Lamèque Waterfront Trail
|Estimated Time||30 mins return|
|Elevation Change||7 metres|
|Features||waterfront, interp signs|
|Maintenance Rating||well maintained|
The Lamèque Waterfront Trail is a short trail that makes a great addition to the Eco Parc. The paved trail starts by going along the shore. It passes by several interpretive signs on the fence along the shore. The trail turns to the left and the fence ends, providing more open views of the bay. The trail soon comes to a picnic table next to beach access.
The trail then turns away from the shore and loops around a small pond. On my visit there were Great Blue Heron and ducks in the pond. The trail then crosses a small field before coming out near the parking lot for the fishing coop.
Drive into Lamèque on Rue Principale (Route 113). At the lights continue straight on Rue Principale. At the next intersection turn right on Rue du Ruisseau (Route 313), following the signs for the Eco Parc. Drive for 700 metres and you will see the Eco-Parc on the right. Park here and cross the road to access the Waterfront Trail.
You can find the other end of the trail by continuing straight on Rue Principale. Drive for 180 metres and you will see the trail on the right. There is limited place to park just before the trail.
From the Sign
Sea Lettuce (Ulva lactuca)
The Sea Lettuce is a green alga that grows everywhere along the region's maritime coasts. Although it does not have a definite shape, it can be recognised by the wavy edges of its leaves. Living in the tide zones, the Sea Lettuce is resistant to bad weather. Even if sometimes hard to find, it proliferates mostly where the sea water is rich in nitrogen and phosphorus. Furthermore, this alga is considered an edible organism and they are widely distributed around the world.
Common Eelgrass (Zostera marina)
The Common Eelgrass is the plant that can be observed in great quantity along the region's coasts each fall. This flower plant is known to grow the furthest from the shore and to be able to support a continual immersion by sea water. Most Common Eelgrasses are hardy perennials with long thin ribbon-like leaves that can sometimes reach up to two metres. It also can grow up to fourteen meters deep in favourable conditions. Moreover, the Common Eelgrass is preyed upon by Brant Geese, which favour this particular food.
From the Sign
Kelp (Laminaria longicruris)
The Blade Kelp is a very large plant that lives in underwater forests at about eight kilometres from the coast. The species can grow up to twelve metres in length. Besides being edible, they create the perfect habitat for sea urchins and lobsters. Forming a long streamer like a kite, divers can see the Blade Kelp fixed this way to the rocks swaying with the waves. To find it, it is easier to look in the remains of the high tide along the beach.
Bladder Wrack (Fucus vesivulosus)
The Bladder Wrack is a brown alga that abundantly grows along the Atlantic coasts. At low tides, this gelatinous plant can be seen on rocky shores. The Bladder Wrack can be recognised by its small air filled vesicles, which are arranged in pairs on each side of a central midrib. Contrary to terrestrial plants that have roots, the Bladder Wrack literally sticks to rocks or any other objects. To survive, they need to expose themselves to the sun or stay out of the water for some period of time. In this manner, the Bladder Wrack can grow up to sixty centimetres high.
From the Sign
Common Soft-shell or Steamer Clam (Mya arenaria)
In these parts, the Soft-shell Clam is probably the first mollusc we learn about in childhood. Good to consume, the majority of the families in this area have enjoyed many Soft-shell Clam meals. This particular clam lives in the tide zones and sometimes further from the coast, up to a depth of nine meters. Hidden in the sand, it eats with the help of a long doubled valve siphon. One of the holes is used to intake water and food, and the other is used to expulse clean filtered water. Furthermore, most of the clams' shell can grow up to twelve centimetres long.
Atlantic Surf Clam (Spisula solidissima)
Unlike the similar species, the Stimpson Surf Clam, which can be found in very deep water, the Atlantic Surf Clam is mostly found in the sandy areas near the coasts. Yet, likewise, both species have great economic value and are under strict exploitation rules. In addition, the Atlantic Surf Clam and the Stimpson Surf Clam look alike with their practicially identical triangular shape. They both can reach fifteen to seventieen centimetres long.
From the Sign
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
Widespread on every continent, except Antarctica, the Osprey occupies an important place in the region's natural environment. It is also a bird of prey that eats only fish, which it catches by plunging feet-first in the water. In flight, the Osprey can look like a gull. Its nest, strongly made out of lopped-off branches, is often built on a platform set up especially for that bird. The Osprey leaves the area to spend winter in South America, yet it is a real pleasure to see it coming back every spring.
Double-crested Cormorants (Phaliacrocorax auritus)
This large bird, which has an almost entirely black plumage, lives in the bays and on the coasts of the region. The Double-crested Cormorant is the only bird of its species to live in the north-east of New Brunswick. It is possible to observe it perched on buoys or in groups on the sandbanks at low tide. If it is disturbed, it escapes by diving in the same fashion as marine mammals. The Double-crested Cormorant easily lives both in salt water and fresh water. During winter, it flies slightly south where the weather in milder.
From the Sign
Blue Mussel (Mytilus Edulis)
The Blue Mussel is also called the edible mussel. These days, the Blue Mussel is harvested a great deal since it is renowned for its gastronomic quality. Therefore, it has become in the area an undeniable economic resource. On the north coasts of the Atlantic, the Blue Mussel is a very widespread mollusc. People can find it in low tides and shallow waters. Usually its maximum length is about eight centimetres. The Blue Mussel is also known to fix itself to the ground with filaments, which makes it very difficult to dislodge.
Eastern or Common Oyster (Crassorstrea virginica)
The Eastern Oyster is common along the region's coasts, espeicially in the rocky and muddy areas. Above all, it does not like sandy zones that are occupied by other mollusc species, but prefers the tide zones and shallow waters. Within these ideal conditions, the Eastern Oyster can gow up to a length of fifteen centimetres. Furthermore, this particular type of oyster is a crucial economic resource of the area. Many peole breed it and harvest it in its natural state.
From the Sign
Beach Pea (Lathyrus japonicus)
The Beach Pea is one of the most remarkable plants that ornates our maritime seashores. During summertime, its crimson flowers easily draw the attention of people walking along the coasts. This wildflower grows as well in the dunes' sand as in the beaches' gravel. From the pea's family, where it gets its name, it produces a pod, which resembles the garden pea, containing six to seven seeds. Besides reproducing itself by spreading its seeds through currents and winds, the Beach Pea's roots are perennial, which means that they survive winter and that they grow back each spring. The Beach Pea is also edible, although a little bitter
American Dune Grass (Leymus mollis)
Belonging to the wheat family, the American Dune Grass is one of the tallest plants of our maritime seashores. We can recognise it mostly by its large bluish-green leaves and by its straw coloured stalks. Its deep root system helps to retain the sand within the dunes. Blossoming early in the spring, the American Dune Grass produces seeds in the fall, which long ago were used to produce wheat tasting flour. Since this plant has a great resistance to cold weather, it can also be found beyond the Arctic Circle.
Trail Last Hiked: August 28, 2021.
Page Last Updated: December 27, 2021.