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Friday, January 21, 2022

Destination: Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick

Beyond the deep, verdant green of the Acadian Forest, past the wildflowers, cascading waterfalls, balsam fir trees, and woodferns, lies a 250-kilometer stretch of rocky shoreline on the eastern coast of Canada that lays claim to the highest tides on the planet. Located between the Maritime provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the Bay of Fundy is one of the world’s natural wonders.

The bay’s unique shape and bottom topography contribute to a rocking motion, called seiche, which is often compared to the back-and-forth motion of water in a giant bathtub. Every 12 hours and 25 minutes, murky brown seawater floods into the bay, creating exaggerated tides to a range of 16.3 meters (or 53.5 feet). For reference, the West Coast tidal range is approximately 3 meters. 

While it comes as no surprise that the Bay of Fundy is considered one of the world’s natural wonders, the area draws visitors for much more than its record-breaking tides. Fundy National Park offers picturesque campsites, enjoyable hiking trails, and sea kayaking. The nearby fishing village of Alma is a great stop for a bite to eat, or admire the colorful fishing boats.

Where to Camp

Located within the national park, the Chignecto North Campground is a great base from which to explore. The sites feel secluded but are still within walking distance of bathrooms and hot showers. If you’ve been wild camping and are due for a hook-up or additional facilities, this spot feels like absolute luxury. If Chignecto isn’t in the cards, not to worry, there are four other campgrounds in the park to choose from.

What to Do

Fundy National Park has a multitude of hiking trails that are all easily accessible from any campsite. Laverty Falls and Moosehorn are good options to warm up the legs. Dickson Falls is a short interpretive walk, perfect for an afternoon stroll along a woodland stream to a waterfall. Finally, Matthews Head is a trail with a little bit of everything: red Canada Parks chairs, ocean views, and rolling hills of blooming flowers.

Keep an eye out for covered bridges throughout the national park. The structural timbers of the bridges are protected from harsh winter weather by covered roof. The Point Wolfe Covered Bridge was rebuilt in 1992 and makes for a fun photo op.

Located just outside the park boundary, the village of Alma is worth a stop. Head to the Alma Lobster Shop for fresh lobster rolls and seafood chowder and enjoy while seated at one of the outdoor picnic tables overlooking the Bay of Fundy. 

Tides in the Bay of Fundy have spent years carving sandstone into flowerpot structures at the 2-kilometer-long beach at Hopewell Rocks. Visit at low tide to explore the beach on foot, or retrace the path of the seafaring Mi’kmaq and Malecite tribes by kayak at high tide.

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