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Metepenagiag Heritage Park Trail


Store Miramichi Region


Quick Facts

Difficulty easy
Trail Type mixed
Distance 1.9 km total
Estimated Time 45 minutes return
Surface Type crushed rock, old road
Elevation Change 19 metres
Features historic site, river
Trail Markers none but easy to follow
Scenery Rating beautiful
Maintenance Rating variable
Cell Reception none
Dog Friendly yes
Fees none


From route 8 near Renous turn north onto Route 415 towards Red Bank. After nine kilometers you will come to a junction with route 420 near the river. Turn left onto Route 420 towards Red Bank. Drive for five kilometers and you will find the sign and flags marking the entrance to the park on the right. The blue museum signs should lead you all the way from route 8.

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The crushed rock trail enters the woods to the left of the visitor centre. The trail passes by a replica teepee camping site. A staircase takes you down into the river valley and soon you emerge onto the shore of the river. The bend in the river cuts into the tall gravel banks on the other side of the river. Follow the trail around the turn to explore the full oxbow.

To the right of the visitor center is a short trail that takes you to a lookout platform overlooking the river. Next to it is another, larger teepee. Make sure you stop into the visitor centre to learn all about the fascinating history of this site.

From the Sign

Metepenagiag Heritage Park

We warmly welcome you to our community.

In ancient times our ancestors established Metepenagiag at the junction of the Northwest and Little Southwest Miramichi Rivers. It is the oldest continuously inhabited village in New Brunswick.

Come experience centuries of Mi'kmaq history and sample our rich cultural heritage.

Have a pleasant visit!

From the Sign

Oxbow: An Ancient Fishing Village

Across the river from here, our Mi'kmaq ancestors set up a warm-weather fishing village. Located next to one of the best fishing pools on the Miramichi, the village thrived for generations.

In 1977, Elder Joseph Augustine guided us to the ancient Oxbow site. This link to our past has helped us to rediscover who we are as a people. We continue our centuries-old connection with the world-famous Mirmichi River.

From the Sign

Inland Winter Home

By the first snow, our Mi'kmaq ancestors had moved from the Oxbow fishing village to their lodges in the nearby upland forest.

Stored supplies, ice fishing, and group hunts kept them active and healthy. The people also filled the hours making crafts, telling stories, and playing games. In good weather the frozen rivers made travelling to hunting areas quite easy.

When the river ice broke up and the spring high water dropped, the ancestors would again move to the Oxbow site.

From the Sign


One of the largest pre-contact archaeological sites in the Maritimes, Oxbow is remarkable for its rich and deeply stratified record of almost continuous human occupation. For the past three millennia, Aboriginal people have repeatedly come to this oxbow in the Miramichi River to fish, hunt, and gather plants. Seasonal flooding covered their camps with silt, preserving evidence of the everyday life of the inhabitants, including stone tools, ceramics, and fire pits. This site is of lasting significance for the Metepenagiag Mi'kmaq Nation, whose ongoing responsibility as caretakers has ensured its continued existence.

From the Sign


Constructed about 2,500 years ago, this circular mound is a rare example in the Maritimes of the elaborate burial tradition associated with the Adena culture, which originated in the Ohio River Valley and then spread throughout eastern North America. The rich archaeological record found here includes well-preserved textiles and basketry, ornaments of Lake Superior native copper, Ohio fireclay pipes, and distinctive Adena-type stone tools. Today, the Augustine remains as an exceptional and enduring experession of spirituality for the Metepenagiag Mi'kmaq Nation.

Trail Last Hiked: September 8, 2012.

Page Last Updated: September 3, 2018.