How to Enjoy the Highest Tides in the World in Nova Scotia
Over 150 billion tonnes of seawater flow in and out of the Bay of Fundy twice every day, completely changing the landscape along its shores. Shaped by these tides—the highest in the world—Nova Scotia’s northwestern coastline is a hub of outdoor activity.
The obvious way to explore these tides is by getting out into the water. Twelve species of whales make their way through the Bay of Fundy and you’re welcome to pay them a visit. Book a spot on a tour boat or strap on a snorkel and head out past seals and seabirds. You’re here for the big smack of a tail on the surface and tall spray of mist from a blowhole. When it happens, you won’t be able to keep the goosebumps away.
Another way to enjoy the Bay of Fundy is by going tidal bore rafting. The tidal bore is essentially the leading wave that appears with the reversing of the river’s current by the enormous push of water from the Bay of Fundy. This phenomenon is truly something to behold—and behold you can on the Shubenacadie River. Shoot the river rapids in a raft or a boat for an adrenaline rush, and then get messy sliding through the riverbanks of silky-smooth mud.
When the tide goes out and the water level drops four-storeys, stroll out onto the bottom of the sea to explore the Bay of Fundy in a completely different way. Walk for miles along the floor of the bay at Burntcoat Head Park or move back in history at the Joggins Fossil Cliffs, Canada’s own Galapagos set in stone. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a 300 million-year-old fossil forest, where you can peer into the den of a preserved ancient amphibian, touch the footprints of some of the first creatures to ditch the ocean for land, and maybe just stumble across an unexplored fossil bed.
Maybe you’d rather do something completely different. If you’re physically fit and like to challenge yourself, sign up for the “Not Since Moses” run and walk. Dash across the muddy ocean floor—racing up to 6.2 miles—then watch the ocean flow in once again, covering the footprints behind you. This annual August event, in Nova Scotia’s Five Islands Provincial Park, ends with fresh-cooked local seafood, live music, and raucous good times and Maritime hospitality. A solid reward for a completely unique run.
Throw sea kayaking and coastal hiking into the mix, and you can see why outdoor lovers flock to the Bay of Fundy. And we didn’t even mention the museums, dining, and cultural experiences you can encounter along its shores.