Fredericton / Blog / 201607 / 3 Nature Preserve Getaways in the Fredericton Area

3 Nature Preserve Getaways in the Fredericton Area

3 Nature Preserve Getaways in the Fredericton Area

Nestled in the River Valley, the City of Fredericton is surrounded by nature that is just waiting to be explored. Many are familiar with the vast Greater Fredericton Trails and popular parks like Odell, Killarney Lake, and Wilmot, but there are many other unique natural places to experience in the area. This includes three easily accessible nature preserves within City limits protected by the Nature Trust of New Brunswick.

Hyla Park Nature Preserve

1. Hyla Park Nature Preserve
Hyla Park Nature Preserve is perhaps the most well-known of the Nature Trust’s conserved land in the City (and maybe even throughout the province). It has the distinction of being Canada’s first amphibian park and has even been featured in National Geographic because of the rare-to-the-area gray tree frog (Hyla versicolor) that calls Hyla Park home.

In the spring and summer months, Nature Trust staff and volunteers lead interpretive walks called “Frog Walks” to introduce people to the seven species of frog and toad found there, as well as to explore the beautiful wetlands. The walks happen every Wednesday from 6 to 7 pm and are entirely free! For more information or to register for a walk, please contact Kaela at 2016stewardshipassistant@ntnb.org or (506) 453-4886.

If you are exploring the area on your own time, be prepared for wet conditions and lots of mosquitoes (aka food for the frogs!). There is an easy-to-follow 2 km looping trail system that traverses the wetlands and surrounding forest.

Getting to Hyla Park Nature Preserve:

  • By foot or bike: When travelling by foot or on bike, you can find Hyla Park just off the Gibson Trail
  • By car: When travelling by car, find parking and the entrance for Hyla Park at 150 Greenwood Drive behind the Greenwood Drive Baptist Church.
  • By bus: No car – no problem! The 14N Barker’s Point (via York & Union) bus will take you to Greenwood Drive, then find the entrance for Hyla Park at 150 Greenwood Drive behind the Greenwood Drive Baptist Church.

Ferris Street Forest and Wetland Nature Preserve

2. Ferris Street Forest and Wetland Nature Preserve
Some probably already know the Sunset U-Pick berry fields, but may not yet be aware of the Ferris Street Forest and Wetland Nature Preserve. This land that surrounds the berry fields was recently conserved by the Nature Trust through an agreement with the City of Fredericton. The project was also greatly supported by a group of passionate, conservation-minded citizens called the Friends of Ferris Street.

Complete with walking trails throughout the diverse forest and wetland ecosystems, the Ferris Street Forest and Wetland Nature Preserve is great for a little outdoor excursion. There is an abundance of wildlife to be found here, including a wide variety of birds, and the forest habitat near the fields is perfect for pollinators. Plan a trip this summer to go berry picking and then explore the walking trails!

Getting to Ferris Street Forest and Wetland Nature Preserve:

  • By foot or bike: This nature preserve is accessible by foot or bike via the Fredericton Northside Trail towards Keswick.
  • By car: When travelling by car, find parking and the entrance for the Ferris Street Forest and Wetland Nature Preserve at 49 Ferris Street off of Sunset Drive (same entrance for the Sunset U-Pick) and find the trails in the forest along the perimeter of the berry fields.
  • By bus: No car – no problem! The 10N Carlisle Road (via Main & Sunset) bus passes by Ferris Street, then find the entrance for the nature preserve at 49 Ferris Street.

James C. Yerxa Nature Preserve

3. James C. Yerxa Nature Preserve
Though the James C. Yerxa is the smallest area conserved by the Nature Trust of New Brunswick at 3 hectares (7.4 acres), it is still significant and worthy of a visit! Located 15 km west of Fredericton, this site is known for being a popular destination for artists who are inspired by the beautiful silver maple floodplain forest. There are no trails located at this nature preserve, but it offers a great viewpoint of the Keswick River.

Also, directly next to the nature preserve is a piece of undeveloped Crown land that is popularly used as a site to launch canoes, kayaks and other watercrafts. On the evening of July 11, the Nature Trust and Second Nature Outdoors will be hosting a stand-up paddleboard event, starting at the James C. Yerxa Nature Preserve. You can find more information about this event here

If you end up paying a visit to this nature preserve, don’t forget to visit the nearby Keswick Kitchen for some delicious baked goods on your way back to the City.

Getting to James C. Yerxa Nature Preserve:

  • By foot or bike: While walking to the James C. Yerxa Nature Preserve may be a lengthy trip, it is perfect for a daytrip by bike! The Fredericton Northside Trail towards Keswick takes you very close to the nature preserve. Get off the trail before it turns to run parallel with highway 104 toward Burtts Corner and follow highway 105. You will pass a plaza with the Keswick Pharmacy, then turn on to the nature preserve soon after crossing the bridge over the Keswick River. Keep your eyes peeled for our new interpretive signage there.
  • By car: When travelling by car, follow highway 105 and access the nature preserve via a dirt lane immediately west of the bridge over the Keswick River. Park in the turn-around area by the river.
  • By bus: Unfortunately, this area is not accessible by the bus system.

Though we featured here only three nature preserves conserved by the Nature Trust within the Fredericton area, there are many others scattered throughout the province that are publicly accessible and just waiting to be discovered. For more information about the Nature Trust of New Brunswick, nature preserves, or summer events, please visit naturetrust.nb.ca.

You can also download the FREE ExploreEcoNB mobile application that features all of the Nature Trust’s preserves, as well as a wide variety of other natural areas in New Brunswick: exploreeconb.ca.