Originally when we started to plan our trip, our route stopped at Maine. Then we read a magazine which rated Cape Breton as the 2nd best National Park in North America and also one of 10 must go destinations in Canada. However, it would add at least another 1500 miles or 4 extra days of driving to go out there and back. We weren’t sure we wanted to drive that far to see Cape Breton even though I had heard that Nova Scotia was rugged and beautiful. It would still be a long drive to just see one thing. We couldn’t decide until Susan saw some pictures of Hopewell Rocks on the internet: it seemed to be an interesting place to see and it was about a half way on the road to Cape Breton. That settled it.
We arrived at Hopewell Rocks in early July. We were disappointed right away as it was a big attraction with a huge parking lots and amusement park like ticket booths to guard the entry. We were hoping that it was a hidden treasure and we would have to hike miles to see it but it was not to be. Hopewell Rocks is located in the Bay of Fundy where the highest tide has been recorded in the world. On the average, the Bay of Fundy has a 50 feet tidal range. The Hopewell Rocks are the famous flower pot rocks that are totally immersed in water during high tide but reachable on foot during low tide.
We paid our money to get in; the tickets were good for 2 days to allow visitors to see both a low tide and a high tide. Right away there was an interpretive center with some history about the geology and natural history of the area along with the inevitable gift shop. There was also a children playground there where we had our lunch. It was a fun place for kids and we had to drag Kadia out of there to walk toward the flowerpots. The trail was well-maintained and paved with a few scenic overlook. It was just a little past the low tide so the coast look barren with many people wandering down below.
Soon we arrived at stairways where we hiked down to the beach of Fundy Bay. The famous flower pot rocks were there for us to explore along with hundreds of others. We knew we had a couple of hours so we walked along the beach to explore other areas. The beach was flat with almost no discernible slope so the water was far away. The shoreline was a mixture of small rocks and large sands. There were some areas that were muddy where few adventurous kinds would venture out to. We walked until we reached an impasse with huge boulders for us to carry the kids through before we slowly made back to our entry point where we sat and waited for the tide to come in.
Once the tide started to come in, it came fast. Because the beach was relatively flat, each feet of rising water would cover perhaps 20 to 40 feet of land. We sat and watched the water swallowed up the flower pot rocks and soon many kayakers appeared to go among them. That was definitely a fun way to see the rocks. Next time we will definitely try that. Soon we were ushered out of the area to go up out of the harm way. We watched as the tide soon reclaimed the beach and the ocean triumphed again.