Saint John River (Bay of Fundy)

Saint John River in Fredericton

Hartland Bridge

The Saint John River (French Rivière Saint -Jean ) is a 673 km long river in the northeastern North America. It rises in the U.S. state of Maine, flows through the Canadian province of New Brunswick and empties into the Bay of Fundy in the Atlantic Ocean. Partly it forms the border between the United States and Canada. To avoid confusion with the St. Johns River in Florida, the " Saint " is often advertised in the case of the opening into Canada River.

The river drains approximately 55,000 km and is the second longest watercourse in the American North East Coast to the Susquehanna River. The lower reaches of the river between Fredericton and Saint John is sometimes called in allusion to the waterway as a " North American Rhine ".

The Saint John River rises in Somerset County in northwestern Maine and flows in a northeasterly direction to the Canadian border. Below St. Francis River forms the 130 km long border between Canada and the United States. First, even in the north-east flowing river Edmundston and Madawaska happened the and then bends to the southeast. In Grand Falls he leaves the boundary, flows south through New Brunswick and crosses the mountains of the Appalachian Mountains. After he has taken the Aroostock and the Tobique River, it flows at Hartland among the longest covered wooden bridge (390 m) in the world through and he bends at Woodstock to the southwest. He happened to New Brunswick's capital Fredericton and is now navigable. The river is noticeably wider and is covered by many flat islands, which are used in the summer and autumn grazing animals.

The river passes through the hills of the St. Croix Highlands, forming a plurality of lateral bays and lakes, where it ends at Saint John in the Bay of Fundy. At the mouth creates a unique phenomenon, which is caused by the huge tidal range, which at this point is about seven meters. At high tide pushes in so-called Reversing Falls sea water through a canyon upstream, so that the direction of flow of the river can be reversed in this area and can form both at low tide and at high tide rapids.


The catchment area of ​​the Saint John River was the traditional residential area of ​​the Maliseet. Welàstekw is the Maliseet name for the Saint John River and can be translated with beautiful river. In 1604, Samuel de Champlain and Pierre Dugua de Monts explored parts of the lower Saint Croix River and Champlain named it after John the Baptist, at the Remembrance Day ( 24 June) they had discovered the mouth.

The river valley was in the French colony of Acadia in the 17th and 18th centuries arose on the banks of the river a number of settlements of white immigrants, such as Fort la Tour (now Saint John ) and Fort Sainte -Anne (now Fredericton ). In the French and Indian War, the area came under British control in 1759 after the British had captured Fort Sainte -Anne. The French defeat was sealed in 1763 with the Peace of Paris. With the cession of New France France renounced order made ​​final on its colonial territories in northeastern North America. This also meant the end of history of Acadia.

After the American War of Independence in 1784, many loyalists fled to Canada and settled in Saint John, Fredericton, Queensbury and Woodstock. Shortly thereafter came the new British colony of New Brunswick Fredericton and became its capital.

In the 17th and 18th century the river was an important route for French, British and Native American fur traders, on which the goods were transported by canoe. In rapids and waterfalls a portage was necessary for the discharge of water vehicles and had to be carried overland all the goods, and boats. The uncommon flow rate of the Saint Croix River and its tributaries during the spring flood promoted the development of the timber industry, as the river was used for rafts of logs to sawmills and pulp mills. The regularly occurring spring flood added many residents too much damage when ice floes piled and accumulated water.

The Saint John River was before the construction of the railway in 1850, the most important traffic route in western New Brunswick and contributed significantly to its development. In the 20th century created a series of hydroelectric power plants, so in 1955 the Beechwood Dam and 1968 the Mactaquac dam on the river thawed to large lakes. The construction of the dams had a massive decrease in the salmon result, which is no longer able to reach their spawning grounds in the upper reaches.

In recent years, the river developed into a recreation and vacation area for tourists, mainly from the neighboring cities.