We sat down with James Donald, a Senior Business Analyst at ANBL, to find out where he likes to explore and how craft beer adds to the adventure.

Tell us about how you prefer to spend your weekends?

My wife Vicki and I love to hike. We are attempting to hike every trail in New Brunswick and are getting close to our goal. We share trail information and stories from our hikes on the Hiking NB website (www.hikingnb.ca). Last fall we hiked the Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail that runs for 140 kilometers from Bathurst all the way to Mount Carleton Park. We completed 30 kilometres in three days and had many adventures! Within our first kilometre we found a forest fire about 50 feet across burning on the ground. We contacted DNR and carried enough water up from the river to get it mostly out. We then had to hike 5 kilometers in the dark to get to the Teepee we camped in for the night. The rest of the hike wasn’t quite as eventful as the first day, but the fall colours were at peak and the views along the river were spectacular.

On the second night we had planned to sleep in a second Teepee, but ran out of daylight, so decided to spend the night at the Best Western in Bathurst. We were excited to find that the restaurant attached to the hotel, called “150 Main Street”, had local craft beer on tap from Four Rivers Brewery. I enjoyed their American Amber and Vicki had their Nor’Easter American Pale Ale.

What do you usually do when you are finished a hike?

After a long hike we love to treat ourselves to dinner in a nice restaurant and then stay at a local bed and breakfast. Trying local craft beer is always part of our routine. Vicki prefers a nice hoppy IPA, while I like to mix it up and will try anything from a stout to a nice malty pale ale. If we can’t find a restaurant with a good craft beer selection, we head to ANBL to see what’s new. Then we head back to the B & B to relax. We love the contrast of going from roughing it to being pampered. We also love getting the inside scoop on trails and beer from the bed and breakfast owners.

We hike everywhere we go and plan our vacations around it. We have hiked in the UK, at the Grand Canyon, in the desert near Las Vegas, and all over the Maritimes. But we have found that New Brunswick has some of the most amazing trails, and the most extensive selection of craft beer. So, I encourage you to get out around New Brunswick this summer and explore both!