After Cape Enrage Lighthouse, our Bay of Fundy scenic drive continued to Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park, which is located about mid-way between Fundy National Park and Moncton. But first, before we go hiking down to the beach we need lunch, as everywhere enroute was already closed, probably for the season.
Well we did find some lunch, and it was definitely the low point of the day, but the hike down to the beach and watching the tide come in was simply spectacular.
On arrival we found huge parking lots, with areas also for large RV’s. Although not warm and sunny, we found a shady spot and left the dogs in the truck while we went on a scouting mission and for a quick bite of lunch. At the entrance we paid the $9.00 admission, determined that dogs are welcome on the trails and beach, and they have a cafeteria in the main building just behind the entrance.
Yep, it was a cafeteria and the quality, or lack thereof, was consistent with the venue. I noted they had Pumphouse Ales, a small craft brewery in Moncton, so thought I would try another of their excellent ales. Alas, big mistake, as I ended up with a glass of bitterly cold and highly fizzy liquid with no head. It takes exceptional skill to ruin a good beer.
We headed back to the truck to pick up the dogs before heading down to the beach, which is a short 1/2 mile from the park entrance. Two options are available, a shuttle that runs on demand or walking along the clearly marked and well maintained trail, which started off fairly level then started to descend as we approached the beach. The shuttle, which costs $2.00 each way will even take the dogs, however we both decided to walk down to the beach, but Judi reserved the right to take the shuttle uphill. It was actually a very pleasant and easy walk through the trees and for those that require a wee breather, they have a few benches.
The trail leads to a viewing platform with bench seating that is about 50 to 60′ above the beach, which is only accessible by stairs, no lift, escalator or ramps.Judi & dogs stopping 1/2 way to catch her breath
Access to the beach is permitted 3 hours after high tide until 3 hours before the next high tide, with this board clearly posting the time you should be off the beach.
Although we noted some leeway is provided, as you still had a number of people down on the rapidly disappearing beach well after the cut-off time, however they did have a member of staff/volunteer down there supervising.
We arrived about 1.5 hrs after low tide and found the tide well out with a huge expanse of beach/ocean floor to explore at the bottom of the stairs.
Shortly after arrival with large expanse of ocean floor visible
Judi, Duke and Kona at the Arch
Once we took the above photo, Judi sat on the beach while Andy went exploring the area.
Judi, Duke & Kona sitting on the ocean floor
Satisfied with our trek along the ocean floor we headed back up the stairs to watch the tide come in. The next photographs were taken from the viewing platform over a period of only 1 hour and demonstrate how quickly the tide comes in.
Thoroughly satisfied at seeing the ocean reclaim where we had been exploring barely an hour earlier, it was time to head back. Judi decided that her and Duke would use the shuttle, so Andy and Kona set off back up the trail for a pleasant walk through the woods. Kona ranged from side to side checking out all the interesting smells.