Hopewell Rocks is arguably New Brunswick’s most well-known attraction. This beautiful and geologically unique destination draws in thousands of locals and tourists each year who flock to the area to gawk at the impressive tide and walk along its famous ‘flowerpot rocks.’ At low tide, visitors are allowed to walk along the ocean floor around these impressive structures; however, come high tide, these rock formations just barely peak over the surface. These ‘flowerpot rocks’ come in a variety of sizes and shapes formed by the abrasive power of the Fundy tide over millennia.
It takes a powerful tide to affect features as large as these rock formations. In fact, the tides in the Bay of Fundy are the highest in the world! Each high tide deposits 160 billion metric tonnes of water into the bay, a volume of water comparable to the outflow of all the rivers in the world combined.
The reason why the tides are so high in the Bay of Fundy comes down to two main factors: the physical layout of the land, and the momentum that the water maintains through the cycle of the tides. You see, the mouth of the bay is very large and deep. But as the rising tide brings the water more inland into bays and basins, the area available for the water to occupy becomes much smaller and shallower, meaning the water has to travel even further up onto the surrounding land. Once the water recedes, it will eventually be met with another rising tide. The cycle of high and low tide creates a rocking motion called a seiche, which makes the tides even higher in the Bay of Fundy.
Hopewell Rocks is one of the best spots to truly understand and appreciate the Bay of Fundy’s famously high tides, which is one of our region’s defining natural features. However, it is important to pay attention to the tide schedule and to the instructions of park staff to avoid getting stranded by rapidly rising water.
With its record-breaking tides and over twenty free-standing sea stacks peppered along two kilometers of shoreline, Hopewell Rocks is an iconic destination. No Atlantic Canadian vacation is complete without experiencing these icons, and for locals, a visit to Hopewell Rocks can refresh your sense of wonder for the unique ecology of the region. During the park’s open season, you can learn more about the unique geologic and cultural histories of Hopewell Rocks at the interpretive center or by speaking to park staff. So even if you’ve visited before, why not consider a return trip? You may unlock even more of the natural and cultural secrets hidden along this shoreline.
If you do plan on visiting Hopewell Rocks anytime soon, or if you have any photos from past trips, you can use them to enter our giveaway. Post your photos on Facebook or Instagram, tag us, and use #25watershedmoments to enter. Our next giveaway draw is on October 13, but your entry is valid for all remaining draws, up to and including our last draw on December 14. Prize packages include donated prizes from local businesses as well as PWA merch. You can only win once, but each post you make following our guidelines is a new entry, so you can enter lots to increase your chances!