Day Trips on the Bay of Fundy
This part of Nova Scotia was named Glooscap by the province’s first nation people the Mi’kmaq. You can learn much more about the Mi’kmaq nation at the Glooscap Hertiage & Visitor Centre located just off the 103 highway in Truro. Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy tides exchange 14 billion tonnes (14 cubic kilometres) of seawater daily. The force of gravity of this tide actually tilts the Nova Scotia countryside very slightly!. At mid-tide, the flow in Minas Channel north of Cape Split equals the combined flow of all the rivers and streams on Earth. The Bay of Fundy is truly one of the most dynamic destinations on earth. The intertidal mudflats provide a source of food for migrating birds, making this area a birdwatcher’s heaven. Thrilling tidal bore rafting adventures are available on the Shubenacadie River. You can experience the world of fossils and dinosaur bones with a visit to the Fundy Geological Museum and hike the nearby world famous Joggins Fossil Cliffs. Two notable areas for hiking and sightseeing are the provincial parks at Five Islands and Cape Chignecto.
Here are some routes worth exploring along the Cobequid Bay over to Chignecto Bay. Take Exit 11 off Highway 104 and drive along Route 2 to the Cobequid Interpretive Centre in Economy. Keep an eye out for That Dutchman’s Cheese Farm in Upper Economy. Also in this area are the Economy area walking trails and waterfalls. Follow the road and turn right onto unpaved River Phillip Road (marked by sign to “Economy Falls”). Follow the dirt road up over mountain and through blueberry fields to parking area (Park in designated area and follow well-developed trail down to base of water falls. )
Further along Route 2 you will find Five Islands Provincial Park. Have you camera and hiking shoes for this stop! The Park with it’s beach & hiking trails is also a site for clam digging or rock-hounding along the shore Continuing down the highway brings you to Parrsboro, (a historical and lovely small town) where you will find the Fundy Geological Museum. Two other points of interest here are Ottawa House By The Sea Museum and Ship’s Company Theatre. At Parrsboro, continue through town past Partridge Island and onto gravel road towards Black onto the old lighthouse access road. Park and follow the old access road up over the hill to the Cape Sharp Light. There is a spectacular view across the Minas Basin towards Cape Blomidon on the other side of the Bay. From this vantage you can see the rip tide during a tide change. A awesome spot to watch the sun setting over the Minas Basin.
From Parrsboro take Rt. 209 to the Age of Sail Heritage Centre, Port Greville. Further along route 209 just off a dirt road on the left is the Cape d’Or Lighthouse. There are hiking trails overlooking lighthouse; Cape d’Or was once the site of a copper mining operation and you can still find traces of copper in the rocks along the shoreline
Continuing on brings you to Cape Chignecto Provincial Park & West Advocate Beach The beach in Advocate Harbour has an amazing collection of driftwood piled up by the tides and is a lovely seaside walk. Cape Chignecto Provincial Park is Nova Scotia’s newest, and largest provincial park. This park offers over 40 km of trails. Most of the trails are coastal, winding along the north Minas shore from Red Rocks to Cape Chignecto. There you will see towering 185-metre (600 foot) cliffs rise from the Bay of Fundy shores. The coastal trail system throughout the park is well developed. This is also a great area for experienced backcountry hikers as well.
For Rockhounders there are the Joggins Fossil Cliffs which are a must visit.. From Parrsboro, follow Highway 2 north; keep left through “Boar’s Back” area of Chignecto Game Sanctuary towards River Hebert and follow signage to Joggins. Follow the road through town of Joggins, turning right on unpaved road towards shore. Park in lot at left and walk to shore. Look for petrified trees in cliffs, search for fossils along the beach. There is also evidence of old coal mine shafts in the cliffs A visit to Joggins is not complete without a stop at the Fossil Interpretation Centre to see the extensive fossil display gathered over many years by a local collector.