Straining your neck upwards it’s hard to grasp the immensity of these massive boulders. Carved out of the landscape by thousands of years of erosion from the largest tides in the world, with the assistance of the hot heat of summer in New Brunswick and its frigid temperatures in the winter (known formally as “Freeze Erosion”). The Flowerpot Rocks are one of the most serene natural wonders of Canada. High tide or low, it’s hard not to shake your head in disbelief at this enormous landscape of boulders the size of small buildings, surrounded by the Bay of Fundy, home to the worlds largest tides.
Southbound to Hopewell Rocks
Located south of Moncton New Brunswick at Hopewell Cape, you’ll drive past covered bridges, beautiful farmlands, and then finally you’ll see the waters of the Bay of Fundy. Driving down into Hopewell Cape you’ll come across a rather large parking lot. Don’t let the amount of cars scare you off, Hopewell Rocks is massive, and there’s plenty of room for all – even those that steer clear from big tourist destinations.
The interpretive center located before you descend to view the Hopewell Rocks is superb, with information relating to the formation of the area, the fauna that call Hopwell home, along with some great explanations of how exactly the Flowerpot rocks were formed. Be sure to look for the historical photos of the Hopewell Rocks, as tourists have been visiting this area to gaze at these natural wonders for decades. It truly lets you appreciate the age of the rocks along with how much erosion has taken place since the early 20th century. The changes to many of these Flowerpot Rocks in just the last 60 years will astound you!
High Tide Or Low Tide
A visit to the Hopewell Rocks can be done at either high tide or low tide. During high tide you can rent a kayak for $59 (plus tax) and padding through the megalithic boulders. A handful of hours later in low tide, you can be walking along the sea floor of the Bay of Fundy observing the Flowerpot Rocks from ground level and snapping some of the most wild photos you’ll take during your travels in New Brunswick. Remember the number 100 Billion, as that’s how many tons of seawater goes in and out of the Bay of Fundy!
Our guide knew more about these rocks than I know about myself, and it’s clear to see that the staff here aren’t just doing their job, this is something they are all clearly passionate about. The Hopewell Rocks staff meticulously keep the area clean & safe, any garbage that shows up around these parts from the waters of the Bay of Fundy or from forgetful tourists is quickly picked up, and disposed of properly, while safeguards are put in place to keep tourists away from rocks that have seen so much erosion that they’ve become a danger to the public. In September 2002 there was a massive landslide at Hopewell Rocks which could have been disastrous had anyone been near by.
A Humbling Experience at Hopewell Cape
Walking between two Flowerpots can make you a bit clausterphobic, but knowing that most of these rocks have remained standing for centuries allows you to breathe a sigh of relief. Pictures and video of the area really don’t do this place justice. While they showcase the beauty, in order to fully take in the size and immensity of each of these massive rocks, you need to walk around the floor of the Bay of Fundy and observe them from each and every angle. If you’ve never been blessed with that belittling feeling large landscapes can give you, gazing upwards upon a small forest growing on the top of a rock in the middle of the Bay may just what you need to ignite that intrinsic feeling. Talk about a humbling experience!
Note that visitors may still enter the park during off-season; however, no facilities are open and you visit at your own risk. It’s good to remember to play it safe with tide timetables, it would make for an uncomfortable visit if you get trapped by rising tides.
Special thanks to Tourism New Brunswick for helping organize my trip through Grand Manan Island and Hopewell Rocks!