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An adventurer’s guide to Fundy National Park and Fundy Bay

Where you can literally walk on the ocean floor…

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Created by RoadtrippersCanada - May 11th 2018

Located on the insanely scenic Bay of Fundy, Fundy National Park is one of Canada’s crown jewels. It’s home to the highest tides in the entire world, and at low tide, you can actually walk on the seafloor. As a part of the Canadian Highlands, there’s so much to explore here, from rugged coastlines and lighthouse trails to waterfalls, scenic drives, and ridiculously amazing hikes. There’s something for every kind of explorer in Fundy. Here are a few of our favourite places to visit…

Fundy National Park is legitimately a hiker’s paradise. There are 25 waterfalls, places to swim, lakes to boat, trails to hike, forested valleys to camp in, and tons of wildlife to spot. Established back in 1948, this park was the first national park created in New Brunswick, stretching from the Bay of Fundy in the north to Chignecto Bay. It’s also a park for all seasons and offers tons of activities based on the time of year (snowshoeing, tobogganing, and cross-country skiing in winter; hiking, cycling, swimming, boating, birding in summers).

There are LOADS of hiking and cycling trails at this park, for all types of hikers, from beginners to moderate and advanced. There’s also a heated pool at the park, tennis courts, a golf course, and lawn bowling available. If you plan on camping there are both front and backcountry sites, available, and if you’d rather stay in something a bit more comfortable there are also yurts for renting. This is the last coastal wilderness along North America’s East Coast, so it’s an adventure you won’t soon forget.

TIPS:

High season is from the middle of May to the middle of October, so expect larger crowds during this time. The park is open all year long, but visitor centres are open dawn 'till dusk during peak season only. Dress appropriately! The weather may change throughout the day. Don’t forget fresh water and snacks if you’re planning to hike, and good footwear!

As one of the seven wonders of North America, the Bay of Fundy is a very special place. In fact, it’s home to the world’s highest tides AND it’s where you’ll find the world’s rarest whales. While hiking, be on the lookout for crystals and Triassic-age dinosaur fossils, as the area is renowned for its geological gems.

At the Hopewell Rocks, you can literally walk on the ocean floor, while you gaze up at the flowerpot rocks. These rocks are seriously rad. They were carved over thousands of years by erosion to create their unique flower-pot shape, with trees growing from their tops. During low tide you can walk on the sand, and then walk back up the stairs to watch the tide come in and submerge the massive rocks leaving only the tops, looking like little islands on the sea. The best time to visit is in the summer. However, the park itself is open from the middle of May through the middle of October. It’s recommended that you plan to visit for an entire day so you can experience the rocks at both low and high tide. If you’re into birds, in the middle of July through August nearly 1-2 million shorebirds hit up the Hopewell Rocks on their annual migration south.

Cape Enrage is an awesome place to watch the tides roll in and out of the Bay of Fundy. You can hang out on one of the cliffs for a fantastic view. Or hit up the light station which is over 140 years old. From the light station, you can walk to Barn Marsh Island Beach. However, be aware of the tides, as the beach disappears from two hours before high tide to two hours after the tide goes out. But, as long as your smart and don’t get caught when the tide is coming in, it really is an awesome experience as you’re walking on the ocean floor. It’s a great place for fossil hunting, but please don’t take any fossils or rocks with you when you leave. There is also a zip line that’s open daily at Cape Enrage.

Cape Chignecto Provincial Park

Cape Chignecto Provincial Park is another stunning coastal wilderness park, known for its towering sea cliffs, valleys, and coves. There are campsites available, but the camping here is quite rugged and mostly back-country. If you’re a hiker, there’s a great trail system, that’s very well-maintained. Just stop by the Eatonville Visitor Centre to pick up a map of the trails, and locate the viewing platforms overlooking the Bay of Fundy.

The Fundy Trail Parkway is an essential road trip around the park. It’s definitely a “cruising” parkway, so expect low speeds and lots of scenic viewpoints. There’s also footpaths, a suspension footbridge, the Big Salmon River Interpretive Centre, rest areas, and cycle trails along the route.

When it comes to panoramic vistas that will absolutely take your breath away, it doesn’t get much better than the Cape d’Or Lighthouse. Here you’ll have an excellent vantage point from their viewing platform overlooking the confluence of the Bay of Fundy and the Minas Channel. You can use one of the telescopes for a close-up look at the surrounding area, go on an interpretive hike, or grab a bite to eat in the onsite restaurant. If you plan ahead you can even reserve the Guesthouse, which is where the Lightkeeper used to live.

Fundy Geological Museum

At the Fundy Geological Museum, you can learn about all the cool crystals and fossils you’ve been discovering along your Fundy coastal adventure. Here you’ll meet the world’s first reptiles, learn about the dinosaurs that roamed the area millions of years ago, and loads of other cool fossil discoveries. The museum covers artifacts from as far back as the Triassic and Jurassic periods and also features interactive exhibits that explain Pangea and how the world looked over 300 million years ago. Pro Tip: Don’t forget to hit up the interactive time machine!

On the Isthmus of Chignecto, you’ll find Fort Beausejour, which connects New Brunswick with Nova Scotia. Be prepared to step back in time to the 18th century as you roam around the large star-shaped fort. Here you’ll learn all about the early settlers to the area, soldiers, and American sympathizers.

While you're on a military history kick, head over to the 8th Canadian Hussars Museum, which chronicles Canada's longest-serving armoured regiment! The Hussars were established back in the mid-19th century and served in the South African War, WWI, and WWII. Here you can immerse yourself in the fascinating history of this regiment at the museum, which is located in a historic Victorian train station, which is poignant in and of itself because the train station was where the Hussars would first arrive at Camp Sussex for training and eventual deployment.

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Earle Of Leinster B&B

When you’re ready to call it a day, the Earl of Leinster bed and breakfast is a fabulous spot to tuck in for the night. Located in Saint John’s historic uptown, this B&B is renowned for its amenities, including a full breakfast, and both classic or contemporary room options. You’ll be within walking distance to shops, restaurants, and museums.

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Bay Breeze Motel

Another great lodging option is the Bay Breeze Motel, which overlooks the Bay of Fundy. Here you’ll wake up to the smell of the ocean and calm sea breezes. The Bay Breeze also has an on-site restaurant that’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Plan to spend an evening eating on the outdoor deck, and soaking in the relaxed effortless beauty of Fundy.