The Most Definitive Guide to Hiking in New Brunswick
|Estimated Time||15 minutes|
|Surface Type||crushed rock|
|Elevation Change||16 meters|
|Trail Markers||none but easy to follow|
|Scenery Rating||special features|
|Maintenance Rating||well maintained|
|Cell Reception||not checked|
|GPS File||available on request|
The Hummingbird trail is a short flat trail that circles the edge of Atlas Lake. There is an observation tower on the trail that provides wonderful views of the lake and the visitor center. There are also several interpretive signs along the trail that explain the geology and history of the park as described below. The Hummingbird Trail is used to access most of the other trails in the park.
For directions to the park go to the Atlas Park page.
The Hummingbird Trail goes around the lake and can be accessed to the right of the parking lot or behind the visitor center.
From the Sign
In 1954, a large area in Pointe-Verte was found to have important and superior quality of limestone. Furthermore, its location, which was parallel to a railroad made it prime land.
In the course of that year, Atlas Construction Ltd. acquired 45 acres of land from several Pointe-Verte residents. It started its operations that same year in order to sell crushed rock to Canadian National, who was needing it to finish construction of the railroad.
Once the site was abandoned and its pumps removed, the quarry quickly filled with water.
With time, a beautiful lake was created. The underground water springs filled the excavation to its current dimensions of 6.4 acres which reaches depths of more than 30 meters.
It was only in 1990, after 10 years of community effort, that Atlas Park was finally opened.
At a cost of one million dollars, which was provided by a provincial / federal grant, a beautiful park was created.
Today, Atlas Park, has atracted young and old to view its beautiful site, to walk, ski, dive, slide, fish and lots more.
From the Sign
For many years, the quarry has been renowned as the ideal place to practice scuba-diving. The different levels, the cliffs and the bottom of the lake makes it a favourable environment for the divers.
The artificial lake has a surface area of 2.7 hectares and a depth of more than 30 metres at certain points.
The underwater offers an exceptional visibility of 38.1 meters in the winter and 25.9 meters in the summer.
The clarity, limpidity and most of all, the absence of current and wind, makes the diving experience very enjoyable and safe for all the divers.
Two fishing boats have been sunk at different levels to satisfy the most adventurous divers.
Diving at night and under the ice in the winter time offers also a different experience when diving in the artificial lake at the Atlas Park in Pointe-Verte.
From the Sign
The observation tower's construction in 1995, with more than 10.5 meters in height (base platform) and a wind resistance of 50 PSF, the tower is part of the second development phase for the Atlas Park. From the top of the tower we can enjoy the view of the spectacular "Chaleur Bay" and on a clear day catch a view of the Gaspe Peninsula in the prvince of Québec.
From the Sign
The geology of the Atlas Park was examined by Mr. J.A. MacIntosh, geologist for the "Canada Forest, Mine and Resource" and he describes it as follows: The rocks of the quarry area are dark gabbro and related rocks cut by frequent narrow dykes of reddish rock, mostly feldspar and quartz porphyries. The rocks have been intruded unto basalt lava-flows, the oldest rocks of the Point-Verte area, formed beneath the ocean in Ordovician time, approximately 500 million years ago. The formation of the lavas and the abundant dykes, known as "sheeted dykes", area believed to be closely related in time. The dykes would have formed from molten rock (magma) entering cracks formed in solidified basalt of the ocean floor. In the quarry area the dykes are so numerous that they have replaced almost enirely the basalt lava-rock.
In the quarry walls, therefore, gabbro is the main rock present. This dark, almost black rock is quite similar in chemistry to the basalt lava-flows of the Pointe-Verte area. It is cut by numerous, cream to reddish, narrow dykes to a metre or two in width. Well-formed crystals of the mineral feldspar can be easily seen in most of the dykes. Although cutting across the gabbro, these dyckes probably formed very shortly after the gabbro and from the same source of magma (molten source-rock). Frequent rust colours the surface of many of these later dykes. Very fine pyrite, an iron-sulphur mineral, can be seen in some of them, and its oxidation forms the rust. Finally it is worth noting that these rocks preserve evidence of some of the movements of the crust of the earth in this area. Many narrow, sheared areas are present in the quarry walls, some noticeably off-setting the pale dyke-rocks that stand out in contrast to the dark gabbro.
Trail Last Hiked: October 9, 2010.
Page Last Updated: Dec. 2, 2018.