Grand Manan

5 Things to Do on Grand Manan Island When You Think You’ve Done it All

If you’re visiting Grand Manan this summer and it’s not your first visit, you may think that you’ve done it all on past visits to the Queen of the Fundy Isles.

Trust me. I’ve been there before, thinking I’d seen it all.

It wasn’t until we started spending more time there together and booking longer visits and eventually buying a property there, that we truly discovered some of the lesser known trails, beaches, and so much more.

Everyone knows the tourist classics – visit Swallowtail Lighthouse, drive to the Southern Head Cliffs, snap the famous Hole in the Wall photo. All of these are wonderful and a must if it’s your first time.

But there’s plenty more magic and parts of the island to explore beyond the popular tourist spots you always hear about.

From ridiculously cute and super friendly bunnies to some of the most stunning hiking trails. Did I mention the possibility of finding artifacts from shipwrecks and maybe even pirate treasure?

Grand Manan Island always has something for you to discover. In fact, I’m still discovering new island magic on every visit.

We don’t camp, so I’ll admit, I haven’t spent a ton of time in Anchorage Provincial Park on the island. But every summer, people I know who camp at Anchorage, message me to tell me about the bunnies! And how friendly the bunnies are in the campground. And I just assumed that you had to be camping there to get your chance to see the bunnies.

Oh bunny was I wrong 😉

How to Get There: Anchorage Provincial Park is a little over halfway down the island and about 15-20 minutes from North Head. There are no fees to enter the park (unlike other provincial parks) and there are so many amazing hiking trails for you to explore during your visit. To find the bunnies, once you enter the park, stay to the left and drive all the way to the ocean and beach. Once there, it shouldn’t take you long to find these cuties by the seaside.

Bring your camera – they’re not the least bit camera shy!

Grand Manan Island is known for having some of the best and most scenic hiking trails in New Brunswick. And I’ll be the first to admit that until recently, my hiking experience on the island was pretty limited.

Yes, we always get sucked into doing the same trails. And while I’ve been talking about doing Flock of Sheep or parts of the Red Trail for years now, I still haven’t. But this summer, I’m on it.

Last year, after seeing beautiful photos of Eel Brook Beach in the Grand Manan Vibes Facebook Group, I knew we needed to make the time to do the hike.

Eel Brook Beach is located right by Ashburton Head, where the famous Lord Ashburton Shipwreck happened in 1857 off the island. I had heard a rumour on the shell phone that if you’re lucky, you can still find ballast stones from the shipwreck scattered along the beach.

I was lucky enough to find one and trust me when I say – I haven’t stop talking about it since. 

Eel Brook Beach hiking trail is about 20 minutes in, 20 minutes out and is relatively easy until the last 5 minutes where it is a bit steep as you descend down to the beach. Totally worth it though!

How to Get There: The trail head to Eel Brook Beach is on the Whistle Road and will be on the right side of the road if you’re traveling from North Head. When you’re almost at Long Eddy Lighthouse, there’s a small bridge that passes over Eel Brook.

The trail head is up the hill, before you cross the bridge. Watch for a a sign and information board about the Seven Days Work Cliff Nature Preserve, that’ll tell you that you’re in the right place.

Whale watching off of Grand Manan Island is not just whale watching – it’s a whole otherworldly experience. There are very few places in the world, where you can leave the shore and within 20 minutes be surrounded by majestic Humpback Whales, Minke Whales, Finbacks, and if you’re lucky, perhaps even a puffin or two, or an incredibly endangered North Atlantic Right Whale.

While many visitors to the island first plan their visit around a whale watching tour, I still talk to a lot of folks who visit for the camping, hiking, seaglass or lighthouses, and don’t think to book some time to see the whales. Maybe you’re not a big fan of small boats (my husband isn’t) or maybe you’re worried you’ll get sea sick (there are good drugs for that).

Whatever your reason – it’s time to let those worries or reservations float out to sea and book your adventure this summer. Book a trip with my friends, Lambert Family Adventures and trust me – after a few hours out on the ocean with Captain Matt and the Bay of Fundy’s most incredible species, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this sooner.

Book your 2023 whale watching adventure here.

Ok so this one isn’t exactly ON the island, but you have to first be on Grand Manan to get to White Head Island and it’s an awesome experience to add to your vacation.

White Head Island is located just off Grand Manan Island and it is accessible by a FREE 20-30 minute ferry ride that leaves from Ingalls Head. The island does not have a gas station or convenience store. It does not have a restaurant. And yes, that means there is no where for you to get food or pee when you go over.

That said, it is another dreamy island to explore and visiting it for a few hours during your visit is a must. It boasts beautiful beaches, stunning and unique geology, and plenty of wildlife. And of course, there is a lighthouse!

Want to spend more time on the island? There is a darling Airbnb for rent (details here) and a private campground that you can rent (details here)!

How to Get There: To sail over to White Head Island, you’ll want to drive to the very end of Ingalls Head Road to the wharf. You will see a ramp where you will drive on to the ferry. You can view the ferry schedule here.

Mermaid reminder 👉🏻 Please be mindful that there are no gas stations, stores, or bathroom facilities on White Head Island. There IS a bathroom on the ferry. Plan accordingly, pee before you go, pack a snack or picnic lunch, and make sure you’ve got gas in the tank!

Last, but certainly not least – if you find yourself on Grand Manan with nothing to do or perhaps it’s a rainy day, make sure to visit the Grand Manan Museum.

I’d been visiting Grand Manan for nearly 20 years before I finally planned a visit and let’s just say, I don’t know what took me so long. If you love coastal history, island folklore, and shipwrecks – get your tail to the museum.

I always giggle at the description of this Ship Figurehead: “The man who found this “lady” was offended by her suggestive bosom, so he cut off her head and discarded the rest of the figurehead.”

There is an AMAZING shipwreck exhibit featuring artifacts from wrecks scattered around the island on loan from shipwreck hunter and author, Eric Allaby. I cannot wait to go to his evening at the museum this July.

Plan Your Visit: The Grand Manan Museum is located at 1141, Route 776. The museum is open seasonally from June 12th until September 22nd. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $5 for students, and children 6 and under are free! You can plan your visit here.

With all of these options and so much more to discover, I only have one question for you!

What will you do first?


  • Arvor Life
    May 23, 2023 at 5:42 am

    Hey there, love your blog!
    This is such a great guide to discovering some of the lesser-known gems on Grand Manan Island! I especially love the tip about the friendly bunnies at Anchorage Provincial Park. Is there a certain time of day that’s best to spot them?
    Charlotte 🌿 🌊
    With you from ocean to mountain top ⛰️

    • Crystal
      May 23, 2023 at 7:38 am

      Thank you so much! I LOVE your site – you have such cute products! 😊 I’ve only seen the bunnies in the morning but I’ve heard they’re around all day and evening! Are you visiting the island this summer?

      • Arvor Life
        June 4, 2023 at 5:46 pm

        No worries! I would love to but I need to see how many adventures I can cram in ;) Oh thank you so much!!! xx

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