Safety Tips

Know the Access Points

Knowing the Access Points can be very helpful in identifying where you are on the Trail. All Access Points lead to access roads where you have an opportunity to meet a vehicle if you are in an emergency situation or if you want to exit the trail. Positioned along the Mi’gmaq Trail are 21 Access Points and associated Access Paths. These Accesses are used by maintenance crews, rescue teams and hikers to reach different segments of the Trail. They can be very helpful to leave the Trail in an emergency as well. Each Access Point is identified by a letter - A through U. See the table below. Along the Trail, the Access Points are visible on 20 cm x 25 cm signs with their letter and a turtle. The Access Paths are marked with 10 cm x 13 cm turtle signs with a white background (i.e., the turtle signs with clear acrylic backgrounds are reserved for the Mi’gmaq Trail only and turtle signs with white backgrounds are for the access paths only!)

The distance between Access Points on the Trail varies from 4 to 11Km. It is extremely important for hikers to become familiar with the Access Points and their associated Paths before departing, especially on a multi-day hike. Make sure you mark them on your maps and GPS device. Many hikers, due to blisters, weather, time constraints, etc, are unable to complete their journey and these Access Points provide the best means to exit the trail, find a road and flag down a vehicle. The easiest Access Points to exit are R, L and E where the Trail crosses a road with vehicle traffic. Hikers are forewarned that traffic at Points R and L on the Nepisiguit Forest River Road (dirt) is often intermittent and that the wait for a lift may take hours. Point E is on a well-traveled paved road – Route 360. Exiting via Access Points M, N, O, P, Q, S and T require wading across the Nepisiguit River which in the spring and fall can be prohibitively high and/or cold. Once across the river, only short hikes (50 -500 meters) are necessary to reach the Nepisiguit River Forest Road (dirt) Hikers exiting at T and S remain quite remote and should make their way on the Nepisiguit River Forest Road to R where its junctions with the Portage Road (also dirt). It is important to note that traffic on the Nepisiguit River Forest Road can be intermittent and hikers should be prepared to wait for hours before being able to flag down a vehicle. Departing the Mi’gmaq Trail via Access Points F, G, H, I, J and K involves hiking along access paths/old logging roads 1.5 to 9 km to attain Taylor Brook Forest Road itself -a dirt road sparingly traveled (i.e., prepare to wait for hours). Exiting via Point D also involves crossing the Nepisiguit River, but it is too deep to wade, this access point is for emergency personnel only.

   
N0   
   
Access   Point.   
   
Nearby   Geographic feature or Historical Site   
   
Distance   Between Access Points (km).   
   
Sum   (km).   
   
1   
   
A   
   
Daly Point Nature Reserve   (Bathurst)   
   
/   
   
0   
   
2   
   
B   
   
Pump House   
   
10   
   
10   
   
3   
   
C   
   
Red Brook Road   
   
9   
   
19   
   
4   
   
D   
   
Long Hole   
   
6.7   
   
25.7   
   
5   
   
E   
   
Middle Landing   
   
6.3   
   
32   
   
6   
   
F   
   
Chain of Rocks   
   
8   
   
40   
   
7   
   
G   
   
Nepisiguit Dam (emergency access   only)   
   
8   
   
48   
   
8   
   
H   
   
The Narrows   
   
8   
   
56   
   
9   
   
I   
   
Three Islands   
   
4   
   
60   
   
10   
   
J   
   
Teepee Tiam   
   
5   
   
65   
   
11   
   
K   
   
Coles Brook (Teepee Geonig)   
   
8   
   
73   
   
12   
   
L   
   
Heath Steele Bridge (hyw 430)   
   
6   
   
79   
   
13   
   
M   
   
40 Mike Brook   
   
6   
   
85   
   
14   
   
N   
   
44 Mile Brook   
   
6   
   
91   
   
15   
   
O   
   
Indian Falls   
   
5.5   
   
96.5   
   
16   
   
P   
   
Indian Falls Depot   
   
8   
   
104.5   
   
17   
   
Q   
   
Devil's Elbow   
   
6.5   
   
111   
   
18   
   
R   
   
Popple Depot   
   
11.5   
   
122.5   
   
19   
   
S   
   
Pentland Brook   
   
8.5   
   
131   
   
20   
   
T   
   
McEwan’s Bridge   
   
8   
   
139   
   
21   
   
U   
   
Nepisiguit Lakes (Mt. Carleton   Park)   
   
11   
   
150   

Low Impact Visitor

Be a low-impact hiker. Hike only along the marked Trail. Do not take short cuts. Leave flowers and plants for others to enjoy. Do not damage trees or strip bark from trees. Leave the Trail cleaner than you found it. What you carry in, you must carry out including leftover food and toilet paper. Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints.

Dogs on the trail

Animal owners are expected to follow Local and Provincial Laws and are responsible for picking up animal feces on the trail. Do not leave pet feces or plastic bags on the trail. Dogs should have a harness and can easily be detained when meeting other hikers and wildlife on the trail. All animals must be vaccinated and tagged.

Drinking water

The trail follows the Nepisiguit River which offers an easy water source for the most part. It is extremely important to always treat or filter your water before dirking by using one of many types of water filtrations systems used by hikers today. On multi-day hikes, it is wise to bring a backup water treatment system in case you lose or accidently break your primary. A good back up is water purification tablets or drops. If you are boiling water, be sure to boil drinking water for a minimum of three minutes.

Food & Drop Box

Food choice is based on the preference of individual hikers. Weight is as important as calories when hiking. A hiker can burn from 4000 to 6000 calories per day depending on weight, pack weight and difficulty of trail. It’s important to plan your meals and snacks according to you. Many outdoor stores offer ready to eat meals that only need water added which are great because they weigh considerably less. Snacks are important like nuts and dried fruits which can give you additional calories between meals. Eat and drink often to stay hydrated and to maintain your energy levels. To reduce pack weight, The Mi’gmaq Trail has a food drop box near Access L at coordinates N47° 22’ 28’’ W066° 04’ 20’’ The box is located close to the halfway point on the trail and allows Thru hikers to store half their food before their hike.

Overnight Food Storage

Never feed wildlife, and never leave any food at the campsites. Never bring food in your tent, and always hang your food in a tree at least 4 meters off the ground. Using an 8-meter rope, hang your food bag at least 50 meters away from your campsite. This is good practice to keep animals out of your campsite.

Cooking

Cooking and boiling water is essential but not always necessary on the trail depending on the types of food you bring on your hike. The easiest and lightest way to cook or boil water is by using small compact hiking jet stoves with fuel. They are inexpensive and compact and are easy to tuck in your backpack. There are a variety of these stoves available. Another advantage of using these stoves is to reduce the risk of forest fires. Leftover Food and Wastewater Measure food allowances carefully to avoid leftovers. Ideally you should eat all the food you prepare. Sooner or later, you will need the energy! Grey water from the cooking and dishwashing should be deposited in a small cat-hole at least 60m from any water sources and campsites. The hole must then be covered up. This will allow for proper filtration of the wastewater and reduce bear attractants near the campsites. All extra prepared food should be put in sealed containers and eaten later or carried out.

Fires

Fires are not permitted in any way or form on the Sentier Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail. Fires are not permitted at campsites, teepees, platforms or anywhere along the 150km’s of Trail. Food must be cooked with a compact portable jet stove to reduce the risk of forest fires. Feet Care One hundred and fifty kilometers is a long way with a 25kg pack on your back. Your feet will bear the brunt of the effort. Quality, comfortable broken in hiking boots with a good pair of wool socks is critical to accomplishing the hike, but so is vigilant foot care. Blisters can quickly put an end to your adventure, so watch for them. As soon as hotspots are felt, stop and cover them with a second skin bandage or duct tape. Make boot adjustments and slow your pace to allow recovery. Allow your feet, socks and boots to dry off whenever possible at break time and in the evenings.

Insects

Insects normally show up the last week of May and are at their peak from the second week of June until early August. The Nepisiguit Valley, because of its rich diversity of wetlands and riparian habitat has more than its fair share of insects. They include black flies, mosquitoes, no-see-ums, deer flies, and horse flies. They can be extremely annoying in hot humid conditions and worsened with light winds. During the summer season it is important to bring a bug jacket and insect repellant. Wear light-coloured long-sleeved clothing and full legged pants. Wasps nest are often present in the hollows of fallen trees and underground. Watch for their presence when choosing rest spots. If you are allergic to bees and wasp stings, come prepared with a kit.

Toilet practices along the trail

We recommend that hikers carry a small trowel to dig a small shallow hole off the trail at least 60 metres from water sources and campsites. When you are done your business, cover up the hole. We recommend that you carry out your toilet paper... Nobody wants to see toilet paper along any hiking trail.

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