Nature at its best
With the Saint John and Madawaska rivers meeting the Appalachian Mountains, there is no shortage of things for outdoor enthusiasts to savour. The area is known for its extensive mountain biking and hiking trail network that will keep you moving through breathtaking landscapes year-round. You can also explore the New Brunswick Botanical Garden, De la République Provincial Park, and go downhill skiing or snowboarding at Mont Farlagne in the winter.
Leisure & Recreation
With a laid-back style and plenty of joie de vivre, there’s lots to love about living here. Looking for some live entertainment? Head to the Grey Rock Casino. Searching for local produce or handmade items? Browse the Edmundston Downtown Market. Love a good adrenaline rush? Go zip-lining over the Grand Falls Gorge. Want to be on top of the world? Climb the Maritimes’ highest peak, Mount Carleton. Best part of living here—that perfect blend of adventure and relaxation.
Arts & Culture
You might be surprised at how many musicians and music lovers call this place home. Every Friday night, people head to the Grey Rock Casino for live shows, but don’t be surprised if someone pulls out a guitar at a café. Music is in the blood here. As are many other arts, like theatre, dance, and visual art, all of which you can take in at the Edmundston Art Centre, a renovated church in the heart of downtown.
With rivers, mountains, and valleys all around, it’s no wonder that you’ll find a wide range of activities here. The extensive trail system gives bikers and hikers a little slice of paradise to explore while golfers have stunning greens to tee off on. In winter, skiing, snowshoeing, and skidooing are popular pastimes. And for something different, head to Saint-Quentin where the annual Festival Western includes professional rodeo.
Food and Drink
With local food trucks, restaurants, and cafés adding flavour to the area, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with some of the traditional local treats, like the ploye, a buckwheat pancake that’s oh-so filling. If you love craft beer, Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault might be your new watering hole, where each brew showcases the area’s colourful history. For anyone with a sweet tooth, there’s no better time than maple season, when the trees of the area give up their sap to be made into delicious syrup.
While Edmundston is the biggest urban centre, there are lots of smaller communities in the area that are gems in and of themselves. Grand Falls, named after the massive waterfall at its heart, also happens to have the widest main street east of Winnipeg. In Saint-Quentin, you’ll not only be close Mount Carleton, the Maritimes’ highest peak, but you can stop by the Old Train Station to find out about local events. Explore these smaller communities and you’ll be delighted by what you find.
Unique Cultural History
The first inhabitants of this area were the Maliseet or Wolastoqiyik, who gave the region the name Madawaska. The settlers who arrived later came from Quebec, which is why today over 90% of the population speaks French. Many in this Francophone population identify as Brayons, a distinctive culture whose history and heritage are linked to farming and forestry in this area. This confluence of cultures has steeped Madawaska and Northwest Region in stories and traditions unique to this place.