The Hopewell Rocks is New Brunswick’s most touristed attraction by far. Home to the highest tides in the world, 100 BILLION tons of seawater flows in and out of the Bay of Fundy twice daily, exposing and again covering the Flowerpot rocks that have made the natural destination famous.
The cliffs were formed millions of years ago as a massive mountain range and are older than the Appalachians and larger than the Canadian Rockies. As mud, pebbles, and rock washed down the mountains through slow erosion, the layers of sediment compressed into solid rock, forming the flowerpots as we see them today.
Geologists estimate that there’s enough rock for another 100,000 years of sculpted flowerpot creation. Read more about the geological formations here.
We were greeted by Paul Gaudet, Hopewell’s Interpretive Services Manager, and immediately headed down to the coast to take advantage of low tide on the ocean floor. If you can arrange to be here for longer than a few hours, plan your trip accordingly to catch both high and low tides, in order to really appreciate the height and range of the highest tides in the world.
What a dreamscape created by these eroding rocks! Twisting and turning impossibly, some with trees on top, these rocks have passed the test of time, making them one of Canada’s iconic treasures.
Some of the rocks resemble certain people and animals, such as the ET Rock, Mother in law, Dinosaur Rock, etc. Couples have come here to be photographed at Lover’s Arch, shown in the photo below.
Migrating seabirds make their home here. Although we weren’t lucky enough to catch this colony in action, Creative Imagery provided me with the sensation of thousands of Semipalmated Sandpipers flying into the air, their black and white colouring catching the sun as a shimmering splash of movement. Each summer, between 1 and 2.5 million shorebirds (75% of the world’s Semipalmated Sandpiper population) arrive here; it’s their only stopover on a 4,000 km migration route south.
[Video credit: Creative Imagery]
When you’re done being wowed by the huge rocks and surrounding nature, visit the interpretation centre for a self-guided multimedia exhibit enhanced by life-size sculptures, dioramas, and informative panels to help paint a picture of the Fundy ecosystem as well as Albert County’s cultural history.
Walking trails connect the area to lookout decks, allowing a view of the rock formations from above. Another trail (about 10 to 15 minutes) will lead to Demoiselle Beach at the southern end of Hopewell Rocks, where a sandy cove is ringed by rock formations on one side and salt marshes on the other.
Admission prices are $9.00 adults ($7.75 seniors, $6.75 children 5 to 18. Kids under 4 are free). An optional shuttle service ($2.00 per ride) will bring you right to the 98 steps leading to the ocean bottom at low tide.
If you catch high tide, take advantage by renting a kayak and moving in between these rocks for a two hour unforgettable experience. Access the kayak launching area near the north end of the park, beyond the parking lot. Visit Baymount Outdoor Adventures online for more information and reservations.
My visit to Hopewell Rocks was courtesy of Tourism New Brunswick.