As a native Nova Scotian growing up around the Bay of Fundy, I didn’t realize what a very big deal laying claim to the world’s highest tides actually is.
It is a very big deal .
If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience this phenomenon ( It is one of the 7 Wonders of North America , after all) then you are in for a treat. Several treats, in fact.
Here are six of my favorites, in no particular order.
Tidal Bore/Tidal Bore Rafting
Shubenacadie River Runners (the only one I’ve tried-there are several)
8681 NS-215, Maitland, NS B0N 1T0
Truro Tidal Bore Viewing Centre
103 Tidal Bore Rd, Lower Truro, NS B6L 1T9
A bore is the first wave of the tide on it’s way in, pushing the river water backwards . Pictures of laughing people hanging on rubber rafts and the fact that our tides can reach as high as a five story building lay false evidence that the bore comes rushing in as a fifty foot wall of water. It doesn’t. Usually , it runs from 6-12 inches. To see how fast it comes in and covers the mud(as fast as a running horse) is truly amazing-as long as you aren’t expecting a tsunami coming around the bend.
Tidal bores come in roughly about 3 hours ahead of high tide, but it’s important to know exactly when it arrives and be there 20 minutes ahead of that tide. Otherwise, the deepening water obscures the bore. There are many places to ‘catch the bore’.I like Truro. Please remember the tide times are NOT the same as the tidal bore times. Contact the nearest Visitor centre to get the correct information.Times for the Truro bore are here.
Tidal bore rafting is wet salty fun. The rafts go over and around rock beds and sand bars that create those turbulent waves you see in pictures. I recommend giving it a try.
Vertical rise of tides Hall’s Harbour
1157 W Halls Harbour Rd, Centreville
It’s pretty amazing to stroll the wharf to see fishing boats moored with their bottoms snuggled in the mud and return six hours to find they are floating dock high.
Horizontal rise of the tides Blomidon Provincial Park
Blomidon Provincial Park
3138 Pereau Road, Canning, NS
Walking on the ocean floor.There’s nothing like having red mud squish up between your toes….or suck at your ankles..or force you to slip and slide and land on your buttocks. I once walked out to the Elephant’s Trunk at Medford Beach-took at least good 45 minutes.This is best following the tide out. Tie shoes on tight,or go barefoot and hope you don’t step on a broken shell.
Kayaking @ Advocate Harbour
37 School Ln, Advocate Harbour, NS
This. I plan to accomplish this fall during the Gently Wild Women’s Retreat. I love kayaking, but kayaking on the Bay of Fundy is a horse of a different color. I recommend going with a knowledgeable guide as I am doing-there are rip tides, vicious currents and whirlpools-nothing to fool with.
Tidal Action @ Cape Split
999 Cape Split Road, Scots Bay
Cape Split is a 12 km round trip trek -where the prize for the eyes is at the end of the trail-a spectacular view. The flow of water going through the channel between the Parrsboro shore and Cape Split equals all the rivers and streams on earth- this causes a roar as the water forces its way through that channel. Please stay away from the edge which can crumble at any time and keep your pets and kiddies away too.That said, there is still lots of room to sit and have a picnic savour the view-well AWAY from the edge.
Fossil Hunting @ Blue Beach
127 Blue Beach Rd, Hantsport,
Just down the road from me is a little shale beach known as Blue Beach where I learned to swim as a kid. And lug home fossils. Today those fossils are not allowed to be lugged anywhere, except up the road to the Blue Beach Fossil Museum to identify what treasures you may have found .Fossils belong to the people of Nova Scotia. But it’s still fun looking for them, and the tides seem to just keep uncovering new specimens all the time. There have been some rare and wonderful fossils found at Blue Beach, covering over 350 million years of history..Park on the other side of the train bridge and it’s less than a 10 minute walk to the beach-The last bit to the beach is steep
As always, check the tide times.
On beaches such as Blue Beach and Blomidon, stay out from under the cliff wall. Crumbling rocks and dirts fall regularly and we don’t want them to land on you.