Destination Doaktown & Boiestown
‘Come Home’ & Stay a While
Just say ‘Ahhh!’ as you enter The Ledges Inn. Located in Central New Brunswick on the Miramichi River, this charming lodge, famous outfitters & all-round comfortable resort is the perfect place to enjoy some good old-fashioned R & R while you explore everything Doaktown, Boiestown and the surrounding area offers. The three days and two nights I thoroughly enjoyed here with my good friend Lucie, felt like coming home. So, put your feet up and stay a while. Trust me, there is A LOT TO SEE in these woods (that you, like me, have driven straight through many times before on your way somewhere else), so settle in, sit back & get out your notepad or iPad and take notes. You’ve got some explorin’ to do!
The Ledges Serves It Up
The Ledges slowly takes a hold of you. First, it’s the beautiful lodge, then it’s the river, then… you eat & well, after that… it’s all over. It doesn’t hurt that this resort is 4 1/2 stars and caters to your every whim. Can you say ‘gourmet food’?! You sure can here, as main cook & bottle washer Chef Chantelle (and her lovely assistants Mariska & Julie) serve up mouth-watering meals day after day & night after night. Emily, the local morning cook also whips up a mean breakfast that starts your day off just right for the adventures that lie ahead, whether it be on the river, in the woods, or on the road heading to the many nearby attractions.
Open Year Round
The Ledges is open year round and besides the famous salmon pools and upland bird hunting they are well known for, they also cater to corporate gatherings, weddings, yoga retreats, and romantic escapes. During the winter, snowmobile guides are available and there is even an option to rent out the entire main lodge for a large group. Consider a destination stay with The Ledges as your home base. There is a massage therapist and an aesthetician available too. If Lucie and I were not so busy exploring all there was to see & do, we would have certainly taken advantage of this. Note to self: stay longer next time for extra pampering!
Have Your Cake & Eat it Too!
You can have your cake and (literally) eat it too at The Ledges (just ask Chantelle). However you choose to spend your days, you can be as busy as you want hunting or fishing or discovering hidden gems in the area or you can simply live the good life and soak up the atmosphere as you enjoy your own balcony with a view (all 10 rooms have them), curl up with a good book by the water, take in a sunset view with a glass of wine or perhaps just drink up the scenery. It really must be spectacular in the autumn with the fall foliage. The owner Caroline, shared that winter is just as lovely with frequent deer seen wandering about and the occasional bobcat sighting across the river.
All four seasons offer different pleasures for those who seek accommodations here. Everett & Caroline Taylor are 6th generation outfitters (their children & grandchildren will be the 7th & 8th, if they so choose). Many folks, even famous ones like Bobby Orr have enjoyed a stay at The Ledges. It draws you in and once ‘hooked’, many come back year after year. It is a special place and I was charmed by the whole community and how supportive they are of each other. Caroline spoke of several activities guests could enjoy nearby, and she was quick to recommend a large list of things to do or places to go, adding she would be happy to call and set up a tee time at the local golf course, reserve a canoe at Storeytown Cottages Miramichi River Adventures, or find out hours of local shops and area attractions. In fact, everyone was very accommodating everywhere Lucie & I visited and each place, spoke kindly of the other. It’s one big happy family here and to be honest, we were really shocked at how much there was to do in Doaktown & Boiestown. Who knew? There was more to do than we actually had time to take in. You really must ‘come home’ to Doaktown and enjoy it all too.
Hunting for Treasures
My first sport of choice in Doaktown & Boiestown is shopping, (seriously though) as there is no shortage of great places to check out. Enjoy my photographic journey showcasing my three favourite stores in the area and some of the treasures I saw while in them (and a few that came home with me… Shhhh! My husband hasn’t discovered them yet). Start the car as there are pretty things to fall in love with at Living Out Loud, charming country treasures and candles of course at Candle in the Window and so many bargains to be had at High Wheeler Antiques. So, with no further ado… Ladies & Gentlemen… start your engines!
Living Out Loud
Located inside the local Pharmasave in Doaktown, Living Out Loud offers gifts for your home or for you. The manager, Joanna Munn has filled this shop with ‘sugar and spice and everything nice’ for the special people in your life, including yourself! It is a one-stop shop and there is a little of everything in here. If you need a gift, she has what you need. Joanna has carefully curated beautiful quality brand name items, lovely personal products, gorgeous clothing and footwear lines and darling jewelry & accessories. Make sure you check out her bedding section and the exquisite quilts. I found a gorgeous pure white one with intricate designs. It almost makes me wish for cooler weather (almost). I will be happy to wait for fall though to put it on my bed, but I will treasure it for years as it is of the finest quality and I know it will last me a lifetime.
Candle in the Window
“I’m a little bit country“ ~ if this is you, then this is the store for you! Head to Boiestown & brace yourself. The owner, Kara Gruchy just got back from a buying trip and her store is loaded with goodies for all you primitive loving, country farmhouse style souls. I was swept up in the whimsical folk art pieces she’s curated recently and you will be too. Charming and fun, delightful and cozy, Kara has the inside and outside of your home in mind and has thought of everything you might need for seasonal home decor. Mowgli, Candle in the Window’s resident cat (and my personal shopping assistant) always greets me & leads me to a few treasures that I just can’t resist. I know I promised my husband no more bird houses, but Kara just stocked some pretty turquoise ones, and then there was a sweet yellow rocking chair that matched my front door, and sweet wrought iron candle holders that match my fireplace, and… well, you know how it goes.
High Wheeler Antiques
“You can’t miss it”, I was told over and over again, and they were right! High Wheeler Antiques has a gi-normous old-fashioned yellow bicycle highlighting their business on Route 8 in Doaktown. I just discovered this antiques & collectibles haven in April this year and I couldn’t believe my luck. The owners, Ken and Paulette have a wonderful selection of furniture, artwork, pottery, crystal, dishes, toys, primitives, memorabilia and more…. This is the neatest, organized & cleanest antique store of this size, that I have ever seen! Items are curated throughout New Brunswick and the state of Maine, then displayed beautifully and obviously cared for & dusted lovingly until each one leaves the shop. Customer service is exceptional here too. I had such fun digging around and asking questions and Paulette never tired of my questions, gladly sharing the history of each item I enquired about. There is evident pride & great joy put into this business and items are priced well to sell. I found a fascinating MicMac artwork here, a pretty hand-carved artisan wooden box, pretty Tiffany & Co glass candle holders and a primitive pine wooden bowl. I even found an old 1959 Moncton Telephone Book that Lucie and I both discovered had our grandfathers listed in it. Find a treasure that steals your heart and have fun reminiscing as you browse this incredible shop. Warning - a drop by may turn into two or three hours, but you won’t regret it as there is definitely something for everyone!
Doak Historical Site
Another first for me, was visiting The Doak Historic Site, which consists of an impressive Welcome Centre chock full of the history of Doaktown, the beautifully preserved Doak family home with all its original contents, a milk house, a one room school house and beautiful wide open grounds to enjoy a picnic or wandering about the gardens. Follow Robert Doak’s arrival from Scotland to his status growth worthy of naming a village after him. Demonstrations of weaving, crafts and butter making take place regularly during the summer months and admission is by donation only. Valerie O’Donnell, the site coordinator & Squire ‘Donald’ give a great tour of this remarkable setting. Ask Valerie who might live in the cupboard under the stairs in the Doak House and ask ‘Squire’ Donald about what the naughty children were assigned to do at the end of the school day. Valerie and Donald bring Doaktown Historical Site to life and the restoration of this site has been phenomenal. They are both animated and engaging and this is a must see for anyone interested in knowing more about the history of Doaktown.
Atlantic Salmon Museum
What a hidden gem the Atlantic Salmon Museum is for the community of Doaktown. It is located in the heart of the village and features a collection of over 3,000 artifacts including original paintings, sculptures, salmon flys, rods, reels, and a large library of books & journals which will now be housed in the recently completed cozy reading room trimmed with stained glass windows in the middle of a larger gallery. Over the years, the Atlantic Salmon Museum has been the very fortunate recipient of gifted items by some very generous donors including the acquisition of a sports fishing collection from the estate of John William Keith-King estimated at a half a million dollars. Needless to say, the museum will impress everyone that enters its doors as it offers a comprehensive look at the Atlantic salmon and its importance to the history and culture of this part of New Brunswick. There is a small aquarium on site, a beautiful great room with a stunning deck view overlooking the Miramichi river and a fun ‘Come Play on our River’ Summer Day Camp with fly fishing, fly tying, trout fishing, canoeing, hiking, and ecological learning available for children. The Riverside Treasures gift shop is a lovely spot to pick up a local Doaktown or New Brunswick made item including T-shirts, jackets, hoodies, jewelry, artwork, and prints and they also serve ice cream cones for those young and young at heart.
Fall Brook Falls
Now THIS is a waterfall that must be seen to be believed. Fall Brook Falls is spectacular ~ the biggest waterfall around and an adventure getting to as well. It is not a huge hike but a moderately challenging one first, for the access to it with your vehicle, then second for the steep hill you have to climb back up at the end of your journey just to return to where you parked. The actual pathway to the waterfall is fairly easy to follow but you have to watch your step as the ground is riddled with exposed tree roots, there are a few wooden staircases, and occasional downed trees you must either climb over or under to keep going, plus there is one spot where the path next to the brook is eroding badly and you must cling to a rope to get by, but despite all of that, I have to say, its so worth it! This the prettiest waterfalls you will see in New Brunswick (my opinion) and every sure-footed resident & visitor to our province should see it.
Finding Fall Brook Falls pathway starting point can be challenging, so please use a GPS navigator. You should also know that you are required to sign a liability waiver & pay $10 per vehicle to access the road past the gate house. After this point, you have a 13 km drive on a dirt road, then you turn onto another dirt road further into the woods that will have you stopping your car and parking it at the top of a very steep hill to go the rest of the way by foot (unless you have a rugged 4 x 4, and even then I suspect you may end up parking it at some point too because of the road drop off condition). My suggestion is to park at the first natural spot where you see enough room for a couple vehicles and your instincts are saying ‘stop’. The walk is easy from there going down the hill (although you are digging your heels as the decline is steep, so wear appropriate footwear and know that it is a good challenge coming back up too, so pace yourself, take water and a snack with you too. It also can be ‘buggy’ here, so cover up as much as possible and use bug spray. Still, anyone who knows that I’m not much of a woodsy girl will appreciate that if I say, this is worth your time & effort, I mean it.
This is an awesome waterfall and I can’t wait to take my husband back another time. I have seen photos of it before but nothing does it justice until you are facing it yourself. I believe I swallowed a bug when my mouth fell agape I was so in awe. If you do have a heart condition, please heed my advice and don’t attempt this trek. For everyone else, you’ve got this and you can’t miss this experience! It is the proverbial ‘hidden gem’ ~ the ‘diamond in the rough’. Don’t let the babbling brook fool you, as Fall Brook Falls is the highest waterfall in New Brunswick at 30 m (100 ft). & it drops at 90% . This is a MUST SEE!
The Bridges of Northumberland County
If you build it ~ they will come! There’s nothing quite as picturesque as old bridges crossing a majestic river and Northumberland County has plenty of them. Enjoy exploring these icons of the past. Note: download the maps you need before you set out - then switch to offline to save data on your phone or set up the locations on your GPS as some of these bridges take a bit of ‘uncovering’ to discover, but each one is worth your time. Please take care and great caution too as many of these bridges are in various stages of disrepair & deterioration. Lucie & I were charmed by each one and we found our day flew by tracking down and exploring these beauties. You will too.
Village Family Restaurant
Home cooking at its best. Lucie and I enjoyed a couple lunches here while visiting the area (and any time we return). Everything is tasty, service is friendly and the desserts are out of this world!
My experience is my own and not at all meant to be an extensive or inclusive exploration of Doaktown, Boiestown and surrounding area. Check out more information for yourself. One of the spots I missed was the Central New Brunswick Woodmen’s Museum, here is a link to more info.
What are you waiting for! ‘Come Home’ to Doaktown & Boiestown
This post was sponsored by The Ledges Inn, Living Out Loud, Candle in the Window & High Wheeler Antiques; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Follow me - the Maritimes Maven on FaceBook, Instagram, Pinterest & Twitter. Be the first to receive my latest stories by subscribing to my blog by simply clicking on the link at the top of this story.