Bouctouche or Irvingville
Although this town on the Northumberland Straits is not called Irvingville, it probably should be. It is the birth place of KC Irving of Irving Oil fame. We were not in the know about KC even with our oil industry history, however, after a stop in Bouctouche we have a lot of respect for the man and his family. While KC died back in 1992 at 93, his family roots in this town have been kept alive by his children.
They have built a memorial chapel that sits next to the graves of KC and his wife.
There is a 20 acre Elizabethan garden and almost 100 acres of manicured forest paths.
We got our exercise fix with a bike ride out to the Irving Eco-Center which is dedicated to preserving the 12 kilometer sand dune protecting the shore. The trail wound through forests and fields, mostly shaded, to emerge in the parking lot for the Eco-Center. A walk on the boardwalk revived us for the return trip.
As a treat for lunch we continued into the town for a stop at the Pirate de la Mer seafood restaurant. Our lobster and crab rolls disappeared along with the home cut fries – our 20+ klick excursion left us with a calorie deficit. We saw no write ups on this local hang out, but it was recommended by travelers we met on the wharf up the Miramichi – they had learned about it from locals here. The no frills restaurant was doing booming business since it offered great value, speedy service and exceptional taste.
The marina building is also Irving property and is beautifully restored for the use of boaters using the boat basin here. This small but well-appointed and friendly marina is worth braving the shallow channel entrance – at low tide we had less than a foot under the boat – but thankfully we floated through the skinny spot to enjoy a few days here – with gratitude to the Irving Family.