Between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia sits the breathtaking Bay of Fundy. It’s in the Gulf of Maine. It is believed that the term “Fundy” is a twisted version of the rift-meaning French term “Fendu.”
The Bay of Fundy is famous for having the world’s highest tides and being home to 300 million-year-old fossils, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as a UNESCO Global Geopark.
The Bay of Fundy is a gorgeous place, and it can be enjoyed in a range of ways. For example, you could take a stroll along the shore, go swimming, go whale watching, or visit the island!
Discover and appreciate this gorgeous natural wonder with our selection of the best things to do in the Bay of Fundy.
1. See Some Whales in the Bay of Fundy
Whales are incredible creatures! They are large, beautiful sea animals. Who wouldn’t want to see them?
Several whale species, especially humpback whales, can be found in the Bay of Fundy throughout the summer. Along with whales, you can also see different seabirds! By joining a boat for watching whales from Digby Neck, or from Brier Island and cruising off the shores of the Bay of Fundy, you can see these whales.
Because whales can be spotted in the Bay of Fundy throughout the summer, May to September is the perfect time to visit if you want to go whale viewing.
A close encounter with a whale will make your visit extraordinary.
2. Have a Learning Experience at the Fundy Tidal Interpretive Centre
The Bay of Fundy is noted for having the biggest tidal changes in the world. If you want to learn more about tides, tidal changes, and how they work, head to the Fundy Tidal Interpretive Centre. You will be given a full overview of the tides and the history of the area.
If you arrive at the correct moment, a tidal range observation platform overlooking the Shubenacadie River will give you the ideal vantage point to witness the tidal bore event.
3. Ride a Horse at Low Tide
If you like horseback riding, this is the activity for you. The idea of riding a horse on the ocean floor seems like something from a magical storybook.
To experience the Bay of Fundy at low tide, the Spirit Reins Ranch offers a special guided tour. The ranch, located near the seaside town of Parrsboro, provides personalized services for both first-time and seasoned riders.
Several horseback riding excursions are available, such as picnic rides, tidal bottom fossil excursions, and rides along the sandy beaches of the Bay of Fundy.
4. Visit the Fundy National Park
Bay of Fundy National Park is located between the towns of Moncton and Saint John and protects a section of the natural New Brunswick coastline. With campsites, hiking routes through the woodlands, coastal sights, an outdoor swimming pool, watercraft, and a golf course, the region is well-equipped for year-round enjoyment.
The national park is an excellent location for bird watchers since they can see migrating species feeding on the nutrient-rich mudflats produced by the tides during the fall, and cross-country skiing is managed on 40 kilometres of the park’s routes during the winter.
5. Walk on Sea Floor at the Burntcoat Head Park
Visit Burntcoat Head Park, the location of the greatest tides ever recorded, where you can wander on the sea floor with ease during low tide.
Walk around the ocean floor during low tide, explore a sea cave, see marine life, or simply take in the breathtaking surroundings. Take a guided excursion with a local authority to discover marine life.
Two times a day, litres of water pass through and leave the Bay of Fundy. Mudflats are submerged up to 42 feet.
Visiting this place is a very delightful and one-of-a-kind experience!
6. Have a Thrilling Rafting Experience
A fun and thrilling way to explore the tides of the Bay of Fundy is to ride the tidal bore on a tidal bore rafting adventure and it is only available in Nova Scotia.
When the incoming tide from the Bay of Fundy strikes the Shubenacadie River, a dramatic change in the river current transforms the calm water into a ripple of waves. The rolling waves created by the tidal bore can reach up to 20 feet high and produce the ultimate roller coaster experience on the water.
So grab a kayak, grip on tight, and prepare yourself for the excitement of a lifetime of wave maneuvering on tidal bore rafting.
7. See the Existence of Lifeform at Joggins Fossil Cliffs
The tides of Fundy have revealed cliffs along the shore for 15 kilometres on Nova Scotia’s western shore, revealing the world’s comprehensive fossil evidence of 300 million years of Earthly life.
When Joggins and the surrounding area were covered in massive tropical forests during the Coal Age, enormous amounts of natural components were produced, giving the coal reserves of that era its name.
The fossil cliffs also house Joggins Fossil Centre, which is located on the site of a former coal mine and has a significant collection of fossils and displays showing this geologic history, as well as key scientific discoveries made here.
You can stroll down the coast during low tide, and observe beautiful sandstone strata that document the forebears of the earliest dinosaurs at the Joggins Fossil Cliffs.
The rock layers in Joggins Fossil Cliffs contain instances of plants and lifeforms from that era, shedding new light on an evolutionary turning point that is essential to understanding the origins of living creatures on land: the rise of creatures from the water to exist on land.
8. Take Part in an Exciting Feast
Every voyage must include food. It is what enhances the enjoyment of the journey. So, during low tide, make sure to enjoy a delicious supper on the ocean floor at Burntcoat Head Park! Enjoy the greatest three-course dinner in Nova Scotia, coupled with local wine and beer, and get the whole Nova Scotia experience.
9. Visit The Hopewell Rocks
The most spectacular natural occurrence caused by the Fundy tides is the Hopewell Rocks, also known as Flowerpot Rocks, where the sea has eroded towering cliffs, leaving gigantic pillars of rocks standing alone on the ocean floor.
Hopewell Rocks are also called Flowerpot Rocks because of the terra-cotta hue of the rock and the thinner bases of the pillars, which make them appear like huge flower pots filled with trees. As erosion progresses, the form of these rocks changes.
These rock pillars appear as tree-covered islands at high tide, covered by the greenery that flourished there when they were part of the cliffs.
These pillars remain alone at low tide, towering up to 21 meters above the ocean surface, and you can even stroll among them. At high tide, kayaking among the rocks is the best way to explore them.
10. Admire the Peaceful Grand Manan Island
Grand Manan Island is located at the southwestern entrance to the Bay of Fundy and can be reached by ferry from Blacks Harbour. A few of the more than 240 bird species that can be found on Grand Manan Island attract nature lovers who come to take whale-watching cruises.
In some of the modest galleries, you can find the works of artists and other creative visitors who come to this spot for the peace and quiet and the natural surroundings’ inspiring qualities.
Semi-precious stones such as amethysts, jaspers, and agates can be found on the northern part of the island near Dark Harbour, as relics of the island’s volcanic past.
11. Learn About Roosevelt at the Roosevelt Campobello International Park
The International Park maintains President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s family’s vacation residence.
The 34-room “cottage,” where the Roosevelts spent their summers with their children from 1905 through 1921, had also been Franklin’s childhood summer home.
Throughout the house, you will see stories about the family and their time here. Use trail maps that emphasize the island’s geology and wildflowers to self-guide trips following the walking trails in the area.
The “Tea with Eleanor” program, which serves tea and cookies as staff members tell vivid and intimate anecdotes about the former First Lady, is one of the park’s most unique features.
12. Check Out the Chocolate River
The constantly rising and dropping sea level in the Bay of Fundy produces vast mud flats, most of which stretch well along inshore with constantly flooded rivers with the intrusions of salt water. In certain circumstances, such as the Petitcodiac River in Moncton, it leaves the water systems almost empty.
The Petitcodiac River is known as the “Chocolate River” because of the sea of dark, rich mud it forms during low tide, which resembles chocolate. When ice forms the mud freezes on top, resembling chocolate cake with frosting layers.
The finest site to see this natural occurrence is Tidal Bore Park in downtown Moncton.
13. See the Craggy Towers at Cape Enrage
The towering, craggy cliffs of Cape Enrage is situated a long way off the New Brunswick coast in the Bay of Fundy, overlooking a vast and risky reef that causes rough seas.
Platforms provide views of the towering rocks, and under the towering cliffs is a beach rich in fossils from the sedimentary rock that dates back 320 million years. Due to the risks posed by tides and fallen rocks, this region should only be visited with supervision.
The dramatic cliffs of Cape Enrage have been responsible for many shipwrecks. In response to the number of shipwrecks here, a lighthouse was erected in 1839 and is still in service today.
14. Take a Ferry Ride to Deer Island
At the midway point between the north pole and the equator, Deer Island is located directly on the 45th Parallel.
Additionally, being a method to avoid driving all the way around the mainland, taking the ferry from Campobello Island to the little harbour in L’Etete, is also an experience in and of itself. Deer Island sits in the center of a two-part journey.
On the journey, you could see dolphins, whales, and even seals. If the tide is perfect, you can also witness Western Hemisphere’s largest tidal whirlpool. “Old Sow” whirlpool, which is located where the waters of Passamaquoddy Bay in Maine and Bay of Fundy diverge by 20 feet, is most easily seen in about two hours of high tide.
15. Take a Look at the Balancing Rock Trail
Balance is the key to life, and the balancing rock is a great example of this. The Balancing Rock, also known as “Nature’s Time Post,” is a basalt vertical column that is balanced on its tip.
A platform with views of St. Mary’s Bay and the Balancing Rock, as well as interpretative panels, rest spots, and picnic tables, can be reached via a well-kept 2.5-km route and 235-step staircase.
Several other columns of a similar style have collapsed due to erosion from the water. Not this one, though. It remained still despite attempts by fishermen to bring it down with their boats.
It’s a rock that’s firm and won’t budge!
16. See the Reversing Falls Rapids at Saint John Sky Walk
The tiny valley at the head of Saint John’s port is one of the greatest spots to witness the incredible force of the Bay of Fundy tides.
When the Saint John River meets the Bay of Fundy at high tide in a rocky valley near Saint John, New Brunswick, a sequence of whirlpools, waves, and whitewater rapids known as the Reversing Rapids, sometimes known as the Reversing Falls, are formed.
Bay of Fundy tides produces the fall itself. The river is hit by their collision. The river runs regularly, and the rapids are formed when the tides are out. Similarly, the river is pushed back onshore when the tide is out.
The Saint John Sky Walk offers the finest vantage point for the falls.
Some Queries About Bay of Fundy
1. Where is the Bay of Fundy?
The Bay of Fundy is an Atlantic waterway that crosses the northwestern provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and has the Atlantic Ocean as its source at sea.
2. What is the Relevance of the Bay of Fundy?
Many ecological, cultural, and social factors contribute to the importance of the Bay of Fundy. The bay has a lot of excellent natural values, including:
- Having the highest tides in the world.
- Is a home for the endangered North Atlantic right whale.
- It is a haven for various kinds of dolphins, along with whales.
- The world’s largest known horse mussel reefs can be found here.
- There are hundreds of species of fish and shorebirds, as well as over 20 species of marine animals, that live in the Bay of Fundy.
- Deep-sea corals and valuable marine life are present in this bay.
3. How High Can a Bay of Fundy Tide Rise?
The high tides in the Bay of Fundy are well known. Bay of Fundy tides can rise an astounding 16 meters (53 feet) in height. The Bay’s distinctive form contributes to these tides’ height.
4. Is it Safe to Swim in the Bay of Fundy?
Nova Scotia boasts almost 700 kilometres of coastline, over 40 saltwater beaches, and many saltwater lakes for tourists. So, you can unwind and enjoy swimming in the Bay of Fundy. But be cautious and pay attention to the tide cycle of the high and low tides to avoid getting into difficulties or drowning.
5. Is it Worthwhile to Visit the Bay of Fundy?
Yes. A vacation to the Bay of Fundy is well worth it, with its primary attractions being spectacular tides, underwater sea caves, and stunning places. There are various things you can do, from wandering around nature and absorbing its beauty to trying something daring like kayaking or horseback riding.
6. Are the Tides in the Bay of Fundy a 50-ft “Wall of Water”?
The tides in the Bay are officially 50 ft high, although the tidal bore (one of the various methods to view the tides) is not a 50-foot “wall of water” a couple of times a day.
7. What Causes the High Tides in the Bay of Fundy?
The repeating fluctuation of the sea waves caused by the moon’s and sun gravitational pull on Earth is known as a tide. Because of resonance and the structure of the bay, the highest waves in the globe can be found in Fundy.
As you approach the upper bay, the bay narrows and shallows, sending water higher up onto the coasts and allowing you to view the high tide.
In the Bay of Fundy, the water flows like it would in a tub. While water in a tub moves quickly from one end to the other and back again, the water in the Bay of Fundy goes from the entrance to the end of the bay and back in over 13 hours. This is referred to as seiche.
8. How Many Tides Can You See in the Bay of Fundy?
Around the Bay of Fundy, there are four tide impacts that can be seen.
- Vertical Tide Effect: the Bay of Fundy has the greatest tides in the world (around 50 feet). This impact can be seen in most of our bayside harbours.
- Tidal Rapids, Whirlpools, and Rip Rapids: Bay of Fundy’s shoreline has several cliffs and rocky outcroppings that disrupt the water’s flow in the Bay. Due to this, you can see the tides in different tidal rapids, whirlpools, and rips.
- Tidal Bore: The outflowing rivers that flow back upstream when the tide comes in are referred to as tidal bores. A tidal bore’s real waves range between 10 and 12 feet. Many rivers in the Bay’s upper reaches offer tidal bores. The bulk of these are in Nova Scotia, beside the bay.
- Horizontal Tidal: This phenomenon happens in several areas along the upper Bay of Fundy. To see the tremendous distance that the tide travels from top to bottom, it is required to visit the same shore at high and low tides.
9. Where Can You View the Tides?
These tides can be seen in several locations in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
- Vertical Tide Effect: Vertical tides can be found in St. Martins, Alma, Cape Enrage, Hopewell Cape and the Petticodiac River in Moncton in New Brunswick and Advocate Harbour, Parrsboro, Hantsport, Harbourville, Hall’s Harbour, Margaretsville, and Digby in Nova Scotia.
- The Tidal Bore: On the side of the bay towards Nova Scotia, a tidal bore is majorly seen. Some of the best places to see tidal bore is the Maccan River, Truro Nova Scotia, and the South Maitland.
- Whirlpools and Tidal Rapids: Cape Enrage, St. John’s Reversing Falls and Passamaquoddy Bay by boat in New Brunswick.Cape d’Or near Advocate, Cape Split, canals in Digby Neck that connect to Long Island and water canals through Long Island and Brier Island in Nova Scotia
- Horizontal Tidal Effect: St Andrews, New River Beach, St Martins, Alma, Cape Enrage, Hopewell Rocks, and Dorchester in New Brunswick Cape and Joggins, Parrsboro, Five Islands, Grand Pre, and Blomidon in Nova Scotia
10. How Much Time Do You Need for the Bay of Fundy?
Planning at least two days will allow you to completely embrace the area’s charms. In these two days, you can engage in a wide range of activities, including hiking and bicycling along the coast, sea kayaking, beach combing, and whale watching.
11. When is the Ideal Time to Visit the Bay of Fundy?
Summer has the finest weather in the Bay of Fundy, which is why it is called the perfect time of the year to visit. If you’re considering a trip to the Bay of Fundy, it is best to come between May and September.
The Bay of Fundy, located between the Canadian province of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, is a wonderful location brimming with adventure, beauty, thrills, and excitement. There are national parks, scenic lighthouses, beaches, opportunities for whale watching, exploring sea caves, delicious food, and much more.
So why are you still waiting? Make wonderful memories by going on your own trip to this breathtaking natural place. It will be a memorable journey, we can promise you that.
To learn more about what the Bay of Fundy has to offer, feel free to consult our list of the top activities to do there.
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