The Musquash Estuary Nature Reserve is a 2,309 hectare (5,704 acre) nature reserve that is managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). The Black Beach Trail and the Five Fathom Hole Trail were the first two hiking trails in the area built by NCC. From 2014-2017 Explore Lorneville Inc., a non-profit community group—built the Split Rock Trail along the rugged coast of the Bay of Fundy between the Coleson Cove power plant and the Musquash Head Lighthouse at the mouth of the Musquash Estuary. Troy’s Trail was then extended from the Lighthouse to Black Beach. Explore Lorneville partnered with NCC to build the Lorneville Link Trail, which opened in 2021 and connects all the trails in the area to form the Musquash Estuary Coastal Trails.
The trail system is now 20.5 kilometres of connected trails providing amazing views of the Bay of Fundy and the extensive mud flats of the Musquash Estuary. The total kilometres for a one-way linear hike is 16.8 kilometres (17.8 kilometres at high tide). The Musquash Head Lighthouse is on an amazing patch of land at the mouth of the estuary. The trails travel through mostly coastal spruce forest and provide access to several gravel coves and beaches. The most interesting (and accessible) being Black Beach, a unique beach that is made up of black sand.
Black Beach trail is a 4.2 km (2.5 mi.) loop, aptly named after its rare black sand beach. It features scenic look-offs that offer panoramic vistas of the tidal flats of the estuary.
Five Fathom Hole Trail is a 4.7 km (3 mi.) linear trail with a shorter 1.5 km (.9 mi.) side hike to access the Butler Creek Beach.
An additional trail near Black Beach leads to the lighthouse (an easier hike).
The Musquash Estuary is home to many different animals and plants including orchids, harbour seal, black duck, broad-winged hawk, moose and black bear.
These are backcountry hiking trails with no facilities and challenging hikes.