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Saint John River Valley

The St. John River Valley once earned the name “The Rhine of North America” because of its beauty and popularity for recreational boaters. The river is located in New Brunswick, Quebec and Maine and forms part of the Canada – United States border in two different places along its length. Like all the rivers in New Brunswick its course has been defined and altered by the bedrock below and Quaternary glaciation.

The river has played a large role in the social and economic development of the province. The first people to inhabit New Brunswick used the river as a transportation route from its northern reaches to the Bay of Fundy. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries the river was an important trade route for the French, English and First Nations traders. The river and its tributaries carried logs downriver from western New Brunswick during spring freshet to saw and pulp mills in the south. There are hydroelectric projects that have been developed along the river and the river provided a gateway to the province’s industrial centre, Saint John.