Why Travel between Grand Falls and Fredericton?
This stretch of the Trans-Canada follows the Satin John River. Part of the river forms the Canada-US border, and then, as the highway moves away from the river, you pass the potato farms and french fry factories of McCains, the Hartland covered bridge, and the Confederation-era Kings Landing Historical Settlement, created from early pioneer farms flooded over by the Mactaquac Dam.
Here is the itinerary for the 214 km along Highway #2 between Grand Falls and Fredericton:
This stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway follows the wide and majestic Saint John River. The river has eroded its path through gravel banks left behind by the glaciers of the last Ice Age. At spots you can see the terraces of gravel left behind alongside the river, and on the flatter areas large deposits of sand and silt have made the upper Saint John River valley ideal for growing potatoes. International potato (and frozen vegetable) giant McCain Foods is headquartered at Florenceville. The firm started with one farm in 1957 and today processes nearly one-third of the world’s French fries, with 22,000 employees at 55 facilities on six continents
The river also has a number of power dams, to provide power for the province’s residents and large industries. The dams also make water levels more stable after rain storms, and during Spring floods. These dams are at Grand Falls, Tobique (on the Pokiok River tributary), Beechwood (bout 64 km S of Grand Falls), with the largest being the Mactaquac Dam, about 20 km west of Fredericton, with a provincial park using the waters behind the dam, a marina, a campground, golf course, and a craft village.
The other feature characteristic to New Brunswick is the covered bridge. These were built to protect the long wooden bridges crossing the area’s wide rivers. With the amount of rain and snowfall in the region, the roof protected the bridge’s understructure from rot, and also reduced snow clearing effort and provided privacy to young couples who called them “kissing bridges”. (for info) There are 64 covered brides still standing, with the world’s longest being 391 metre (1282 ft) bridge across the Saint John River at Hartland, just south of the Trans-Canada’s crossing of the river.
Just west of Fredericton, is Kings Landing Historical Settlement, a historical re-creation of am 1860s era New Brunswick village, at the time the province was joining Confederation. The village has 70 restored buildings (many moved from lands that were later flooded by the Mactacuac Dam), complete with artifacts and period machinery, staffed by costumed re-enactors.
Elevation Chart - Grand Falls to Fredericton
Trans-Canada Highway Itinerary Map
Use mouse to drag/move map. Click on “+” or “–” to zoom in or out. “Satellite” combines map & photo.