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Nestled on the ragged edge of the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick is awash in opportunities to experience the area’s spectacular natural beauty. Here are five outdoor adventures you won’t want to miss while you’re there.
The Hopewell Rocks
Open from mid-May to October, Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park on the coast of the Bay of Fundy showcases the world’s highest tides—and the huge rock formations and stunning cliffs they have created. The tides can reach up to 50 feet twice a day. At low tide you can walk on the ocean floor and explore the coves, sea caves, and “flowerpot rocks,” named for their shape and the trees that grow atop them. High tide transforms those rocks into small islands. Walk the trails, relax on the area beaches, or explore the waters on a guided kayak tour. If your visit falls in July and August, you can see some of the 1.25 million shorebirds migrating south. Before you head out for some birdwatching, make sure to stop by the interpretive center to learn more about the natural history of the area. Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park is located about two hours north of the City of Saint John and one hour south of the Cities of Moncton and Dieppe.
Watch some wildlife
The waters surrounding the Fundy Isles have become known as the “whale super highway,” and you can explore the area to glimpse the giant mammals by ferry, tall ship, zodiac, or catamaran. Visit the New Brunswick Museum in the City of Saint John to examine real whale bones and learn more about local marine life. The waters surrounding Grand Manan Island are important feeding areas and nurseries for a variety of whale species. While on the island you can enjoy uncrowded beaches, lighthouses, and hiking and cycling trails. Be sure to bring your binoculars to take in the beauty of the 240 species of birds that are native to the island. Stay on one of the island’s campgrounds, inns, and bed and breakfasts. You’re able to get to Grand Manan Island by ferry. The 90-minute journey embarks from the village of Blacks Harbour, which is 45 minutes from the City of Saint John. While you’re waiting for the ferry on the island, be sure to check out the Grand Manan Whale and Seabird Research Station to learn about local research and conservation efforts.
The Fundy Trail
For stunning views, walk, bike, hike, or drive on The Fundy Trail, a 12-mile drive that hugs the coast and offers access to nearly 10 miles of trails and footpaths to sandy beaches. The 6,300-acre park offers over 20 lookouts, as well as waterfalls, a suspension bridge, and 600-million-year-old rock formations. You can pick up the Fundy Footpath, a challenging 24-mile wilderness trail that starts at the suspension bridge at Big Salmon River. Learn about the area’s logging, fishing, and shipbuilding history at the Big Salmon River Interpretive Centre. Part of the UNESCO Fundy Biosphere Reserve and the Trans Canada Trail, The Fundy Trail is 35 miles from the City of Saint John and just outside of the Village of St. Martins, which offers shopping, eating, and accommodations.
Fundy National Park
This coastal park, located 70 miles north of the City of Saint John next to the Village of Alma, features more than 75 miles of walking and hiking trails that take you up mountains, through valleys, by waterfalls, and through the lush Acadian forest. With nearly eight miles of shoreline, fresh water lakes, heated saltwater pools, campgrounds, and golf courses, a wide variety of adventures are available here. The park is home to more than 400 species of lichen and more than 600 species of plants, including the rare flowering Bird’s-eye Primrose, which dates back millions of years to when the glaciers melted. Be sure to bring your binoculars here, too! More than 260 species of birds have been spotted here, from warblers to the Ruffed Grouse and the Peregrine Falcon, plus the more than 95 species that nest right in the park.
If you’re looking for a more extreme outdoor adventure, head to Cape Enrage, so named for the turbulent waters that abound there. You can rock climb, rappel towering cliffs, or take a ride on a 600-foot zip line. See a working 1870 lighthouse, relax on sandy beaches, or eat at The Cape House Restaurant, which offers expansive views of the Bay of Fundy. Be sure to visit The Gallery at the Cape, which features paintings, carvings, and glass works by local artists. Cape Enrage is located about 95 miles from the City of Saint John, 50 miles from the cities of Moncton and Dieppe, and 12 miles from the village of Alma.