Beautiful drives abound in New Brunswick, and you won’t be disappointed if you take some back-roads out of Fredericton, headed west. Route 102 follows the St. John River, and it’s a pleasure to drive – especially during the fall color season, in early October.
From Fredericton to Nackawic, you have a few choices of routes. The quickest will be Trans-Canada Highway 2, but for scenery, Route 102 is probably a better choice. This road stays close to the south bank of the St. John River almost the entire time. You’ll have a couple of opportunities to jump back onto Highway 2 if the drive is taking too long.
As another alternative, you could choose the north side of the river, and Route 105 – although river crossing opportunities are limited.
As I left Fredericton, I hopped on TCH2, unaware that I was missing some natural beauty along the River Valley Scenic Drive — one of New Brunswick’s designated scenic byways. The entire route stretches for 512 kilometers, but in this part of the province it follows Route 102, the Old River Road. Eventually, I figured out that there was a better alternative to the freeway, and I hopped over to the road less traveled.
That’s the road sign that lets you know you’re on the River Valley Scenic Drive. And as you can see, I was on this road at (or very near) the peak of Autumn colors, during the first week of October.
A wide view of the St. John River gives you an idea of just how beautiful it is.
And look at those colorful trees on the far side of the river! After a long week of driving around the Maritime Provinces and wishing that fall was a little further along, I was finally seeing the colors I had hoped for.
That’s a gorgeous coastline! It’s the kind of scenery that makes me want to drive the entire 512 kilometers. Maybe next year.
At Pokiok, Routes 102 and TCH2 intersect, and you can hop over to the other side of the Saint John River…
… by way of the Pokiok Bridge. And trust me, you’ll want to drive across the bridge to Nackawic. Why, you axe? I’ll tell you on the next page.
Here’s a look at the drive from Fredericton to Nackawic, via TCH2 and Route 102:
The Bottom Line
Stay on Route 102 for a nice, relaxing drive along the Saint John River. It’s especially scenic in early October, but you’ll enjoy this relaxing drive any time of the year.