Any Road Trip on the East Coast of Canada must stop at Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick
On the way from Ontario, we stopped in Quebec at a campground for the night and took of early the next morning to make our way to our first destination. Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick.
Hopewell Rocks is located in the Bay of Fundy. The erosion from the colossal tides hitting the shore line for thousands of years, caused the huge rock formations that some people refer to as the “Flower Pots”. This was recommended to us by a friend as a place that we simply had to stop and see while we were on our way to Halifax.
There are a few campsites located very close to the park, and a good number of them within a 30 minute drive, so accommodation is not too hard to find. However, it is recommended that you book your spot in advance of your stay as it can be a crazy busy place in the high tourist season. We arrived in late August and we hadn’t booked any campsites ahead of time for our road trip, so we had to stay at the only one with available sites. Thank fully, despite being our only option, Broadleaf Ranch ended up being an absolute delight. It was one of the closest properties to Hopewell Rocks and had more than enough amenities to make our stay enjoyable. They have a restaurant on site serving, of course, Lobster Dinners and a number of other delicious foods. They offer cabin rentals for those that do not wish to sleep under the stars and washrooms with full showers so even the tent campers didn’t have to rough it too much. The property is huge so tent sites are in abundance, meaning they are most likely to have last minute camping options.There was a couple of huge fire pits on the property for the guests to enjoy in the evening and they were giving horse and buggy rides on the property throughout the day. As Jeff and I were not exactly interested in the ride, I did not enquire about the cost.
We set up our tents and after a beer to celebrate our arrival, we headed to the restaurant for dinner. Our meals were satisfactory although a little expensive for what we received, but that can be expected in a remote area. We could have cooked our own food at our campsite but we wanted to get the whole “Broadleaf Ranch” experience. After dinner, as the sun was setting, we headed down to the closest campfire to our tent and shared some beers with a wonderful family who was travelling New Brunswick on a camping trip that they take every year. 6 adults and 4 kids. The people from the East Coast of Canada were already living up to their reputation. This family was warm and friendly, and we had a great time.
What makes The Bay of Fundy, the incredible place that it is, and on the list of the 7 Wonders of North America, is the extremely high tides it experiences daily. The tidal range in the Bay of Fundy is about 13 metres. With the highest tides on earth they come in at 48ft high twice daily. These immense tides are the cause of the erosion that resulted in the beautiful “flowerpot” rock formations that are scattered across the shoreline.
There are a couple of ways to explore Hopewell Rocks and they both rely on the tide. You can either visit the park by Kayak and paddle around the rock formations at high tide, or wait for low tide and walk the beach. Exploring the rock formations by foot. I believe that in order to visit on the water you will need to bring your own kayaks but there are companies that offer tours throughout the season. Providing a kayak, paddles, life preservers, and a qualified guide. During the summer season, it can be very busy so if you would like to paddle around Hopewell Rocks, you may want to consider booking your tour in advance of your visit.
Jeff and I decided to check it out at low tide. This meant arriving at the park around 11am. The times are easy to find online on the Hopewell Rocks tourism website. Along with lot of other information about the park and ways to make the best of your Bay of Fundy experience.
Much like any heavily trafficked tourist destination, it is extremely difficult to get a picture without other tourists in the view. I recommend that you get there as early as possible when the tide is on its way out. You will still be surrounded by tourists, but the more time you spend, the better chance you will have to get a moment without people in the way. Patience is key. I’ve found it also works to KINDLY ask people to step out of the way for a moment.