Herring Cove to Matthews Head is only part of a longer trail system following the coastline of Fundy National Park. The trailhead is located on the south side of the parking lot near Herring Cove. The trail is a coastal woodland trail with ever present views of the spectacular Bay of Fundy and the coastline vistas of the National Park.
From the trailhead one proceeds east along a well trodden footpath with views of the expansive and rocky Herring Cove beach to the left and below. The trail takes a sharp turn at the first point along the cliffside and thereafter runs essentially south and southwest. Shortly after making this turn the trail enters a protracted steep phase that doesn't let up for quite some time, and proceeds somewhat away from the coastline and into wooded areas. A few observation points with beathtaking views of the bay, coastal cliffs and enclosed beaches lie along the way. My trip ended shortly after Matthews Head where the trail branches in 2 directions, one (to the right) leads through the woods and down to the access road one would have driven on to reach the Herring Cove Parking lot, and the other continues on to the Squaw's Cap Loop and Coastal Littoral trail, the leg of which completes itself at Point Wolfe. Point Wolfe had been my goal that day, but I ran out of time and had to turn back. The time listed to complete the route described above includes the time to and from Matthews Head from the Herring Cove parking area.
For those who find steep hill hiking a physical challenge (as I do) one should certainly prepare to sweat and breath hard on this length of the trail. Pace yourself and you'll be fine - the scenery is worth every drop of sweat!
From park headquarters drive southwest on the Point Wolfe road following the ample signage toward Herring Cove. The access road (Herring Cove Road) will be a left turn, and will continue some distance until its end at the top of the cliff overlooking Herring Cove.
Access to Fundy National Park is via route 114 off route 1 from Sussex, NB, or south on route 114 from Moncton, NB.
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