Surrounded by mountains crisscrossed with trails and nestled along the Saint John River, Edmundston fuses natural beauty, cultural richness, and a friendly charm into an experience that’s distinctly its own.
The region of Madawaska, which includes Edmundston, Lac Baker, and Rivière-Verte, is the entrance to the Atlantic provinces. It shares a border with Quebec, Canada, as well as Maine, in the United States. It is rich in history and home to a diverse range of cultural traditions, including French Brayon culture. Try some of the regional specialties, like as the classic buckwheat pancake, while you’re there. You may even find connections to the history of the area in the labels of local craft brews and theatrical productions, to name just two instances of this possibility.
With its location at the confluence of St John and Madawaska rivers and surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains, there’s plenty for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy, including an extensive mountain biking trail network in the summer and downhill skiing in the winter at Mont Farlagne.
The city of Edmundston may be found in the “panhandle” of New Brunswick, at the confluence of Saint John and Madawaska Rivers in the northwest corner of the province. However, Edmundston is tucked away in the Appalachian Mountains in the northeastern area of the Madawaska River Valley.
Edmundston has a very advantageous location, being just a few kilometers away from both the border with Quebec and the border with the United States. In addition, Edmundston lies directly across from the town of Madawaska, Maine, in the state of Maine, and the Edmundston–Madawaska Bridge connects the two cities.
Flag of the City of Edmundston
When the conditions of the agreement that was signed following the conflict left Baker’s properties firmly planted on British soil, and when the lack of support from the US Government to oppose the decision left Baker facing the difficult choice of either moving his facilities across the river to the American side or accepting British sovereignty, Baker was faced with the dilemma of either moving his facilities across the river to avoid the conflict, or accepting British sovereignty.
Because he was unwilling to do either of these things, he declared the region an independent state and named it the “Republic of Madawaska.” He then declared himself to be the head of state with the overwhelming support of the local population, predominately French-speaking but with an independent mindset.
The “Republic” was never recognized and never had legal existence; however, the concept has remained so popular with the francophone Brayon residents on both the Canadian and American sides of the border that they continue to refer to the region as the Republic of Madawaska to this day. Each mayor of central Edmundston still receives the title of “President of the Republic of Madawaska.”
Even though the “Republic” was never recognized and never had legal existence: Sophie Rice, Baker’s wife, was the one who drew the “eagle” flag for the republic, which is still flown today and can be seen often in the region.
Things to Enjoy in Edmundston
The city of Edmundston and the county of Madawaska, in general, are home to a diverse population that is also rich in history and culture. This list does not even come close to covering all of the cultural events that are offered. Because of the region’s abundance of historical monuments and museums, you may spend months traveling throughout the area to learn all there is.
1. Learn About the Culture
Most people who speak French in Canada’s Atlantic provinces are of Acadian descent. However, most people in the Madawaska region consider themselves to be Brayon due to the unique cultural past of their ancestors, although this name is used in the downtown Edmundston area.
The Maliseet First Nations people were the first to establish in this part of the St. John River Valley. They gave this region its current name, Madawaska, which translates to “country of the porcupines.” Because of its advantageous position on the river, a large number of villages settled in Madawaska, turning the region into a cultural melting pot that is both rich and varied.
Edmundston claims to have been founded by six different nations: the Maliseet, the Acadians, the Quebecois, the English, the Scottish, and the Americans all made the area their home. In the 1840s, Madawaska became the focal point of a border conflict due to its strategic position at New Brunswick, Quebec, and Maine intersection.
The inhabitants of Madawaska, on the other hand, did not want to be separated from one another by national lines and instead wanted to found their republic. The Republic of Madawaska, with Edmundston serving as its capital, has its coat of arms, historic sites, flag, Order of the Kings of the Republic, and city’s major industries even though it was never recognized as a legitimate state by any authority.
On either side of the cross-border trade, people of the republic who identify with this particular background are called Brayon and have easy access to everything.
2. Historic District
Most of Edmundston’s most popular points of interest are located within a radius of six blocks of the visitors’ center, making the city’s historic core an easy stroll and conveniently located in a porch area. If you’re the independent kind, stop by the tourist information center to pick up a map of the Leisure Walk.
It offers two different walking routes: one focuses on the best shopping the city has to offer, while the other, the Scenic Walk, includes outdoor activities, including the city’s most important historical sites. On the back of the Edmundston, nb map is further information on the city’s three principal churches, the city hall, cultural activities and the blockhouse, and the railway station.
3. Botanical Gardens
Do not pass up the opportunity to spend a breathtaking day outside at the lovely Botanical Gardens of Edmundston. The gardens provide a wide range of topics, art pieces, courses, a butterfly house, and a superb café, making them a wonderful treat for anybody who enjoys gardening. Because we like them so much, we devoted an entire post to describing our time spent at the Botanical Gardens of New Brunswick.
4. Fortin du Petit-Sault
During the height of the border conflicts with the United States in 1841, the British army constructed the Petit-Sault blockhouse, sometimes known as the “little falls” blockhouse. The next year saw a calm conclusion to the conflict, and the fort was subsequently abandoned.
Unfortunately, lightning struck the blockhouse, immaculate conception bringing an end to its existence. It reconstructed the town’s economy in the year 2000. You may now visit our southern neighbors and better understand the tangled history we share with them.
Active Travelers Should Stay in Edmundston
Outdoor enthusiasts will like the Edmundston area since it is so well suited to various outdoor pursuits. Even though we were about as unsporty as it was possible to be, we still wanted to remain for several more days so that we could explore the hiking and bike paths.
5. Trans-Canada Trail
In Edmundston, tackling the Trans-Canada Trail doesn’t need you to be a very athletic person. Walking down the river in the middle of the town’s small fort, you’ll be traveling the Trans-Canada Trail, i.e., french Canadians, without realizing it.
Since we had previously gone on the Fundy Trail, a portion of the Great Trail located in New Brunswick, we couldn’t help but go for a stroll on the most northern segment. The route may take you from the hotel to Bas-Sainte-Laurent, Quebec, if you keep walking it; this distance is a bit farther than what we were able to cover over our weekend in Edmundston.
6. Petit Temis Linear Park.
In reality, the Trans-Canada Trail in Edmundston consists of not one but two separate routes. However, cyclists have a great deal of affection for the Petit Temis Interprovincial Linear Park, which spans from Edmundston to Riviere-du-Loup and hidden categories that extends for a total distance of 134 kilometers. This path begins at sea level and ascends to 1000 meters before descending to sea level. Along the way, beautiful scenery and supplies for cyclists are abundant.
7. Ride the mountain biking trails
Even though the Petit Temis is a great place that can be used for various activities, Madawaska has an abundance of trails designed specifically for mountain bikes. Sentiers Madawaska Routes maintains 17 trails of varying lengths with a distance that discover almost 45 kilometers trip to get your adrenaline going.
8. Ski The Mont Farlagne
Edmundston area is not just bustling with summertime activities in the province of New Brunswick. In addition, the snow offers a wide variety of opportunities for outdoor recreation, including kilometers of snowmobile routes, amenities, fun cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.
Downhill skiing at Mont Farlagne, Edmundston’s premier ski area, is among the most well-liked things to do during winter. There are 23 runs, ranging in complexity from novice to black diamond. You may even attempt snowshoeing, tubing, fat biking, or climbing an ice wall while you’re here. Alternatively, you may go to the Avalanche pub and warm yourself with a local beer while listening to live music.
9. De La République Provincial Park
We have not been to Edmundston in our RV, Yeti, yet. When that time comes, we want to make our home in De La République Provincial Park, ideally close to the New Brunswick Botanical Gardens and the Antique Automobile Museum.
In addition to its rustic cottages, this park has more than 150 campsites, most of which are equipped with electrical outlets. You may use the hotel bathroom, amenities, paper plants, and outdoor activities like boating, hiking, and cycling opportunities, and the swimming pool, tennis courts, and horseshoe pits. In addition, live performances take place in the outdoor theatre, and the city center of Edmundston is just a few minutes away by car.
Edmundston for Family Travelers
Even though there is a lot that may keep children entertained at each of the venues described above, Edmundston offers a few attractions designed especially for people of all ages.
10. Take a Train Ride
There isn’t a place that comes to mind that would be more appropriate for young tourists than Edmundston’s Railroad Interpretation Centre. This attraction, which is run by Guy, a railway lover (addict may be a better term), and his wife Geraldine, immerses visitors in the history of the railroad. At the beginning of their stay, guests are given a tour of the train museum.
Guy rotates the items on exhibit year because he has so much memorabilia that they cannot all be seen simultaneously! The majority of the items in his collection were gifts, and he creates all of his works out of materials that have been repurposed. After that, you will go inside the model railroad rooms to see a scaled-down version of New Brunswick’s railyards.
What started as a model trail hobby has now expanded to cover 1000 square feet and is a miniature reproduction of the rail network in New Brunswick. The pair have turned their home into a model railroad enthusiast’s dream.
You may also ride a rail circuit one kilometer long around the property during the warmer months. Even though we found the Railroad center quite interesting, we can’t wait to take our little nephews there next time. This museum is just perfect for little visitors.
11. Antique Automotive Museum
Edmundston’s Antique Automobile Museum is a fantastic place to visit for anyone of any age who is interested in automobiles. A local entrepreneur was the former owner of this collection of vehicles from throughout history, and he kept it in his collection. Now, in the form of an interesting guided tour, it may be experienced by members of the general public for the first time.
You’ll get to witness everything from Model T Fords to vintage firetrucks to one of the few Bricklins still in existence, all of which were produced in New Brunswick; (think Back to the Future car). I hardly had any success in removing Andrew from the situation.
Edmundston for Foodie Travelers
We went all the way to Edmundston to explore the diverse gastronomic landscape that Madawaska County has to offer. We weren’t disappointed. Travelers interested in cuisine will find that Edmundston has several options.
There is a great deal of opportunity for those interested in cuisine; as a result, we have devoted two complete paragraphs to describing the kinds of foods available in Edmundston and the restaurants where they may be found. Then, to whet your appetite, I’ll give you a taste of some of the gastronomic delights that visitors to the area may experience here.
12. Take a Food Tour
When you come to Edmundston, there is one thing you cannot miss out on: going on the brand-new culinary tour that the tourism office in Edmundston is providing. This three-and-a-half-hour trip will show you the highlights of the city’s history, take you through some of Edmundston’s most well-known monuments, and take you to four of the city’s most notable restaurants. The greatest thing is that you get to try five of Edmundston’s most delectable dishes at no additional cost.
According to Statistics Canada, Edmundston’s crime rate is ten percent lower than the national average. As a result, Edmundston is recognized as one of the safest municipalities in Atlantic Canada. In addition, the city is home to a regional hospital and one of the three campuses that make up the University of Moncton’s presence in the province.
The Edmundston Campus of the University of Moncton provides various academic programs, including those in forestry, business administration, education, kinesiology, nursing, and the social sciences, among others.
Edmundston is a community that shines throughout all four seasons. Still, in the winter, it may be a lover’s paradise because of its snowmobile and cross-country ski trails, which are permanent fixtures for inhabitants.
Edmundston is situated between the Canadian province of Maine and the Canadian province of Quebec in the northern region of the Appalachian Mountains. It is close to the meeting point of St. John and Madawaska Rivers. In addition to this, it is the site of the New Brunswick Botanical Garden, which has a total land area of 20 acres and is partitioned into a total of 12 different themed gardens. Alongside the Madawaska River is where the garden may be found.
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Also read: Top 15 Restaurants in Moncton.