A lonely island in the Atlantic? How does that sound to you? When I think of something like that, I immediately think of the refreshing wind that blows from the sea, and I see lighthouses appear in the distance like a mirage from the fine haze that the morning leaves over long sandy beaches, until the sun has gained strength enough, To burn off the last remnants of the morning mist. Miscou Island in New Brunswick is this and much more.
Flocks of seagulls fly close to the coast above the waves rolling gently onto the shore. When they're close enough, I can hear their screeching calls echoing across the water towards me. I taste the salt that is in the air and that the Atlantic wind leaves on my lips. Above all, however, it makes me feel like I'm just one of the few who have seen this island so far, and I almost feel like Robinson Crusoe setting out to discover an unknown island. An uplifting feeling! And an experience that I will remember.
Miscou Island, a lonely island in the Atlantic
Granted: up to ours Travel through the Acadian regions I had never heard of this island before. But that is probably the case with lonely islands and is part of it, otherwise they would not be referred to as such. The island of Miscou Island off the coast of New Brunswick is not entirely uninhabited, but the few houses on this island in the extreme northeastern tip of the Atlantic Province in Canada can only be found along the main road and near the beach, with the exception of Miscou Harbor.
In the 19th century, up to 1500 people are said to have lived on the island. Today there are only 700, and most of them live in the harbor right at the beginning of the island. There may be a few fishermen living in the rest of the island. But it may also be holiday homes that we see on the way. Miscou Island has not yet appeared on tour operators' radar. This is certainly also due to the fact that apart from a campsite there are hardly any places to stay overnight on the island. To get to the island we have to leave the tourist trails. A nearby attraction is the Caraquet open-air museum, which we visited the day before the search for the Renaissance of the Acadians went. This is also more on the edge of the tourist routes through the Atlantic provinces. An island "off the beaten path", so to speak. Remote, unknown, and lonely.
How to Get to Miscou Island
Miscou Island can be reached via Lameque Island, to which it is connected by a bridge. From this bridge there is only one road that leads to the tip of the island in the northeast, and from which dead ends branch off only now and then, most of which lead to points along the island's coast and end there. The main road through the island is also a dead end, which we have to take back after our tour.
A peat bog that fascinates
After a few kilometers we see a footbridge that leads into the interior of the island. We don't think twice and stop. It quickly becomes clear to us why the island is hardly inhabited any more: it consists to a large extent of peat bog, which was formed over 8000 years in caves left by the Ice Age. The ground is so damp that we can't get very far on foot.
Building is certainly out of the question here. Therefore, a large part of Miscou Island is under conservation. This gives us the chance to deal more intensively with the flora of the peat landscape. We discover orchids, but also carnivorous plants such as the tube leaf, sundew or the horned water hose and an abundance of bushes on which blueberries, cranberries and rock pears ripen. We would like to leave the jetty to have a snack, but the swamp floor and the ponds and puddles keep us from it. To sink into the moor does not correspond to our idea of a nice stay on a lonely island.
At the end of the road to Wilson's Point
So we drive to the end of the road to Wilson's Point, where there is a lighthouse that watches over the northeast corner of New Brunswick on the Baie de Chaleurs, the Atlantic bay that separates this province from its neighboring province of Quebec. The only people we see on the way are a woman who is just hanging her laundry on the clothesline in front of her house to take advantage of the wind blowing in from the sea.
We also meet a few anglers who have set up camp on the long sandy beach at the tip of the island. With rubber boots or barefoot they stand on the edge of the sea and cast their fishing rods into the waves that roll towards them over the vastness of the bay. From our point of view, we cannot tell whether they have already collected loot in their buckets that are standing in the sand behind them. In any case, they are trying hard. While one of them is cranking his line furiously to haul in the line, his companion is just putting fresh bait on the hook, only to do the same.
At the end of Miscou Island
Wilson's Point bears his name in memory of the first settler on Miscou Island. Andrew Wilson came here from Aberdeen in Scotland. As a Catholic Scot, he was assigned to 1927 this patch of land. His children married French-speaking Catholics from the surrounding Acadian communities, so Wilson's Point was bilingual for a while. Off the coast lies a tiny island known as Treasure Island. Apparently pirates have buried their treasure there. However, we refrain the trip there to look for the treasure. It is said that he should be cursed, and whoever seeks for it disappears in a mysterious way.
And so we turn back and head back to Lameque Island and the mainland. Not until we've had enough of fresh fish and lobster in a lobster hut on the beach. But that's another story we'll tell you later. Our lonely island in the Atlantic Ocean has more to offer.
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Source: own research on site. We thank Tourism New Brunswick for the friendly invitation to this trip. Our opinion remains our own.
Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos © Copyright Monika Fox, TravelWorldOnline