Community of Upper Madawaska

The Community of Haut-Madawaska has four districts teeming with incredible natural and cultural richness that will satisfy all naturophiles!

Saint-Hilaire District

Founded in 1869, Saint-Hilaire is one of the oldest parishes in the region and whose history is extremely rich.

The Maxime-Albert Complex was once the personal residence of Maxime Albert, a successful businessman who was the owner of the very first village hotel and a well-known bootlegger during the Prohibition era. Consequently, Saint-Hilaire has been one of the hot spots of the illegal trade of alcohol. There passed the famous “Hand Brand”, contraband alcohol from Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon. They also distilled homemade alcohol, which is called the “bagosse”.

Interesting fact: The famous singer Natasha St-Pier spent much of her youth in Riceville, near Saint-Hilaire.

What to see / do:

  • Pointe de Saint-Hilaire
  • Sacré-Coeur-de-Marie Church
  • Bagosse Festival, early September
  • Exhibition on bootlegging
  • Snowmobile trails
  • ATV trails

Baker-Brook District

Cradle of the legendary Republic of Madawaska, whose rich history has marked the region forever. Indeed, in 1827, John Baker, who became a colonel in the US Army, left his mark on Madawaska’s story! It was at this time that he challenged the delimitation of borders and hoisted the American flag of the time, proclaiming this portion of the territory “American Republic of Madawaska.” The governing authorities of the time accused him of treason and imprisoned him. A series of subsequent events led to the delineation of current boundaries under the Webster-Ashburton Treaty.

What to see / do:

  • The Ruisseau Baker Covered Bridge (Joseph Morneault Road)
  • Sculpture by John Baker & Sophie at the rest area along the Saint John River
  • Birds Factory
  • Hiking and cycling trail
  • Snowmobile trails
  • ATV trails
  • Snowshoeing trails

Clair District

Clair is the picturesque intersection of social and economic activities in Upper Madawaska, bordering the majestic St. John River. The village is connected to the American community of Fort Kent (Maine) by an international bridge. Visit the catholic church of the place, which contains famous works of religious art: skylights of the Belgian workshop José Gaterrah and the Way of the Cross of the famous Spanish ceramist Jordi Bonet. The forest industry is the basis of local economic activity.

What to see / do:

  • Clair Historic Site
  • Muskie Derby / Annual Bazaar
  • Multifunctional complex
  • Bike trail
  • Snowmobile trails
  • ATV trails

Saint-François district

Mostly agricultural, Saint-François-de-Madawaska is a very dynamic village. Founded in 1859 even though the first French families had been there since 1825, it’s the second oldest parish in Madawaska County.Many families in Saint-François-de-Madawaska have excelled in the business world. Today, Saint-François-de-Madawaska remains an important employment generator. Interesting facts: The first Ladies’ Circle of the Women’s Institute (IFFNB) was established in 1918 and is still very active in the community.The first Circle of Studies was founded in Saint-François-de-Madawaska in 1935 and the first Caisse populaire of the diocese (second in the province) was created in 1937.The first regional school of the province was built in Saint-François-de-Madawaska in 1944-45 and now houses the Golden Age Club.Saint-François-de-Madawaska has housed a 62-year-old forge, now a museum open to visitors during the summer. Glazier Lake, one of the most beautiful gems in the community, is named after John Glazier, a timber magnate and member of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick.

What to see / do:

  • Forge Jos B. Michaud – museum
  • 150th Anniversary Room – Museum
  • Half Marathon festivities
  • Cave erected in 1954
  • Bird watching (nature park)
  • Sociocultural circuit
  • Ledges … place des pionniers (historic site)
  • Connors Historical Church
  • Glazier Lake
  • Canoe and kayak
  • Hiking
  • Hunting and fishing
  • Wild camping
  • Snowmobile trails
  • ATV trails
  • Snowshoeing trails