Enjoy a family trip, investigating the ocean floor and its creative natural affects on the surrounding environment. Indulge in bird watching or kayaking.
An exciting feature for a family to discover and explore together in eastern Canada is the ocean floor when the tides drop. The Hopewell Rocks, located in the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, offer interesting views of the actual ocean floor itself, with engaging rock formations such as the “flower pot” rocks created by the worlds highest tides. It is impressive what the gravitational force of the moon and sun controlling the saltwater tide can sculpt over time. The rock formations are each unique and picturesque.
How to get to the Hopewell Rocks
The Hopewell Rocks are located at 131 Discovery Road, off of Route 114, Hopewell Cape.
Your family exploration of the ocean floor
Your exploration begins hiking on winding, and groomed downhill trails through a forest to arrive at the lookoffs, or “viewpoints” and stairway down to the ocean floor. The optimal time to visit the Hopewell Rocks, is of course, at low tide. According to the Visitor Map, it is usually “Safe to walk on the ocean floor for up the three hours before and after the tides lowest point.” Visitors can view the tide schedule online for daily tide times and plan their trip accordingly.
Although the mud on the ocean floor can dry rather quickly, good footwear is recommended. Footwear with tread such as running shoes or hiking boots are good choices, but flip flops and bare feet are not.
A couple of handy boot wash stations are located off the trail to avoid your having to track mud and sand into your car for your return trip.
Bring a lunch for a picnic, or eat at the restaurant. Picnic areas are located outside the entrance gate, surrounding the parking areas. For families on a budget, why not prepare ahead of time and pack a picnic for your party?
Other interesting activities at the Hopewell Rocks
Bird Watching – Especially during the summer months, bird watching enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to the Hopewell Rocks. Eagles, blue herons, cormorants and many as 34 shorebirds species have been spotted at this beautiful location. As the tide goes out, tiny aquatic mud animals attract thousands of shorebirds for a delicious feast.
Kayaking – Kayaking tours are offered daily and can be arranged in advance. Please see the below link for more information.
Planning your visit, parking, fees and services for the Hopewell Rocks
Currently, there is no fee for parking for the Hopewell Rocks. Entrance Fees are charged for individual, family or group rates.
Shuttle services are also available for groups or for others that may require transportation assistance around the park.
Most visitors can easily spend about half a day enjoying the scenery at the Hopewell Rocks.
If you time your visit just so, near the tide coming in, you can view it from above at one of the viewpoint locations. The tide forms swirling, mesmerizing patterns below you; where you just walked is now veiled by water, only to be rediscovered by other awe-struck visitors tomorrow.