Region Map / Lower St. John River / Mactaquac / Beaver Pond


Beaver Pond Trail

Quick Facts

Ratings Legend

Difficulty Easy Features Beaver Pond
Trail Type Loop Trail Markers Orange square with black stripes
Distance 0.9 km Scenery Rating Special Features
Estimated Time 30 mins Mainteance Rating Well Maintained
Trail Surface Type Crushed Rock, Boardwalk Cell Phone Reception Strong
Elevation Change 14 m GPS file Available on request
Fees required: No Dog Friendly On a Leash


Map

Map Legend


View Mactaquac - Beaver Pond in a larger map


Directions

To get to the park see the Mactaquac Park page.

From the main park entrance travel north on route 105. You should see the golf course on your right. After 1 km you should see a dirt road on your left next to a parking lot and small water tower. In the off season you can park your vehicle in this parking lot and walk in to the pond. Continue on this road for 800 meters and you will come to another parking lot. You should be able to see the shelter overlooking the beaver pond straight in front of you. Park here. The old gravel road continue's past the shelter on the right and provides access the start of the trail. The road dips over a small hill where you will cross a small culvert. The trail enters the woods along the pond on your left.

The other end of the loop is 80 meters back from the parking lot near the shelter. You may have seen it when you passed on your way in.


Trail Description

The beaver pond trail is a short loop around an old beaver pond. There are many interpretive signs about the life cycle of beavers along the trail. On the road that crosses the pond there is a unique water control culvert that controls the level of the water in the pond. The trail is mostly crushed rock with a long boardwalk that crosses a narrow part of the pond. On the west side of the pond the trails travels mainly through the woods with several access trails and benches overlooking the pond. A shelter on a hill near the parking lot overlooks the pond and makes a great place for a picnic.


From the Sign

Beaver Pond trail - This 1.3 km (0.8mi) walk is easy and fully accessible to wheelchairs. Come learn about the life circle of the beaver. Observe nature's engineer along with their dams and lodges. Water-fowl, amphibians, invertebrates and marsh vegetation trhive in the pond. The connection to the Alex Creek Trail leads to another pond where beavers have become established.


BUILDING THIS LODGE WAS HARD WORK - This mound of sticks is an abandoned beavers' lodge. To build it, the beavers began by constructing a raft of logs. They piled branches and mud onto this raft. Eventually, the log structure sank to the bottom of the pond.

INSIDE THE LODGE IS A LIVING AREA - Once the pile of branches rose above water level, the beavers began chewing a tunnel from underwater. They cut at least two entrance tunnels up into the center and above water level. They then chewed out a large, air-filled living area.

THE UNDERWATER TUNNELS WERE CRUCIAL TO SURVIVAL - The lodge kept the beavers warm during the winter. The underwater entrances allowed them to stay hidden under the ice, safe from predators. For food, they had a nearby storage pile of branches, also under the ice.


BEAVERS MAKE NEW ENVIRONMENTS - The work of beavers to create ponds and meadows is very important. It means food, drink and homes for many living things.

DRAGONFLY - You may see dragonflies resting on cattails or pond lilies when they are not hunting insects or defending their territories.

FROG - Look carefully for a frog floating quietly near a pond lily, waiting to feed on passing insects.

RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD - Red-Winged Blackbirds feed on the many insects that breed in the pond. Often the Red-Winged Blackbird builds its nest among the cattail stalks. Male blackbirds perch on the stalks to watch over their territory.

DEER - Animals like deer will visit this pond at night and in the early morning to drink the cool water.


BEAVERS MADE THIS POND - Beavers created this pond by building a dam across a stream. After beavers left in 1985, the dam rotted away.

WHY DID THE BEAVERS LEAVE? - Eventually, the beavers ran out of food. They had chewed down all the nearby edible trees - eating the bark off the branches. They were forced to abandon their lodge here to begin another colony elsewhere.

The roadway works like the old dam, blocking the stream. Normally, once the dam rotted, the stream would be freed. The the pond would dissappear, and the land it covered would become a meadow.


A BEAVER SIGN - It is easy to tell where a beaver had been. The marks of their teeth on this birch tree stump are unmistakable. Beavers prefer to eat the tasty bark of slender poplar and birch trees.

BEAVERS ARE WELL-DESIGNED - A beaver's front teeth never stop growing. The four chisel-shaped front teeth are strong enough to chew down a tree. the sharp back molars grind up about 500 grams of tree bark every day.

A beaver also relies on its broad, flat tail. Eating on land, the tail enables the beaver to balance on its hind legs. While swimming, the tail helps to control the beaver's direction. When danger is near, the beaver uses its tail to slap the water - telling other beavers to dive for cover.

Beavers are also well equipped with webbed feet for swimming underwater. Flaps of skin can close to keep water out of their ears and nose.


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Guidebooks

This trail is in the Hiking NB trail guide for the Lower St. John River Valley Region - Meductic to Fredericton. The guide is available for download below:


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Trail last visited August 7, 2011.
Page Last Updated August 8, 2013.

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