Welcome to Mt Carleton Provincial Park & the Tobique Valley
The 17,427-hectare provincial park is one of the region's best-kept secrets. It offers visitors a wilderness of mountains, valleys, rivers and wildlife including moose, deer and bear. The park's main feature is a series of rounded glaciated peaks and ridges, including Mt Carleton (820m). This range is an extension of the Appalachian Mountains, which begin in Georgia, USA, and end in Québec. Mt Carleton is little known and relatively unvisited, even in midsummer.
The park is open from mid-May to October. All roads are gravel-surfaced. The nearest towns are Riley Brook, 40km to the south, and St Quentin, 42km to the north, so bring all food and a full tank of gas.
Feature: World Class (Pond) Hockey
As anyone who has been in the country for more than five minutes knows, Canadians love their hockey. For many, this affection (obsession?) is wrapped up in happy childhood memories of bright winter afternoons chasing a puck up and down a frozen pond or backyard rink.Every February, the small forest town of Plaster Rock (population 1200), 84km from Mt Carleton, hosts the World Pond Hockey Tournament. Over 20 rinks are plowed on Roulston Lake, which is ringed by tall evergreens, hot-chocolate stands and straw-bale seating for the thousands of spectators drawn to the four-day event. The tournament is wildly popular, with 120-plus amateur four-person teams traveling in from every continent except Antarctica. Anyone can register to play, but they will have to defeat the Acadian Boys, who have scrambled over squads like the Skateful Dead, the Raggedy Ass River Boys and the Boiled Owls to put a lock on the championship trophy several years running.If you want to play, register early. If you want to watch, pack your long johns and a toque (wool hat) and book your accommodations early. The organizers keep a list of local folks willing to billet out-of-towners in their homes.