Restigouche County, known worldwide for its famous salmon river of the same name, is fast becoming a must stop for visitors to Eastern Canada. The region's rich culture, breathtaking scenery, many attractions and activities make Restigouche a vacation destination to suit all tastes.
The rugged beauty of the region is dominated by the Appalachians, the oldest chain of mountains in North America and the second largest mountain system on the continent - only the Rockies are larger. The range stretches for 3,500 kilometres from Alabama to Newfoundland.
The Appalachians are most clearly visible in the region covered by Route 17 between St.-Léonard and Campbellton. The lovely Restigouche runs through the Appalachians and is the largest of a network of rivers and streams. Mount Carleton and Sugarloaf Mountain-both home to provincial parks-are the best known and most visited of New Brunswick's Appalachians.
New Brunswick is Canada's only officially bilingual province and Restigouche is almost evenly divided between both linguistic groups. The Acadian French, the descendants of British settlers and the native Micmacs provide an interesting cultural diversity that is reflected in festivals, food and handicrafts.
The Restigouche River has touched the lives of many people, from the Micmacs, for whom it was a major transportation route, to poor Irish immigrants seeking a better life. Breathtakingly beautiful and historically significant, the Restigouche provides exceptional recreational opportunities.
The bridge at Kedgwick River, built to provide access to logging roads that serve the interior forested area, is the only bridge crossing the Restigouche River within the nominated area.
Because of its relative inaccessibility by road, the region is completely unspoiled. The river winds peacefully through dense forests. The rough terrain associated with the river has limited development and, for the most part, it has remained the domain of the majestic Atlantic Salmon.
The Canadian Heritage Rivers System was established by the federal, provincial and territorial governments to recognize significant rivers in Canada as a means to help ensure future management and to protect and enhance their heritage values. Rivers already named to the national system include a 48-kilometre section of the Yukon River, the South Nahanni in the Northwest Territories, the Athabasca in Alberta, the Jacques Cartier in Quebec and the St. Croix River in New Brunswick.
Recreational canoeing and camping have increased steadily over the past decade. Over 350 kilometres of canoeable waters are directly accessible from the river.
The forest cover supports an abundance of wildlife. Those who hike along the forest trails are apt to come across white tailed deer, moose, red fox, black bear or coyote, while canoeists will see beaver, ruffed grouse and mallards. A fortunate few might even catch sight of a lynx or osprey-both provincially endangered species.