Norton Moosehorn Creek

Geologic Period:

Norton Moosehorn Creek

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Highway 1 from Bloomfield to Sussex cuts through beautiful exposures of the Albert Formation, a Lower Carboniferous unit that represents lake, swamp and river deposits. Highway outcrops display nice examples of shallow water ripples. Large scale ripples created along river bottoms are more difficult to see. Ripple crests can be metres apart and sometimes fossil tree logs are trapped in the ancient ripple troughs.

Stopping on the highway is not permitted! — future plans include an interpretation centre that will tell the story of the fossil forest.

Fossil Forest

The Albert Formation outcrops near Norton record the remains of ancient rivers that drained highlands built during the creation of the supercontinent Pangea. Rivers meandered along valleys, shallow lakes and wetlands dotted the landscape. Along the margins of the rivers dense forests of lycopod trees grew on the floodplains. The trees, known as Lepidodendropsis, grew to about 10 metres tall and up to 20 centimetres in diameter. A recent study of the rocks near Norton showed that trees grew in dense thickets on thin soil horizons. Floods regularly drowned the forests. Trace fossils of small arthropods have been found and rare remains of fish are known from the Albert Formation.

Moosehorn Creek

This small stream flows into the Kennebecasis River from the south. A covered bridge built in 1915 crosses Moosehorn Creek. The bridge can be accessed along a trail that crosses under Highway 1. The trailhead and parking is located 3.5 kilometres southwest of Norton along a dirt road. The bridge was built seven years after the first fossils were discovered here by geologists from the Geological Survey of Canada. Palaeobotanist W.J. Wilson described collections of lycopods (plant fossils) he found. Wilson had been a member of the Natural History Society of New Brunswick and lived in Saint John before moving to Ottawa to join “The Survey”.

This area of New Brunswick is well-known for its covered bridges. Bridges were covered to protect them from rotting. You might want to tour covered bridges and observe the geology near them.

Accessible :
Dawn Till Dusk
Highway 1
Norton, New Brunswick
*Follow signs to the covered bridge trailhead, 3.5 km southwest of village.
45.6116307, -65.7195972
Stonehammer UNESCO Global Geopark