right in the heart of Edmundston. We loved the nostalgia behind Petit-Sault. Their beer is bottled in vintage style “stubbies”, and local places and historic characters inspire the name and face of each brew. And those faces on their bottles and some of their tap handles were created by none other than Luc Cyr!
Our favourite in the line-up was the Kedgewick Pilsner. It’s named after a local river and is everything you could want in a summer beer.
We all wished we had more time to explore Edmundston; there was certainly more on our list, but with a five hour drive ahead of us it was time to say goodbye. We checked out, grabbed one last quick meal at the Sheraton Edmundston, then hit the road for home.
Looking for more East Coast day trips and itineraries? Try these:
8 Itineraries That Will Have You Packing Your Bags For New Brunswick
French Dining In The Lobster Capital of the World
Explore Sea Caves 250 Million Years In The Making
How To Rock A Day Trip To The Valley
An Electric Road Trip From Halifax To Sambro
The Hubbards Farmers’ Market and Other Adventures
10 Day Trips Within 2 Hours of Halifax
Parts of this trip were made possible with support from Tourism Edmundston, including our accommodations. Thank you for hosting us and making it possible to explore more during our stay!