Canada, Travels

Snails and seashells and kelp, oh my! – Fundy National Park, New Brunswick

After our wonderful adventures on Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton Island, it was time to head back to the Canadian mainland and explore another park.

Fundy National Park is located in southern New Brunswick on the shores of the Bay of Fundy. In addition to being a neat area, the Bay of Fundy is home to the world’s highest tides. The difference between high and low tide is nearly 40 feet (12 meters)! Naturally, this is the main attraction of the park.

We weren’t actually there for long enough to witness the difference, but we were out on the coast during low tide and could clearly see far above our heads the lines marking the edge of the water during high tide.

We set up camp at Chignecto Campground. There are campgrounds on the bay that are often enshrouded in fog, but Chignecto is back from the water a couple miles and supposedly less foggy. That may have been the case, but everything was still covered in dew in the mornings.

After setting up, we headed out to Point Wolfe, a thin strip of land that extends out into the bay. It was extremely foggy and grey when we arrived, but the fog slowly lifted and by midday the sky was blue and the sun was shining down on us.

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Point Wolfe – Fundy National Park, New Brunswick

There’s a covered bridge on the way out to Point Wolfe, and we stopped for a photo op before heading down to the bay. The Shiphaven Trail (0.3 miles/0.5 km) connects the bridge to Point Wolfe Beach, providing us a leisurely stroll out to the water.

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Point Wolfe Bridge – Fundy National Park, New Brunswick
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Point Wolfe River from the covered bridge – Fundy National Park, New Brunswick
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Covered bridge handstand – Fundy National Park, New Brunswick
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– John Muir
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Looking back at the covered bridge – Fundy National Park, New Brunswick
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Kelp at Point Wolfe – Fundy National Park, New Brunswick
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The rocks at Point Wolfe were covered with snails and barnacles – Fundy National Park, New Brunswick
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Snail – Fundy National Park, New Brunswick

Next, we headed out to Herring Cove (0.6 miles/1 km round trip), where we walked the beach while the tide was still relatively low, and then hiked to Matthew’s Head (2.8 miles/4.5 km round trip). This was a steep hike and the views were okay but not stellar; I probably wouldn’t do it again.

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Herring Cove – Fundy National Park, New Brunswick
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Herring Cove – Fundy National Park, New Brunswick
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Herring Cove – Fundy National Park, New Brunswick
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Exploring Herring Cove – Fundy National Park, New Brunswick (photo taken by my sister)
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Matthew’s Head – Fundy National Park, New Brunswick

The tide was rising throughout the day, covering the beaches, so we headed inland then for an easy 1 mile (1.6 km) loop hike to Dickson Falls.

Finally, on our way out of the park the following day, we followed Highway 114 up onto the Caledonia Highlands, making brief stops at Caribou Plane and Bennett Lake.

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Early morning fog hangs over the Bay of Fundy, as seen from the Caledonia Highlands – Fundy National Park, New Brunswick
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Caribou Plain – Fundy National Park, New Brunswick
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Bennett Lake – Fundy National Park, New Brunswick

Honestly, Fundy National Park was my least favorite destination of this vacation. Not because I didn’t enjoy it (I did), but because it was competing with Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. Also, we were only there for a day and a half, so I think I probably didn’t give it a fair chance.

I’d love to return to Fundy to explore it further, because there are so many trails we didn’t have time to hike and I’d also love to actually witness the giant change in tides.

If anyone has been to Fundy, I’d love to hear about your experiences!


The Important Stuff:

  • Getting there: located along Route 114 in Alma, New Brunswick
  • Fees and passes: $7.80 CAD/person/day or $19.60 per car
  • Camping: Chignecto Campground (261 sites, $25.50 CAD/night, reservations necessary). Point Wolfe and Headquarters Campgrounds also each have 154 sites available for reservations.
  • Hiking: there are 65 miles (100 km) of trails in the park, of a variety of lengths and levels of difficulty
  • Other: Keep an eye on the tide so you can see the 40 foot (12 m) changes. Also, so you don’t get stranded on the beach as it comes in

4 thoughts on “Snails and seashells and kelp, oh my! – Fundy National Park, New Brunswick”

  1. I spent a couple days at Fundy before going north and while it was beautiful, I agree with you that it certainly did not compete with Cape Breton or PEI. I walked the (coastal?) trail past Matthews Head – if I’m remembering correctly – and the views got better but never as nice as just getting down to the beach itself. The tides are truly something to see though. I spent 2 weeks along the Bay at numerous places and witnessed how fast that water goes in and out and how high it comes up shoreline cliffs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your adventures! I definitely need to go back to see the tides. We wanted to stop at Hopewell Rocks but just didn’t have time but I can probably kill 2 birds with 1 stone someday when I make it back there.

      Liked by 1 person

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