Date: Sep 30, 2009
The itinerary for the day was to travel East along the Bay of Fundy coast of New Brunswick and to see the Fundy Trail Parkway and the Hopewell Rocks.
Fundy Trail Parkway
I am still not entirely sure what the official designation of Fundy Trail is. It appears as a park on Google Maps, yet it’s managed by a non-profit organization completely unrelated to the government park service (either national or provincial). What’s clear is that it’s a must-see destination for anybody who can spare the time for a 1 hour drive from Saint John, NB. The park boasts a very nice scenic drive with amazing views of Bay of Fundy, twisty-turny fun driving, as well as a variety of hiking trails that take you close to the nature.
Our first major stop was at a lookout overlooking the Flower Pot Rock. This little rock island was carved by the powerful tides of the Bay of Fundy. There are a couple of trees still growing on top to complete the flower-pot impression.
A trail took us down to Melvin beach, where the intricately carved sandstone cliffs could be seen from the sea level. The water was too cold to swim, but we enjoyed dipping our feet into the water and building castles out of stones on the beach.
Another walking trail took us to the Big Salmon River. We didn’t find any salmon (let alone big salmon!), but we did find a somewhat scary suspension bridge over the river. It didn’t look particularly scary initially, but Vitaly decided to test out the construction quality by jumping up and down when we were halfway to the other side. This gave the bridge quite a shake, and the rest of us quite a scare.
The Rocks Provincial Park is within striking distance of Moncton NB – a mere 35 minute drive. The “rocks” are actually flowerpot formations created by tidal erosion. Similar sights can be found in other places along the Fundy Coast (Flower Pot Rock on Fundy Trail in one example). What makes this park special is that there are many of these rocks concentrated in one small area.
We arrived to the park at low tide, which allowed us to walk on the ocean floor and also see the flowerpots exposed down to their narrow “stumps”.
The trail on top of the cliffs provided open views to the large mud flats near the shore. We were lucky to see them at the end of the day, when the setting sun colored the sky with lovely colors.
The park allows visitors to put in a kayak and paddle among the flowerpot formations during the high tides. Unfortunately, the timing of our visit didn’t coincide well with the high tide schedule. We would have to wait until the noon of the next day in order to catch a high tide during daytime. The cool kayaking experience had to be postponed. It now sits high on the “Maritimes loose ends” list, waiting for us to come back.
Coming up next: last day before heading to Nova Scotia and featuring visits to Cape Enrage, Magnetic Hill, and Sackville Waterfowl Park.