Route 102 along the St. John River, New Brunswick

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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.

Location

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.

My Visit

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.

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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.

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A wide view of the St. John River gives you an idea of just how beautiful it is.

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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.

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That’s a gorgeous coastline!  It’s the kind of scenery that makes me want to drive the entire 512 kilometers.  Maybe next year.

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At Pokiok, Routes 102 and TCH2 intersect, and you can hop over to the other side of the Saint John River…

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… 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.

Drivelapse Video

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.

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