A Visit to Deer Island, New Brunswick

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You don’t hear much about Deer Island in New Brunswick.

That’s partially a result of its diminutive size. Deer Island has a land mass of only 45 square kilometers; for comparison’s sake that’s a little bigger than the country of Liechtenstein in Europe. But for such a small island there’s a lot of rural and coastal beauty.

Getting to Deer Island

Deer Island is located in the Bay of Fundy at the entrance to Passamaquoddy Bay, only five kilometers from the mainland and just four kilometers northwest of Campobello Island. Fredericton and Saint John are the closest big cities to the ferry terminal.

Deer Island is accessed by a 2o minute ferry ride from L’Etête on the mainland. There is year round service and crossings are every 30 minutes between 8 AM and 5 PM. You can also take a ferry from Deer Island to Campobello Island - one of the Fundy Islands, as well as to Eastport, Maine.

"The shoreline at low tide"

The shoreline in l’Etete beside the ferry docks at low tide

"Looking across to one of the wharfs"

Looking across to one of the wharves from the ferry terminal

"Lighthouse in the fog"

Lighthouse rising from the fog

"The fog begins to lift on the way to Deer Island"

The fog begins to lift on the way to Deer Island

Deer Island is still largely driven by fishing and aquaculture, with tourism playing a lesser role. As a result, it’s quiet and there aren’t a lot of services. But there are a few cottages for rent as well as a couple of B&B’s. I stayed in the Deer Island Inn which I can highly recommend. It’s not fancy, but it’s spotlessly clean and very friendly.

Restaurants aren’t plentiful either. But from experience, I can tell you that the lobster roll from the 45th Parallel Restaurant is very good.

"You can buy lobster rolls on Deer Island"

You can buy lobster rolls on Deer Island

What to do on Deer Island

I cycled almost every road on the island – something you can do in under a day. There is also excellent kayaking including the option of doing a multi-day trip with Seascape Kayak Tours. There’s also a little bit of hiking but the trails are short. Birding can be quite good.

For something quite different, head to Deer Island Point near the ferry launch for Campobello Island. There you’ll find the Old Sow - the largest whirlpool in the western hemisphere. It’s best seen about three hours before high tide.

And if you have some time on your hands, nose about in one of the many artist galleries.

"Inner harbour on Deer Island"

Inner harbour on Deer Island

"You've got to love the names people come up with"

You’ve got to love the names people come up with

"Fishing is still one of the biggest economic drivers on Deer Island"

Fishing is still one of the biggest economic drivers on Deer Island

"crab traps"

Crab traps??

"Pretty rural scenes all over Deer Island"

Pretty rural scenes all over Deer Island

"This hen strutted around my B&B like she owned the place"

This hen strutted around my B&B like she owned the place

"The area around Deer Island is dotted with smaller islands making it a kayaker's paradise"

The area around Deer Island is dotted with smaller islands making it a kayaker’s paradise

"Colourful fishing boats catch the sun at sunset"

Colourful fishing boats catch the sun at sunset

Have you ever been to any of the Fundy Islands in New Brunswick?

Other posts you might enjoy about New Brunswick include:

Today I’m linking up with Budget Travelers Sandbox where you can find even more photo inspiration.

Thank you to New Brunswick Tourism for helping to underwrite part of my trip to the province.

Leigh McAdam

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