Canada, Nova Scotia: Fundy Hiking Tour
Five nights; six days of walks and hikes around the Bay of Fundy. Optional activities include sea kayaking and tidal bore rafting.
“The incredible scenery, great food specialties, and quiet (some super-quiet) roads are under-rated…a secret gem that rivals the Cabot Trail. What I love is that through the week, it just gets better and better!” – Alana Y.
WHY THIS TRIP?
- The Bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the world, resulting in spectacular scenery along its coasts.
- This is a lesser travelled route, and you can expect quiet hikes.
- Acadians were expelled from Grand Pre in 1749. Visit the historic site of their deportation, and walk the dykes they built 400 years ago to withstand the high tides.
- Rest in the university town of Wolfville, with many charming places to eat and drink.
- Hike to the clifftop aerie of Cape Split, for an impressive overview of currents and riptides far below.
- Gaspereau Valley, where you can float down the river on inner tubes when the water is high.
- Burntcoat Head – highest tide measurements.
- Semiprecious stones sometimes revealed on the beaches, especially on your walk at Partridge Island.
- Rest in a clifftop lighthouse at Cape d’Or.
- Joggins fossil museum – a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Waterfall at Kenomee Canyon.
- Sea stacks at Eatonville.
- Shipbuilding history in impossible places.
- Abundant fresh seafood.
- DAY 1: Introductions, ~7km + options
- DAY 2: ~14km
- DAY 3: ~6km + options
- DAY 4: ~15km
- DAY 5: ~14km + options
- DAY 6: ~5km
(Click image to enlarge)
Start: Halifax, The Lord Nelson Hotel, 13:00, day one.
Finish: Halifax, The Lord Nelson Hotel, 16:00, day six.
Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary. For those going to the airport: Halifax Transit operates its MetroX service from downtown to Halifax Stanfield International Airport. The #320 bus operates every 30 minutes during peak morning (6 am to 9 am) and afternoon (3 pm to 6 pm) times. The regular schedule departs every 60 minutes.
Introductions; ~7km walk; and optional 90-minute inner tube float
Meet in Halifax then transfer one-hour to Wolfville. Start with an introductory walk on the Acadian dykes to historic Grand Pré, to see how early farmers controlled the Fundy tide to their advantage. Grand Pré was the centre of Acadian settlement in the area from 1682 until 1755 when the Deportation began. The site is recognized by UNESCO and you’ll have ample time to explore this historical landscape. Afterwards, visit the nearby wineries, and enjoy a refreshing swim or lazy float on an inner tube down the Gaspereau River, through apple orchards toward the sea. D (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips only. Otherwise, breakfasts are usually included).
Cape Split ~14km
Hike out to Cape Split along the cliff tops of Scot’s Bay. Linger at “the Split” to contemplate the tidal power from your high perch on a cliff top meadow, or follow the alternative coastal route back to Scot’s Bay. Choose from several dinner choices awaiting you in Wolfville. BL
Burntcoat Head; Five Islands Provincial Park ~6km
Depart Wolfville by vehicle, transferring 90-minutes around the Minas Basin, with a one-hour stop at Burntcoat Head where the world’s highest tides have been recorded. Walk on the ocean floor, tide permitting, then continue another 90-minutes to Five Islands Provincial Park for a hike up Economy Mountain and along Red Head. Finish in Parrsboro where you may have the option to attend a live performance at Ship’s Company Theatre. Note that Tidal bore river rafting is an alternative activity today, and is only available when the entire group wants it and tide times are appropriate; call us for more details if you or your group are interested. BD
Gillespie House B&B, Parrsboro
Economy River and Kenomee Canyon ~15km
A 45-minute transfer takes you to hike within the Kenomee Canyon and Economy River Wilderness Area – a deep river valley carved through mixed mature evergreen/hardwood forests, along cliff edges, to waterfalls, river crossings, and beautiful stairways. The Cobequid Mountains tumble to the sea all along this shore, and Economy Falls is one of the prettiest of many waterfalls along this shore. Finish with a walking tour at the base of Partridge Island to search for gems and fossils exposed by the ravages of the tides, and to enjoy the beautiful pebbly beach with its spectacular wealth of fascinating rocks and driftwood. A half-hour transfer to Advocate Harbour and Cape Chignecto Park where your retreat tonight is a Lighthouse overlooking the Bay of Fundy, or in chalets tucked behind a beach littered with driftwood, and perfect for an evening fire. BLD
McGahey Brook Canyon and Red Rocks ~14km; optional sea kayaking available
Transfer 45-minutes to Cape Chignecto Provincial Park and hike along the beach (tide dependant) and up a long steep staircase into McGahey Brook Canyon, looping back over the mountain to Red Rocks. From McGahey Brook Canyon there is an option to hike toward Refugee Cove and extend your hike up to 24km (this is a challenging section of trail, recommended for very experienced hikers). You can also choose the alternative, optional sea kayak trip to the Three Sisters. Either way, this area, near the outer end of Cape Chignecto where the land meets the rips and ferocity of the Fundy tides, is known for its fantastic shorelines. Back at your lodge, you might be able to enjoy what some say is one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. BLD
Eatonville and Three Sisters ~5km; Joggins Fossil Cliffs
Transfer 1-hour to the north side of Cape Chignecto Provincial Park and spend the morning hiking in the Eatonville area, overlooking what now appears to be a beautiful, wild estuary, but was in recent history a remarkably bustling shipbuilding outpost. You will also see some dramatic sea stacks, fissures, cliffs, strands, and the Three Sisters. From there, follow one of Nova Scotia’s quietest stretches of road to the Joggins Fossil Cliffs, recently added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites thanks to the remarkable abundance of rare fossils accessible to anyone walking on the beach. For more intriguing information, visit their website here. Finish with a two-and-a-half-hour van transfer back to Halifax in time for dinner. BL
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
- Jun 16-21
- Jun 30-Jul 5
- Jul 28-Aug 2
- Aug 25-30
- Sep 22-27
Self-Guided available any dates, except for those listed above. New dates are also welcomed for guided or private departures.
Guided: C 3195 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 6 days, 5 nights, 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners, museum and park entrance fees, luggage handling, full-time guide and van support, maps, trail notes, 15% sales tax
Small groups or private tours, fully supported with drivers/guides and vehicles, all lodging and most meals included. Choose from existing dates or request new departures. Read more on our “What to Expect” page.
Self-Drive: C 1875 (per person, double occupancy)
7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, relevant maps and trail notes, car rental recommendations, 15% sales tax
Fully independent travel including lodging, detailed itineraries, route instructions and resources. Choose your own dates, provide your own transportation. Read more on our “What to Expect” page.
Single Occupancy: 675
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
Please see above for accurate pricing and inclusions, unless we have proposed a customized trip for you and those details are provided in your custom proposal.
1. Choose an advertised date to join a small group, or see our Join a Group page to see where groups are already forming.
2. Pick your own dates. We will confirm quickly, and are happy to talk with you as you make your choice. If you would like a private guided date, this usually comes at a surcharge depending on the details, please get in touch for more information. If you prefer self-guided, we usually only require two participants to initiate a new date at the advertised price, and can sometimes reduce prices for you if you have four or more.
The best time to enjoy this tour is mid-June to mid-October.
Spring daytimes warm up to 10 to 20 °C (50 to 70 °F) by mid June. Note that seasonal businesses may still be closed, or on off-season hours, until late June.
Summer, mid June to mid September, is normally 20 to 25 °C (70 to 80 °F). Freshwater and saltwater swimming is encouraged.
Autumn, mid September to mid October, daytimes 10 to 20 °C range (50 to 70 °F). Nights can be chilly, but rarely down to freezing. Mid-October is the best time to see spectacularly colorful fall foliage.
GET TO THE START
We meet you at your inn in Halifax on the morning of day one, for a transfer (one hour) to Wolfville with the Freewheeling shuttle. Halifax’s downtown core is located about half an hour from its international airport (YHZ). Taxis are readily available; Maritime Bus offers an airport express shuttle; and Halifax Transit provides hourly departures on its MetroX bus service.
If you drive: Call us to help arrange parking for the week in Halifax.
We will return you to Halifax by about 16:00 on day six. It is best to fly out the following morning, but you may find evening flights (departing no earlier than 18:00) that fit your timetable. Contact us for recommendations.
BEFORE AND AFTER
If you have one day:
Rent a car (we can drop you at Halifax airport on day seven), and visit Lunenburg – a UNESCO township, where you can join sailing tours, or rent a bike from our HQ and ride the Aspotogan loop.
If you have several days:
We recommend the following accommodations in Halifax for before or after your tour; please let us know if we can assist with reservations:
• The Lord Nelson, 1515 South Park Street Ph: 902-423-6331 or 800-565-2020
• Prince George Hotel, 1725 Market Street Ph: 902-425-1986 or 800-565-1567
• The Halliburton Inn, 5184 Morris Street Ph: 902-420-0658 or 888-512-3344
The Bay of Fundy has tides as high as 50 feet – the highest in the world, and teems with so much life that hundreds of whales gather here to feed every summer. This adventure explores the coast in exciting ways. Begin with a hike along the Acadian dykes built to protect rich farmland from the tremendous tides. Float on inner tubes or swim in sun-warmed water near the small university town of Wolfville. Hike to a cliff-top view over the currents and whirlpools below, and descend to explore pristine beaches where agates and sparkling amethysts are the gifts of the wave-wracked rocks. Follow the shore of Minas Basin to Parrsboro, where Mi’kmaq legends tell of the mighty Glooscap’s magic. The benevolent hero of the Mi’kmaq tribe is said to have taught them everything they know about hunting, fishing, herbs, and plants. In the legends, Glooscap is credited with changing monsters into harmless animals, and adapting the landscape to be more favourable. From Parrsboro, hike to waterfalls cascading off the Cobequid Mountains, or in Cape Chignecto Park. Take to the water in sea kayaks, for an amazing discovery of the Three Sisters, before a final visit to the Joggins Fossil Cliffs, recently elected to the UNESCO list. This adventure takes you to less-visited parts of Nova Scotia, and teaches you about one of the natural world’s greatest phenomena.
Inn Notes: These are small and welcoming inns, gracious in Wolfville, friendly in Parrsboro, and out of this world at the lighthouse. The lighthouse is isolated and accessible by a hilly gravel road; self guided tours will stay at another property in Advocate Harbour within walking distance of other amenities.