As much as I love exploring new locations, there are some special spots that I visit time and time again. The Sackville Waterfowl Park is one of my favourite places.
The park is easy to find, it is right beside the Trans-Canada Highway near the New Brunswick-Nova Scotia border. We always pull off the highway at Sackville to gas up and take a break when we are heading down to Halifax. But Sackville is not just a stop along our trip, it is also a destination.
I have always had a soft spot for Sackville as it is the home of Mount Allison University, my alma mater, which has a beautiful campus. The town itself is well worth exploring, and if you have time, I recommend grabbing a snack at Mel’s Tea Room or browsing one of the stores that line Bridge Street.
However, a stop at the park to stretch your legs is a must. The 55-acre Sackville Waterfowl Park features three kilometres of trails and receives thousands of visitors each year. My favourite trail features a birch-tree-lined boardwalk that crosses from one side of the wetland to the other. This stretch of boardwalk includes viewing platforms on both sides,.
And yes, there are waterfowl and other birds as well – the official count is 160 species.
Last spring, on the day we buried my mother, we drove to Sackville to attend a conference. I knew I needed to get away because all the arrangements and family time that week had been so intense and exhausting, emotionally and physically. But before I attended any meetings, I headed to the Waterfowl Park and stopped at a viewing platform near the parking area. I listened to the red-winged blackbirds and watched the water rippling on the pond, and the beautiful natural space helped me say goodbye in a way I hadn’t been able to earlier in the day. When I walked away, I felt strengthened and refreshed.
The Sackville Waterfowl Park is a place to find beauty and wildness, and rest.
How to get there:
Travel to Sackville on Highway 2 (Trans Canada), then take the Main Street exit. The main entrance to the Waterfowl Park is close to the highway exit, at the end of Mallard Drive. You will find ample parking next to the Visitor Information Centre, which contains a gift shop featuring local arts and crafts. Try to resist shopping until after you’ve explored the park!
View larger size images of the Sackville Waterfowl Park by clicking here.