Destination: The Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick and Halifax, Nova Scotia

Another of the locations that we want to take the bus to is in New Brunswick, namely, the Bay of Fundy (around Irving Nature Park, near St. John).  And if we’re going that far, Halifax, Nova Scotia isn’t far away.

The Bay of Fundy has some of the greatest tidal change in the world!
The Bay of Fundy has some of the greatest tidal change in the world!

The Bay of Fundy is a cool place for people who can appreciate geology.  One of the awesome things about it is that it has some of the greatest tidal range in the world, spanning about 56 feet of change between high and low tides, which happen twice each every day.   (Which hit a difference of 71 feet in 1869 in a perfect storm of a tropical cyclone, low barometric pressure, and a spring tide.)  In addition to this, the bay area is also seated in a rift valley where most of Nova Scotia could have peeled away from North America if that pesky mid-Atlantic Ridge hadn’t meddled in the tectonic action.

Just like in school.  I'm talking about the Cobequid-Chedabucto fault at the top of the illustration (from
Just like in school. I’m talking about the Cobequid-Chedabucto fault at the top of the illustration (from

If you’re not big into geology, what you could take away from this is that a bunch of the rock layers in this area are igneous (volcanic), so they’re different from other areas of nearby Canada.  These rocks (and their differential rates of erosion) are one of the things that create the ‘flower pot’ rock formations people are walking and kayaking around in my first picture of the post.

Some of the cliffs around the Bay of Fundy.
Some of the cliffs around the Bay of Fundy.

It also created some really cool cliffs in the area.  The formation of the Bay and it’s high tides also creates ‘bores’ in some of the rivers that can actually reverse the direction of their flows as the tide comes in.  These ‘bores’ are places where a wave front makes it’s way up the river against the flow as the tide comes in.

The area just seems to beg for a canoe and some strong paddling arms.

But beyond (farther east) is Halifax, Nova Scotia.  It’s not quite as far east as we could reasonably take the bus on the continent (out near Sydney would be about it, unless we wanted to take the ferry out to Newfoundland and drive about there!).   But Halifax has some neat stuff, like the Alexander Keith’s brewery, which is one of the oldest breweries in Canada,

Citidel Hill (Fort George) in Halifax
Citidel Hill (Fort George) in Halifax

the Halifax Citadel (Fort George), a seven-pointed earthworked fort atop the hill that overlooks Halifax, and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, which seems to have a wealth of  information on Halifax and Nova Scotia’s nautical contributions and history and is also the oldest and largest Maritime Museum in Canada.

There’s a nice-looking campsite about 20 km away, the Woodhaven RV Park.  It looks to be about a 90 minute bike ride to the southern area of Halifax, but the Citadel has parking for buses and RVs, so it might be a reasonable thing to just park the bus there and sight-see.

Part of the other fun of this trip is the driving! The trip to St. John should take us about 13 hours (847 mi) at Google speeds, and probably about 14.25 or so bus speeds – if we go via the Thruway and other highways.  According to Google, if we skirted just south of the Adirondacks through Ticonderoga, NY and up to Burlington, VT and through Lancaster, NH and Augusta and Bangor, ME, it would only take us 15 hours (827 mi), and probably 16-17 hours at bus speed.

From St. John to Halifax is only about 4.5 hours, though it seems a circuitous and scenic route as it curves around the Bay of Fundy, the Minas Bay, and Cobequid Bay.  And just off the path, of course, is Prince Edward Island for just that many more tempting sights.

As you can see, this trip could turn into something long, and would need some careful planning for overnights of travel, parking, and fuel stops.  But this gives some nice bones to flesh out!







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