Protected Natural Areas

Our protected natural areas are the best hope for conserving New Brunswick's natural character into the future.

The Protected Natural Areas Act allowed for the creation of 2 categories of protected areas, called Class I and Class II. Areas in both categories are protected from all forms of development, including construction, road building, mining, and forestry. Class I areas, of which there are 4 small ones, are areas which are deemed very sensitive and are therefore restricted areas requiring provincial permits to enter. Class II areas remain open to recreational activities, fishing and hunting.

  • Class I Protected Natural Areas – those lands and water permanently set aside for the conservation of biological diversity. All activities are prohibited except by permit from DNR. They are controlled by DNR under the Protected Areas Act.
  • Class II Protected Natural Areas – Areas permanently set aside for the conservation of biological diversity, where certain recreational activities having minimal impact will be allowed. They are controlled by DNR under the Protected Natural Areas Act.

 There are also, scattered throughout the province, areas under conservation easements held by different agencies like the Nature Trust of New Brunswick and the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

New Brunswick's protected areas were first created in New Brunswick in May 2001, following a years-long debate throughout the province. At the time, 10 areas of size were designated as protected, and since then, others have been added to the list. The total amount of land protected under the act is almost 272,000 hectares (4.5% of New Brunswick's 7 million hectare landbase).


Although the number of areas protected seems large, our protected areas system remains inadequate. Areas have been protected for the urpose of protecting the ecosystems or environmental features within them. However, to do this well, the area needs to be large enough to contain these features, as well as enough area around them to buffer them from human activities. Some scientists state that protected areas should be a minimum of 25,000 hectares in size. In New Brunswick we have 7 protected areas which are greater than 10,000 hectares, 2 of which are greater than 25,000 hectares. 50 protected areas are less than 1000 hectares in size, with the smallest being 3.5 hectares in size.

Map Index
1.  Baillie Settlement
2.  Bay du Vin Island
3.  Berry Brook
4.  Big Bald Mountain
5.  Big Rocky Brook
6.  Black River
7.  Blue Mountain
8.  Bull Pasture Bog
9.  Cains River
10. Caledonia Gorge
11. Canaan Bog
12. Canoose Flowage
13. Clark Brook
14. Cranberry Lake
15. Dionne Brook
16. Dowdall Lake
17. Dungarvon Whooper Spring Woodlot
18. Eel River
19. Foley Island
20. Freeze Lakes
21. Glazier Lake
22. Goodfellow Brook
23. Goose Lake
24. Gooseberry Cove
25. Goulette Brook
26. Gover Mountain
27. Grand Lake
28. Hovey Hill
29. Howard Brook
30. Jacquet River Gorge
31. Kennedy Lakes
32. Little Salmon River
33. Little Tomoowa Lake
34. Loch Alva
35. MacFarlane Brook
36. McCoy Brook
37. McDougalls Brook
38. McManus Hill
39. Miscou Grande Plaine
40. Mount Elizabeth
41. Musquash
42. Nepisiquit
43. New River
44. Oak Mountain
45. Patchell Brook
46. Phillipstown
47. Picadilly Mountain
48. Point Wolfe River Gorge
49. Pollard Brook
50. St. Croix River Islands
51. Shinnickburn
52. South Kedgwick River
53. Spednic Lake
54. Tabusintac
55. Tay River
56. Two Mile Brook Fen
57. Upper Thorn Point Brook
58. Upsalquitch Forks
59. Whitehorse Island
60. Williamstown Lake
61. Wilson Brook

Individual maps of all the protected areas can be found in New Brunswick Regulation 2003-8 "Establishment of Protected Natural Areas".


Details about individual sites can be found by downloading the mobile app "ExploreEcoNB".


Protected Natural Areas Act - New Brunswick