The Fundy Trail Parkway, known for its 30 kilometers of winding roads, rugged coastline, and sweeping ocean views, has long been a staple in New Brunswick. As of Friday, it has officially been designated the Fundy Trail Parkway Provincial Park.

“We are looking forward to offering new and enhanced experiences,” said Melanie Deveau, assistant deputy minister for parks.

Although the parkway has technically always been a provincial park, it was previously operated and promoted by the Fundy Trail Development Authority. In December, the non-profit group transferred ownership to the province.

“The group felt it was time to hand it over to the province to operate it alongside our other provincial parks,” Deveau explained.

One significant change under provincial management is the plan to keep the road through the park open 24 hours a day. Previously, the parkway was only open during daylight hours, but recent road developments now allow tourists to drive from St. Martins to Fundy National Park and Alma, continuing to Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park.

While the park itself will maintain a 12-hour daily operating schedule, security will be present throughout the night, keeping the road accessible.

The province has already initiated several projects, including a new visitor center on the eastern end and a 50-site campground set to open in July.

Deveau highlighted another benefit of provincial ownership: leveraging Parks N.B.’s branding and partnerships. “This will elevate the park’s status and create synergy with other provincial parks like Hopewell Rocks,” she said.

Parkway employees had to re-apply for their positions under the new management, and while exact numbers weren’t provided, many workers retained their jobs.

On opening day, entrance fees were waived, and the gift shop featured clothing with a new logo. Visitors received map brochures with old branding, with updated maps promised soon.

Chamber of Commerce Excited for Park’s Future

Jordan Jamison, president of the St. Martins and District Chamber of Commerce, prepared one of his businesses for the weekend’s opening alongside the new provincial park.

“I think this is going to be fantastic for this part of New Brunswick. It’s making our region even more of a gem,” Jamison said. “St. Martins is poised for a business boom.”

Jamison is particularly excited about the parkway’s overnight opening and hopes the provincial coastal scenic route will be redirected through the parkway.