The Midland Ice Caves trail is a family-friendly hike in southern New Brunswick. Between December and February, venture out to see the impressive ice wall near Norton. You can climb inside for a closer look and then slide down the other end. Nice winter destination for adults and kids alike!
I visited the Midland Ice Caves on Family Day. Bella and I enjoyed the walk along the fenceline before heading into the forest for the ice caves. While this is a nice short hike, the ice cave itself was quite crowded. I should’ve anticipated the high number of visitors due to the holiday. Nevertheless, still an enjoyable little adventure!
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About Midland Ice Caves
Location: Midland, New Brunswick
Distance: 4.5 km out and back
Elevation: 120 m elevation gain
Time: 1 – 1.5 hours
Dog-friendly: Yes, but dogs must be on a leash.
Features: Most of the Midland Ice Caves trail follows an old road along the edge of a field. Then the path enters the forest before leading to the main attraction. You’ll first arrive at the ice cave’s viewpoint overlooking the small valley. Climb down with the support of guide ropes to see the frozen cave up close.
Midland Ice Caves Directions
From Saint John, driving to Midland Ice Caves trailhead takes about 45 minutes. First, head east on the Trans Canada Hwy (Route 1) toward Sussex. After about 45 km, take exit 166 toward Bloomfield and turn left onto Bloomfield Ridge South Rd. Then take the first right onto Centennial Rd and left onto Bloomfield Station Rd. Continue over the Kennebecasis River steel bridge and through the Bloomfield Creek covered bridge. After the bridges, turn right onto Route 121 and then a quick left onto Route 855. Stay on Route 855 for about 8 km. Then turn left onto Upper Midland Rd. Finally, find the trailhead on your right in about 5 minutes. Park on the right-hand side of the road.
Midland Ice Caves—New Brunswick Winter Hike
The Midland Ice Caves is a short, family-friendly hike in southern New Brunswick. The easy 4.5-km trail begins along an old road at the edge of a farmer’s field. While there is a gentle incline, it’s nothing too strenuous. Total elevation gain is around 120 metres.
After about 1.5 km, the trail turns left into the forest where you may spot squirrels and birds. You’ll soon come to another junction; keep right to access the ice caves. The ice cave’s viewpoint is not too far away, with the option to climb down for a closer look. There are some guide ropes, but I’d recommend trail crampons for this section. You may also want trekking poles for stability. Several other visitors struggled to climb up and down with just winter boots. All in all, plan at least 1.5 hours to fully explore the area.
Know Before You Go
Private property: The ice caves are on private property. It is a privilege to visit. Please be respectful of the land, landowners, and visitors so we can continue accessing this trail.
Parking: You won’t find a parking lot. Street parking is available but can become congested on holidays or weekends during peak season.
Toilet: There are no toilet facilities/outhouses at the trailhead or along the trail.
Garbage: No garbage bins on this trail or at the trailhead. Don’t leave anything behind. Pack out what you bring in.
Pets: Dogs are permitted on the trail. Pets should remain on a leash. Don’t forget to pick up after your pooch and pack it out.
Winter Hiking Tips
Midland Ice Caves isn’t a long or difficult hike, but you should still bring hiking gear along. It was quite icy when I visited, so I wore my trail crampons the whole time. While I didn’t need trekking poles, they were in my pack.
I typically carry at least two litres of water (in this water bladder) and always have snacks in my pack. I also brought my first aid kit, headlamp, knife, and GPS. On longer winter hikes, I bring a water filter, camp stove, map and compass, extra clothing (just in case), and other hiking essentials. Dress for the conditions and wear several layers.
When Bella is with me, I bring her water bowl, winter booties, and leash and harness. And she doesn’t mind when I bring her a snack, too!
Winter New Brunswick Activities
Are you looking for more things to do in New Brunswick outdoors? Here are a few winter activities to help you make the most of the season:
- Friars Nose Lookout Near Sussex, New Brunswick
- Parlee Brook Amphitheatre Trail Near Sussex, New Brunswick
- Ski Poley Mountain Near Sussex in New Brunswick
- Sam Orr Pond Trail in the Caughey-Taylor Nature Preserve
Midland Ice Caves Map
Have you visited Midland Ice Caves in New Brunswick? What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments below.
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