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New Brunswick, gateway to the Maritimes, is enchanting in its diversity. Geographically, it is remarkably varied, combining more than a 1,000km of shoreline and seascapes with picturesque farmlands and endless stretches of often mountainous wilderness. Forests cover a full 85% of the territory, which is traversed from north to south by the majestic St. John River, whose source lies in the Appalachian foothills. This river has always been essential to the province's development, and charming town and villages have sprung up along its fertile banks. Among these are Fredericton, New Brunswick's pretty capital, with its aura of a bygone era, and Saint John, the province's chief port city and industrial centre. After winding its way through a pastoral landscape, the St. John River empties into the Bay of Fundy, whose often spectacularly steep shores mark the southern border of New Brunswick. An amazing natural phenomenon occurs in this bay twice a day when the highest, most powerful tides in the world surge up onto the shores, reshaping the landscape in sometimes unusual ways, and actually reversing the current of the rivers! Without question, the Bay of Fundy's giant tides constitute one of the greatest natural attractions in the eastern part of the continent. Furthermore, the bay's shoreline is of incomparable beauty. Meanwhile, New Brunswick's other coast, on the Atlantic Ocean, has charms of its own. It is here, from the border of Nova Scotia to that of Québec, that visitors will find the province's most beautiful sandy beaches, washed by uncommonly warm waters that are perfect for swimming. Most importantly, however, this is the Acadian coast. It is here, in towns and villages like Caraquet, Shippagan and Shediac, that visitors can learn about Acadia's culture and past and get to know its warm, hospitable inhabitants.
Fredericton is definitely one of the province's main attractions. The capital of New Brunswick, it has managed to preserve the remarkable historical legacy and architectural harmony handed down to it from the previous century, giving it a subtle elegance and old-fashioned character. Adorned with magnificent churches and government buildings, as well as large green spaces, some of which lie alongside the St. John River, Fredericton is one of those cities that charms visitors at first sight.
The Provincial Legislature (Queen St. at the corner of St. John St., 506-453-2527), has been the seat of the provincial government since 1882.
Across from the Legislative Building stands the Beaverbrook Art Gallery (Queen St., 506-458-8545), another of Lord Beaverbrook's gifts to the city of Fredericton. The gallery houses, among other things, a superb collection of works by highly renowned British painters, as well as a number of other lovely canvases by Canadian artists such as Cornelius Krieghoff and James Wilson Morrice.
Fundy National Park (Rte. 114, near Alma, 887-6000, 887-6011) is the ultimate place to explore the shores of the bay, observe its plant and animal life and grasp the power of its tides. It covers a densely wooded, mountainous territory of 206km², abounding in spectacular scenery, lakes and rivers and nearly 20km of shoreline. All sorts of athletic activities can be enjoyed here. The park is a hiker's paradise, with its 120km of trails running through the forest, near lakes and alongside the magnificent bay. Visitors can also enjoy fishing, camping on one of the many equipped or natural sites, a game of golf on the excellent gr
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