A lonely island in the Atlantic? How does that sound to you? When I think of something like that I immediately think of refreshing winds blowing in from the sea. I see lighthouses appear in the distance like a mirage out of the fine haze the morning leaves over long sandy beaches until the sun gains strength enough to burn the last remnants of the morning mist. Miscou Island in New Brunswick is all this and more. Beach camping is available on the way to Miscou Island Lighthouse.
Flocks of seagulls fly close to the coast above the waves rolling gently onto 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. I almost feel like Robinson Crusoe setting out to discover an unknown island. An uplifting feeling! And an experience that I will remember.
Travel Tips for New Brunswick
- Moon Nova Scotia, New Brunswick & Prince Edward Island*
- Lonely Planet Nova Scotia, New Brunswick & Prince Edward Island 5*
- Canada In Pictures: The Atlantic Provinces – Volume 1 – Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador*
- Moon Nova Scotia, New Brunswick & Prince Edward Island*
- Fodor's Nova Scotia & Atlantic Canada: With New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland*
Miscou Island, a lonely island in the Atlantic
Granted: up to our trip through the Acadian regions I had never heard of this island. But that is probably the case with all lonely islands. Otherwise they would not be referred to as such. 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 this 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 our way. Miscou Island has not yet appeared on any 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 during our search for the Renaissance of the Acadians. This is also located 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 why the island is hardly inhabited: 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 explore 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 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 its 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 this patch of land in 1927. 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 from a trip there to look for the treasure. The island is said to be cursed, and whoever seeks for the treasure disappears in a mysterious way.
Thus 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.
Are you traveling with a motorhome?
- One campground on Miscou Island is Camping La Vague, 3 Chem. Herring Point, Miscou, NB E8T 2G2, Canada, Tel. 506 3448531. There are other campgrounds in the area.
- Do you want to rent a motorhome? Then you will find information here as well as booking options.
- Check our packing list for campersto see whether you have packed everything for your motorhome tour.
- Don't forget your backpack and walking boots . There are beautiful hiking opportunities in the area.
- There are also miles of beaches on the island. With our Beach vacation checklist you don't forget anything.
Want to learn more about New Brunswick? Explore the cities, each of which is different. The metropolitan city of Toronto is the largest city in the country. Montreal awaits you with a mix of French flair and British lifestyle. The capital Ottawa lures with world-class museums and the centers of power in Canada. Feel transported to 17th-century France in Quebec City.
Nature in eastern Canada is also impressive. Follow the banks of the St. Lawrence River and discover a world that is more reminiscent of the sea and extends far into the continent. Experience the coastal landscapes, the river valleys that criss-cross the interior and the rolling hills of the Appalachian Mountains. Let yourself be impressed by the difference in tides in the Bay of Fundy. Enjoy the landscapes of Prince Edward Island. Explore the coastal and archipelago region in Nova Scotia. Explore one of the most beautiful coastal roads in Eastern Canada on Cape Breton Island: the Cabot Trail. Or look forward to the residents in the fishing villages of Newfoundland and Labrador. Their hospitality is what makes this region so welcoming.
Order the Travel Guide Canada - East Here *, which Monika publishes as a co-author.
Getting to Miscou Island:
Arrival by plane, bus or train*. Air Canada, Condor and Icelandair fly from Germany to various airports in eastern Canada.
Do you already know:
- Most beautiful lighthouses of the Lighthouse Route
- Atlantic coast of New Brunswick
- Canada travel tips East for connoisseurs
- Whales are watching in front of Newfoundland
- Hiking the Wild Pacific Trail on Vancouver Island
Source Miscou Island Camping near the Lighthouse: research on site. Thank you to Tourism New Brunswick for inviting us to this trip. Our opinion remains our own.
Text Miscou Island Camping near the Lighthouse: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline