Ministers Island is a small island part of New Brunswick, only accessible by car during low tide. Since the island is located in the Bay of Fundy, it is subjected to some of the highest tides in the World. How cool is that?! The access road, when available, is only a few kilometers from the town of St. Andrews.
The Island has changed hands throughout the years but it’s most famous owners were the Van Hornes.
The Van Horne Era
In 1891, Sir William Van Horne, once Canadian Pacific Railway’s President, and subsequently Chairman of the CPR Board, purchased the Island. He then built a sprawling summer estate on the island. Back in the day, the Island and Van Horne’s activities were a major tourist draw for St. Andrews and played a major role in the economic development and support of the region. Indeed, he was single-handedly responsible for attracting many of his wealthy friends who came and made St. Andrews their summer homes and established the town as Canada’s first and oldest seaside resort.
In 1977, the Province of New Brunswick purchased the Island. Today, the island has become a museum of sorts. The main cottage, with its 50 rooms, has been restored and is open to visitors. There are other buildings on the Island that you can tour as well. With plenty of walking, hiking and biking trails and gorgeous views, what is there not to like. Walking around really gives you a good idea of what it must have been like to live there back in the day!
There is a fee to access the Island by car of $10 per person. You can walk over for free but a donation is strongly suggested. The only downside is that you won’t be allowed to access the buildings but are welcome to use the trails.
Wary Travelers Tip:
Before heading over to Ministers Island definitely check the tides here. You don’t want to head out at the wrong time and be disappointed.
The Algonquin Resort has some bikes on site available for guest use. On a nice day, a bike ride to Ministers Island would be a fun activity!