ABOUT THE DOBSON TRAIL
The Dobson Trail is a continuous footpath through the Albert County wilderness stretching 57.75 km from Riverview, NB to the northern boundary of Fundy National Park near Alma, NB. It is an all season trail traversing a variety of woodland terrain. It follows along brooks, crosses meadows, and travels along some older and new roads for some periods. The trail winds through soft and hardwood stands, crosses a beaver dam, touches a lake, and ascends slopes, some gradual and some steep, to reach Magnificent look-outs including Prosser Brook Ridge, the new Kent Hills power generating windmills, and the spectacular Hayward Pinnacle. The Dobson Trail meets Fundy National Park at the Old Sheapody Road and joins the Park’s Laverty Falls Trail just west of the Broad River via the Dobson Link Trail.
History OF THE DOBSON TRAIL
The Dobson Trail, as it is known today, is the realized dream of Dr. Art Dobson who started scouting for a foot route to Fundy National Park in December 1959.
The trail was carefully conceived and planned from the outset following the standards set down by the Appalachian Trail conference publication, “The Guide to Blazing and Maintaining Trails”. A practical set of plans was outlined by him to scout and layout the trail by sections, to search landownership and obtain permission to cross private land where necessary, clear and blaze a path, erect signs and shelters, and plan for annual trail maintenance. A guide book and map has been published for hikers.
For a decade during basic trail building, interested volunteer groups worked under Dr. Dobson’s direction. Boy Scout troops of Moncton, Hillsborough, Riverview, and Alma eagerly joined the spare time project. It has been said that those trail blazing years put the “out” in Scouting. The Moncton Naturalist Club, Members of the New Brunswick Forestry Department, and the Moncton Travel Bureau helped in various aspects of the work, encouraged by the Albert County Council.
Since the final destination was Fundy National Park, the trail was referred to from the outset as “The Fundy Trail”. As time and work progressed, a Fundy Trail Conference was established for the purpose of monitoring progress. Delegates from each work area met periodically to discuss problems and solutions in the development and maintenance of the trail through the seasons.
In the late 1960’s the Province of New Brunswick, increasingly active in tourism, established motor routes to the Fundy National Park which became known as the Fundy trails. The National Park itself began making a system of fine walking trails through its area which was referred to as Fundy Hiking Trails.
By 1975 members of The Fundy Trail Conference in Albert County held a special meeting for the purpose of organizing a complete grooming of their 57.75 kilometer-foot-path. It was decided then, to obviate any confusion with Provincial or Park Trails, that the name of the trail through the wilderness of Albert County would be changed to The Dobson Trail after its founder. It was further decided that the Conference seek incorporation. A Charter was granted on February 12, 1975, under the name of Fundy Hiking Trail Association, Inc., whose purpose as outlined is to administer the existing Dobson Trail and to promote the building of future hiking trails within its area of jurisdiction.