While walking on a sandy beach, you pause and look up at the sea cliffs. Seaweed, still glistening with seawater, hangs from the rocky outcrops far above your head. Welcome to the Bay of Fundy!
You read the stats about the greatest tides in the world, but it’s hard to fully appreciate what the numbers mean until you are on the shores of the Bay of the Fundy. You can walk on the ocean floor and just six hours later, kayak over the same spot, your footsteps covered by up to 15 m (50 feet) of cold seawater.
To best observe the great Fundy tides, choose a reference point you can see at high and low tide, such as the wharf in Alma. At high tide, the decks of the fishing boats are nearly level with the wharf. At low tide, the boats sit on the seafloor nestled in wooden cradles and the fishermen climb down ladders to get to their vessels.
The Hopewell Rocks provide a spectacular backdrop to the tides. Walk at the base of the huge ‘flowerpot’ rocks at low tide. Six hours later, return to see all but the tops of the rock formations swallowed up by the water.
Explore Albert County
From rocky shorelines to lush pastoral valleys, from sandy beaches to dense woodlands, Albert County contains a rich diversity of landscapes. The county is home to several rare or threatened ecosystems including saltwater marshes, ‘fog forests’ and old-growth Acadian forests.
History is reflected in the landscape. Throughout the area, dykes which were built by the Acadians in the 1700s still separate pastures and farmland from rivers and bays. Covered bridges cross rivers. Lighthouses, such as the 140-year-old tower at Cape Enrage, provide vistas of the Bay of Fundy.
Albert County can be pictured as a rough diamond shape bordered by water on two sides. From Riverview (next to Moncton) at the top, the county follows the shores of the Petitcodiac River as its northeastern edge. The Petitcodiac spills into Shepody Bay, then Chignecto Bay, forming the southeastern boundary of the county.
Albert County Adventures
From easy to challenging, relaxing to daring, Albert County provides adventures for all appetites.
- Thrill seekers can rappel down seaside cliffs or soar along the Bay of Fundy coastline on a zipline at Cape Enrage Adventures.
- For a more relaxing time, join a trail ride or canoe trip at Broadleaf Ranch or take your own canoe or kayak for a relaxing paddle down the gently flowing Shepody River outside Riverside-Albert. (See map at http://www.connectingalbertcounty.org/environment/shepody-river-paddling-routes.)
- Go for a multi-day excursion with Fresh Air Adventures. Kayak during the day, camp at night and the guides will prepare your meals.
- Day sea kayakers can tour the Hopewell Rocks with Baymount Adventures or along the coast of Fundy National Park with Fresh Air Adventures.
- Fundy National Park has hiking and mountain bike trails for all skill levels, as well as boat rentals at Bennett Lake. Coastal hiking trails meander along clifftops between cobblestone and sandy beaches. Inland hiking trails traverse through dense forests and often feature waterfalls. You can tent in campgrounds or stay in a yurt or oTENTik (a cross between a tent and furnished cabin).
For people who want to create their own adventure, Albert County is perfect. You can follow a back road and discover a spectacularly beautiful spot to have a picnic or go for a walk. To create your own adventure, check out the Fundy Biosphere’s Amazing Places.
Albert County is at the heart of the UNESCO-designated Fundy Biosphere. You can arrange your visit around 50 “Amazing Places” which are ecologically significant and visually striking. At fbramazingplaces.ca, you can view the Amazing Places overlay on Google Earth and find GPS coordinates and driving directions to the sites. On the ground, each Amazing Place is marked by a sign with a QR code. Use a smartphone to access the code and learn about the site's natural and historic features.
Many of the Amazing Places can be reached by road or a short hike. Visitors can map out a series of Amazing Places and “connect the dots” by car, foot, bike or boat.
The stars are the limit
One of the treats of getting away from the city is seeing the night sky full of stars. Visitors to Fundy National Park can see the Milky Way and more stars, thanks to an initiative to reduce outdoor artificial lighting. Fundy has been designated as a Dark Sky Preserve by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
The mudflats of the Bay of Fundy are home to one of the world’s most spectacular natural displays. Every summer from late July to mid-August, one to two million shorebirds arrive at the mudflats to feed on tiny crustaceans. The birds are en route from their breeding grounds in the Canadian arctic to wintering sites in Central and South America. Flocks of up to 200,000 birds can be seen at Mary’s Point.
Like the magnitude of the tides, the numbers are impressive but witnessing the phenomenon is a staggering experience. The air is filled with the sound of wings and peeps as the birds whirl and sweep through the sky in massive flocks. The birds’ flight seems choreographed. The flocks twist and turn in a mesmerizing display.
To discover more beautiful places and great trails, check out Connecting Albert County's Exploring Our Trails. ConnectingAlbertCounty.org/trails contains maps, articles and images of local trails.
Baymount Adventures baymountadventures.com
Broadleaf Ranch broadleafranch.ca
FreshAir Adventure freshairadventure.com
Fundy Biosphere fundy-biosphere.ca
Fundy National Park pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/nb/fundy
Fundy’s Cape Enrage capeenrage.ca
Hopewell Rocks thehopewellrocks.ca
Mary’s Point canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/national-wildlife-areas/locations/shepody