THE BAY OF FUNDY, HOME TO THE WORLD"S HIGHEST TIDES
Discover Nova Scotia’s own natural wonder
Twice a day, witness one of the world’s greatest natural phenomena, unique to the Bay of Fundy.
The tides have shaped the Bay of Fundy that we know today. They are responsible for providing nutrients that support the ecosystem, which in return supports the wildlife. The tides of the Bay of Fundy’s Minas Basin are higher than anywhere else in the world. This uniqueness is heavily influenced by three distinct features; the gravitational pull of the moon, the unique shape of the bay and its substantial amount of water.
Recognized as being the pulse of the ocean, tides are heavily influenced by the periodic fluctuations in gravitational pulls from the sun and moon. The height of the tides varies from day to day, depending on the strength of these gravitational pulls. Visit the Bay of Fundy during a full moon cycle, and you’ll witness the reason why the tides stand as being the world’s highest!
The highest tides of the Bay of Fundy are also due to the bay’s unique shape and its ability to attract a significant amount of water. Entering the Bay of Fundy, the body of water gradually narrows and becomes shallower. The tidal flow becomes constricted which causes the water to rise. The rise of the water is what creates those mind-boggling tides that are unique to the Bay of Fundy. Picture a small child in a bathtub, sloshing the water around with each wave getting higher and higher. Now, imagine giving a small child a good push on the swing at the right time, going higher and higher. The pulse of the Atlantic Ocean tides is that extra push which makes the tides even higher!
The Bay of Fundy is also the best site on the planet for “green” tidal energy. Visit the followings visitor centres to learn more about the power of the Bay of Fundy tides in Nova Scotia:
Witness nature during peak performance
Burncoat Head Park, Burncoat - it was in Burncoat Head where the highest tide on earth was recorded following a great storm in 1869 known as the Saxby Gale.
Five Islands Provincial Park, Five Islands - possibly one of the most beautiful spots along the Bay, Five Islands Provincial Park combines amazing geology with views of the tides.
Thomas Cove Coastal Reserve, Economy - Thomas Cove features a great coastal hike on a secluded corner of the Bay and offers wonderful views of the extensive mudflats at low tide.
Blomidon Provincial Park, Blomidon - Believed to be the home of the legendary giant Glooscap, an important cultural figure of the aboriginal Mi'kmaw people of Nova Scotia.
Hall's Harbour Wharf, Hall's Harbour - View the harbor as it empties, leaving fishing boats sitting in the mud at low tide.
What's a Tidal Bore?
The power of the incoming Fundy tide is so great that it actually temporarily reverses the flow of several rivers that empty into the Minas Basin. The wave or crest of water that travels upriver as a result of this reversing flow is known as a tidal bore. Popular tidal bore viewing areas include the Salmon River in Truro, the Shubenacadie River in South Maitland as well as viewing areas on the Maccan River and the River Hebert.
The Shubenacadie River is the only place in the world where you can go Tidal Bore Rafting. Experienced guides take visitors on a one-of-a-kind, upriver rafting adventure. There truly is no better way to experience the Bay of Fundy tides first hand!
Strong tidal currents of the Minas Basin are continuously eroding the red soils of the Fundy shoreline. The red soil becomes suspended in the water making it appear muddy.
A Word of Warning
The Bay of Fundy tide can return as rapidly as 1 foot per minute. Be mindful of this when exploring the Fundy Coastline. It's best to begin exploring on an outgoing tide to allow plenty of time for you to return before the tide comes back in.