By Christopher MacKinnon
Northern New Brunswick gets mighty colourful in the spring and summer. From the crimson sunsets over Chaleur Bay to those purple plants that seem to decorate every roadside, you'd be hard-pressed to find a bleak-looking spot between May and October. So it's no surprise all that natural colour is also reflected in the place names. Here are the Top 10 most 'colourful' locations in Restigouche and Gloucester counties. Every place listed below has a colour in its name. Let me know if I've missed any you think should be on the list.
Black Top Mountain
About an hour's drive south of Balmoral, Black Top Mountain rises 441 metres above the surrounding woodland. That makes it about half the height of New Brunswick's tallest peak, Mount Carleton. Black Top Mountain's name comes from the dark, almost asphalt-like colour of its rocky summit. Click here to see travel directions from Charlo.
This body of water flows deep in the interior of Restigouche County, roughly halfway between Petit-Rocher and Kedgewick. Red Brook can be glimpsed from one of the unnamed gravel roads that cut into the remote region. It's a 1.5 hour ride from the village of Saint-Arthur if you're planning a visit.
Black Point, NB
The tiny community of Black Point is nestled along Route 134 between Sea Side and Nash Creek. Those who drive through the area will see black pine trees, quaint country houses and occasional views of Chaleur Bay. North of Black Point, the bay soon transitions into the estuary of the Restigouche River at Dalhousie.
Near the southern outskirts of Restigouche, Blue Lake is named for the deep blue colour of its waters. You're likely to catch some pickerel and maybe even a yellow perch if you go fishing here. Blue Lake is a rugged 15 km ATV ride from the above-mentioned Red Brook.
Translated to English as 'Green Point', this village on the edge of Gloucester County is appropriately named. The verdant woods surrounding the village have sustained the forestry industry for many years. The community's online home page, which showcases a green logo in its banner, states that this "typical Acadian village" now has a population of 971.
Red Maple Street
South of Bathurst lies the territory of the Pabineau Indian Band. Red Maple Street within the Pabineau reserve runs north-south between Sewell Street and Peter Paul Street. The red maple is one of the most widespread trees of Atlantic Canada. You probably recognize its leaf from a certain national flag.
Greenwood Drive, Campbellton
Technically situated within the city limits of Campbellton, the fairly obscure Greenwood Drive is out towards McLeods, near where Thompson Road diverges from Route 134. For some, the name may evoke the "green wood" of Robin Hood's Nottingham Forest. For others, the naming will be reminiscent of the Nova Scotia village of Greenwood. But this street likely gets its name from the dense green hectares of trees that seem to roll out from it as far as the eye can see.
Grey Street, Dalhousie
The only Dalhousie entry on this list—and perhaps a surprising choice for number three—Grey Street is well-known to pretty much every town resident. Its "grey" name is deceptive: some of the most vibrant and colourful views of the Restigouche River and the distant reddish banks of the Quebec coastline can be observed from here. It runs east-west from George Street to Renfrew Street.
Almost nothing is known about Blue Mountain. Located in wilderness 30 km southwest of Lorne, it gets few visitors and seemingly no climbers wishing to scale its summit. The New Brunswick Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage tells us it was officially named in 1955, but few other details are generally available. Its mysterious blue name and truly remote location land this mountain firmly at #2 on our list.
Maple Green, NB
Yes, Maple Green. With its stylish two-part name combining an iconic Canadian symbol and a much-loved colour, Maple Green is the #1 most 'colourful' place name in Northern New Brunswick. The unincorporated community sits squarely between McLeods and Dalhousie Junction, just south from the Restigouche River. Next time you pass through its terrain along Route 134, take a quiet moment to sit back and appreciate this majestic little corner of the province.