Explore the Fredericton Capital Region with Coreen Hildebrand, a travel blogger and photographer known as Maritimes Maven. From New Zealand to the United States, she has travelled all over the world but has a soft spot for her home —the Maritimes.
To check out her personal blogs about New Brunswick and other Maritime provinces, visit here.
Follow her ongoing blog series on our Curated Experiences page to gain inspiration for your next trip to the Fredericton Capital Region.
Harvey, New Brunswick, welcomes you with warm hospitality, good food and drink, and sweet artisan shops. This hamlet sits among rolling hills surrounded by lakes, making it a seasonal cottage destination and an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Deep roots and tradition have carved out a caring community with a deep sense of pride. People who live here – love it, and they are a friendly lot. They want you to see what they do and love it too.
Bring your appetite and start your day with a value-priced big breakfast at Black’s Grocery and Café, (1955 Route 3). I met a group of men at one table and their wives at an adjacent table, who breakfast at Black’s every Saturday. They said that this is a great gathering place for good coffee and a home-cooked meal - any day of the week. I thoroughly enjoyed my brekkie and picked up a few extra insider tips.
My next stop was to be the Giant Fiddle, (1908 Route 3), but it is presently being refurbished, and should be back on its base in front of Harvey Elementary School in 2024. This massive 4-metre (13 ft) x 2-m (6 ft.) fiddle is a tribute to local legend and internationally renowned fiddler, Don Messer.
The Barn at Harvey View Farm – (Hanselpacker Road) is the perfect setting for your dream wedding or special event, and I could not resist a visit. This seasonal wedding venue has breathtaking hilltop views overlooking Harvey Lake and after a tour of the facilities and site, I can only imagine how much joy and happiness it has witnessed. Harvey Community days, an annual week-long summer festival, hosts many fun events and activities at The Barn.
Harvey Lake and Taylor Field - (Route 636) is a community hub and lakefront recreational area that reminds you how life is meant to be enjoyed. Soak up this beautiful lake, dock, beach, park, picnic area, baseball field, and playground. Swimmers, kayakers, canoers, paddleboarders, and fishers love the lake. There is a boat launch here, and this is where you should park to access the Grieve Lakeshore Trail. The trail just opened in July 2023 as a gift to Harvey from the Grieve family. It winds along the lake for a kilometre next to Route 636. Historical plaques line this pleasant, levelled, shaded trail. The benches and lookouts with scenic views of Harvey Lake and Cherry Mountain are plentiful.
W.W.E. Smith’s Country Store - (1948 Route 3) – is a general store that you must see to believe. It first opened in 1869 and is named after its original founder William Walter Embleton Smith. It is an excellent example of Victorian country design. Enjoy this step back in time and grab a cold drink or snack after your hike.
Hunter House Bath & Body (1929 Route 3) - is a locally owned mother-daughter business in one of Harvey’s original churches built in 1893. Handcrafted, natural bath and body products, and crystal-infused candles, are beautifully displayed on antique tables and vintage cabinets with natural sunlight filtering in through stained-glass windows. It is something to behold.
Head to Big Fiddle Still (2048 Route 3) to try this multiple award-winning craft distillery’s flavour-infused vodkas and signature Fiddle cocktails. I fell head over heels for their Gold Medal Salted Caramel vodka – especially in an iced cappuccino. The Raspberry Kiss cocktail is popular, too. Hear some highly entertaining moonshining stories, see some clever cow shoes worn to successfully evade Prohibition agents, and earn your “Screamed In” Certificate by taking a shot of Big Fiddle New Brunswick Scream and kissing a beaver. I predict this will become New Brunswick’s newest thing! Plan several return trips – like I did – to get it all in.
After all those shenanigans, head to the Upper Village Mall (2306 Route 3) to enjoy accessible restrooms and an EV charger. Then visit the Harvey Visitor Centre to check out the displays on the history of the area and pick up information for your travels throughout New Brunswick.
Next Door Fine Crafts is a delightful craft shop in the mall. All products are handmade in Atlantic Canada. You can even find New Brunswick photography cards by yours truly. There is something for everyone here.
Plan to have lunch at Entity 59 Smokehouse. Enjoy slow-cooked, good food from fresh ingredients. All bread is baked onsite which is a bonus! This restaurant is getting rave reviews. The staff go out of their way to ensure you have a wonderful experience and Entity 59 Smokehouse is being touted as the best thing to come to Harvey in a long time!
Make your way to Briggs & Little Woolen Mills, Ltd. (3500, Route 635). Enjoy the charming pond view from here and take in Canada’s oldest vertical woollen mill, which has been manufacturing since 1857. They process pure wool and nylon blends onsite but are not available for tours.
Continue to OG Ales Taproom & Brewhouse – (2180 Route 635, Magaguadavic) to visit New Brunswick’s first off-grid microbrewery. They have been crafting premium ales using solar energy since 2016. Learn more about how OG Ales uses the sun’s power to be Net Carbon Neutral and enjoy a product tasting in their new taproom or out on their patio.
Go back the way you just came on Route 635 and drop back into the Upper Village Mall again to Harvey’s Ice Cream Shack (2306 Route 3). You must be ready for dessert by now, and they offer seasonal ice cream treats that has locals lining up and will have you licking your lips, not wanting to miss a drip of this yumminess.
Enjoy more treasure hunting at The Kubbyhole (1879 Route 3, next to Fen's Irving). This craft cooperative is full of pottery, weaving, woodcrafts, jewellery, artwork, primitive country décor, all-natural soaps & bath products, knitwear, candles, soup mixes & syrups, jams & jellies, and much more.
The last stop is The Big Red Barn (Swan Farm, Rear Settlement Road, just off Route 3). It draws me in every time with its ever-changing barn quilt pattern stars. I mean, who doesn’t love a red barn?
Harvey is the land of lakes and the little community with a big heart. The folks who live here are very friendly and know how to celebrate – as is most evident during the annual Harvey Community Days, which occurs during the second week of August. Plan a visit and enjoy the rolling hills and rural countryside drive to and from Harvey. They remind me how blessed we are to have these beautiful little communities in the Fredericton Capital Region.