Cape Jourimain Nature Centre has approximately 17-km of trail systems spread across three primary trails, Gunning, Trenholm, and the Lighthouse Trail. Our trails meander through diverse habitats including mixed forest and shrubland, and provide outstanding coastal views.
To help protect the National Wildlife Area’s sensitive habitats, visitors are asked to remain on trail and follow the ethic of leave nothing but footprints; take nothing but photographs & memories. Download a high-resolution trail map here.
- In early spring, or after a heavy rainfall, some parts of the trails may be flooded.
- In summer, mosquitoes and black flies can be expected.
- Our trails are not wheelchair-accessible.
- Poison ivy grows along some sections of our trails. For your safety, please wear protected footwear and long trousers to avoid contact.
To treat poison ivy: first remove all contaminated clothing or footwear and clean it carefully without direct skin contact. Residual plant oils on clothing can easily recontaminate unless it is thoroughly washed. Wash all affected skin with strong soap and water, followed by rubbing alcohol.
The Gunning Trail
3 km — about 1 hour at a leisurely walking pace
Passing under the 1st arch of the Confederation Bridge, The Gunning Trail trail takes you up the coast of Jourimain Island to a dramatic lookout at Gunning Point — offering spectacular views of the Confederation Bridge along the way.
- The trail loops through spruce forest and sunny openings full of wild roses.
- Lookouts over the dunes and brackish marsh provide good opportunities to observe some of the area’s intriguing flora and fauna.
- Out on the Northumberland Strait, sea ducks dive for mussels, gulls squabble over bits of food, shorebirds and dabbling ducks feed in the brackish marsh, and warblers and song sparrows sing from fields and forest.
ATTENTION: In 2018, the trail is still open but some sections are closed for safety.
The Lighthouse Trail
Cape Jourimain’s historic lighthouse awaits you at the far end of this loop trail.
- You’ll follow the shoreline through fields of bayberry, wild roses, asters, and goldenrods into a young forest of spruce, poplar and maple trees.
- Look for shrubs loaded with serviceberries, as there are sure to be robins and waxwings feeding there.
- As you admire the lighthouse and its construction, marvel at the flying skills of the many cliff swallows that build their mud nests on the tower.The return trip will take you through mossy forests along the historic road that was used to access the lighthouse as far back as 1870.
The Trenholm Trail
6 km — about 2 hours at a leisurely walking pace
Trenholm is a longer trail that takes you into the heart of the National Wildlife Area as you head across Jourimain Island and follow the causeway to Trenholm Island.
- Saltmarshes, mature woods, old homestead sites and beautiful coastal views are some of the attractions of this trail.
- With a bit of luck you may spot a wild orchid in bloom or catch a glimpse of a white-tailed deer.
- Be sure to plan enough time to really enjoy all that this trail has to offer.
- There is a lush understory growth of poison ivy on the southern portion of the trail, and so we recommend that you wear closed-toe footwear and long trousers.