N.B. community saves local lighthouse, adds land protection

A community led effort has brought a crumbling New Brunswick lighthouse back from the brink.

Built in the 1950s, the Musquash Head Lighthouse still shines a light and sounds a foghorn for sailors navigating the Bay of Fundy.

The structure had begun to develop cracks after years of deterioration by the ocean.

“Once water gets in those cracks, they just get worse and worse,” says Leah Alexander of Explore Lorneville - a community group formed to restore the lighthouse and expand nearby trails. “So, it was something that would’ve become a safety concern in the very near future.”

Explore Lorneville partnered with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, which was already protecting thousands of land acres in the Musquash area.

The community set a fundraising goal of $35,000 for the restoration and more than 300 individual donors made a contribution.

Work crews began making repairs to the lighthouse last year and added a critically important fresh coat of paint to the concrete structure. The local community group is now supervising the property.

“A traditional definition of the lighthouse keeper would be someone who lived on site and actually maintained the light and the foghorn, where DFO (Fisheries and Oceans Canada) still looks after the active workings of it,” says Adam Wilkins of Explore Lorneville.

A series of trails near the lighthouse have been connected to create a 20.5 kilometre path. The Lorneville Link Trail now connects Black Beach Trail and Five Fathom Hole Trails, making one continuous path from Split Rock to Prince of Wales.

As well, the Nature Conservancy of Canada has recently added three additional areas for ecological protection in the Musquash area totalling 275 acres.

“We are super proud of this, but the community needs to be really proud of this as well,” says Alexander. “Because this is their area and this is for everyone to enjoy.”