“Go west!” they said. And maybe a bit north after that? Take this delightful day trip to Canada’s Chocolate Town, a rare example of an original Canadian Pacific Railway passenger station in McAdam and one of only two Canada/United States shared historic sites at Saint Croix Island.
Leave St. Andrews and take Route 127 West to St. Stephen (left at Tim Horton’s). Take Route 170 (left turn) just before the highway and enjoy the views of Oak Bay until you see the sign for the Ganong Nature Park at Benson Corner. Follow Oak Haven Road until you come to Todd’s Point Road. Turn LEFT to Ganong Nature Park (25 minutes so far). After enjoying the Park, take the Ledge Road into St. Stephen which becomes Prince William Street, then LEFT on King Street at the lights and RIGHT on Milltown Blvd. for the Ganong Chocolate Museum (12 minutes). If you wish, have lunch in St. Stephen at one of the many wonderful eateries including The Five Kings or Carmen’s Diner.
For the next leg of your journey, there will be no gas stations or eating spots between St. Stephen and McAdam, so fill up for the trip if you need to! After lunch, return to King Street which is also NB Route #3 for your journey to McAdam. Stay on the #3 until you reach Thomaston Corner where you need to turn LEFT on Route #4 to McAdam (58 minutes).
Enjoy your time at the McAdam Railway Station. Retrace your drive to the #3 in Thomaston Corner then RIGHT onto NB Route #127 and straight back to St. Andrews. (64 minutes)
On the way back to St. Andrews, watch for the signs and take a moment to stop at the Saint Croix Island International Historic Site.
Total Drive Time: About 3 hours, plus exploring time.
Ganong Nature Park
The 350-acre Ganong Nature Park is used daily by the local residents of Charlotte County for hiking, biking, dog walking, snowshoeing, sliding, kite flying and simply enjoying the beauty of the area. Open year-round, there are 11 hiking trails, six learning stations and activities and events for the whole family.
Ganong Chocolates and The Chocolate Museum
Established in 1873, Ganong has the distinction of being Canada’s original and longest standing family-owned and operated chocolate company, manufacturing all its products in St. Stephen, New Brunswick. They are responsible for many Canadian confectionery firsts, such as Delecto boxed chocolates, chocolate nut bars, heart-shaped boxes and Ganong Original Chicken Bones.
Located in the original brick factory, Ganong Chocolatier provides the opportunity to treat yourself, discover new favorites and relive childhood memories. Create new experiences by building your own box of chocolates from their wide variety of showcase chocolates or select from Ganong Chocolate and Confectionary items.
With a visit to the neighbours at The Chocolate Museum, you will have the opportunity to watch Artisan Chocolatier’s at work, where they still to this day produce finely hand-crafted chocolates.
McAdam Railway Station
Built in 1900, the McAdam Railway Station is a National and Provincial Historic site and a designated Heritage Railway Station. Located on the New Brunswick-Maine border the former Canadian Pacific Railway Station was part of the main Canadian Pacific Railway line into Atlantic Canada.
The Station is an active museum offering tours, catered meals and conference facilities. The Station is also a Visitor Information Center, located only a few kilometers from the Maine-New Brunswick border crossing at Vanceboro.
Enjoy a delicious slice of history with the always-famous Railway Pie. Every Sunday from July to the end of September from 1:00 to 4:00 pm (while pies last), you can enjoy a generous slice of delicious homemade pie in the iconic McAdam Railway Station. Starting in the early 1900s, Railway Pie was served here – and it was so good the Boston News wrote about it.
Saint Croix Island International Historic Site
One of only two shared Canada/United States international historic sites (a second interpretation trail is operated by the United States National Park Service in Calais, Maine), the Saint Croix Island International Historic Site commemorates the 1604 French settlement on a mid-river island that founded European settlement in Canada over 400 years ago. It overlooks the cross of the St. Croix River and St. Croix Island where, in June of 1604, French nobleman-courtier Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons and his expedition established a settlement on St. Croix Island. In the milder months, they built houses, a storehouse, kitchen and chapel, and formed strong Aboriginal alliances. Although the island itself is inaccessible to visitors, spend some time enjoying the panoramic views, trail, and interpretation panels overlooking the island, from the self-guided trail in Bayside, New Brunswick set alongside the Saint Croix River.