Going with the Ebb and Flow

Fundy Coast Drive, New Brunswick
  |  Gorp.com

Along the Fundy Coast of New Brunswick, everything — what you do, where you go, and what you see — depends on the tide. Nowhere on earth is the difference between high and low tide so great as in Fundy, where it averages about 36 feet. Over the centuries, the force of the tides has carved some remarkable geological phenomena. The bay provides an incredibly rich habitat for fish and those creatures who feed upon them — birds, whales and people.

Along this quirky elbow of the Atlantic, you can see wondrous cliffs of red sandstone and — sometimes — walk on miles of pebble-strewn beach you'll share only with the birds. At other times, islands exist where a long peninsula had been only a few hours before.

It's strange to sure, but it makes for great touring. Driving west from Nova Scotia toward Maine, the route reveals stunning coastal vistas, friendly fishing villages, uninhabited forests, and opportunities for wildlife watching and feasting on the bounties of the sea. Added to the above ambiance is an unexpected bonus — prices for lodging and meals are about 30 percent less than in nearby New England.

More than most places, timing is everything along the Fundy Coast. Certain sights, such as Hopewell Rocks, only exist at low tide; other places, like fishing harbors, are more attractive at high tide. Check the tide tables in the newspaper and discuss your itinerary with locals to make sure you're in the right place at the right time. Do exercise caution. It's dangerous to walk the coastal headlands on a rising tide — the sea can cut you off before you can reach higher ground. So know the tide table or travel with a guide who does.

The New Brunswick Department of Economic Development and Tourism has mapped the Fundy Coastal Drive, which is marked throughout with road signs at regular intervals displaying lighthouse symbols and arrows pointing to necessary turns. This itinerary presumes you are coming southwest from Moncton, New Brunswick's second largest city.

Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 27 May 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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