One of the incredible things about living in Canada is that access to nature is always within reach. Canada boasts hundreds of provincial and national parks, where you can experience the natural landscape and appreciate the majestic beauty this country has to offer.
Home to the highest tides in the world, the Bay of Fundy is a 270 km (170 mile) long ocean bay that stretches between the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia on Canada’s east coast. Each day 160 billion tonnes of seawater flows in and out of the Bay of Fundy during one massive tide cycle – that’s more water than the combined flow of all the world’s freshwater rivers! Crazy!
On the New Brunswick side of the Bay of Fundy near a small town called Alma, is Fundy National Park. Fundy National Park is an outdoor-lovers dream! You can walk and explore the sea floor at low tide, kayak at high tide and hike through beautiful Acadian forests. There’s so many outdoor activities to do in this area, and the park itself is immaculately maintained.
We mainly chose to stay in Fundy National Park during our Canada East Coast road trip for its proximity to Hopewell Rocks, which is a must-see natural wonder on New Brunswick’s Bay of Fundy coastline. In the end, we enjoyed the area for so much more than just this reason. We loved hiking much more than I thought we would, and would certainly recommend staying at Fundy National Park, and using it as a base to explore all that the coastline has to offer.
Since we didn’t plan to camp every night of our road trip, we only brought the bare minimum for camping supplies, and I discovered that you don’t need to be ‘Johnny Hardcore’ to spend a few nights sleeping (more or less) outside in the early Autumn. We brought the following items and survived: a small tent, an air mattress (with built-in foot pump), sleeping bags, a small propane stove, a hatchet, fire-starting supplies, a large tarp (rain backup plan), rope, a few pots/pans/utensils/cups for basic cooking, flashlights, instant Starbucks coffee and oatmeal packets, and the always-important head lamp that Scott swears by and looks adorable wearing.
If campsite cooking doesn’t suit you, you can also cheat a little and grab some of your meals in the town of Alma. The restaurant selection isn’t the greatest, but it’s close, and it works!
Side note: the process of setting up a campsite with your partner can make or break your relationship. I have a couple of tips to help make the experience a success… If you have an air mattress with a built in foot pump, and are assigned the task of inflating it, always make sure you read the instructions thoroughly, and ensure that the plug is inserted correctly. If it’s not, the mattress will not inflate no matter how hard you try, leading you to experience at least one disastrous hour of pure hell. Second, during this time of panic, don’t call your mom panicking… trust me… it doesn’t help the situation, and your husband/partner may become extremely frustrated with your lack of ‘basic’ skills. Camping: 1, Me: 0.
There are lots of different ways to stay at Fundy National Park. The option we chose is to go Front Country Camping. At Fundy National Park, you can chose from three front country camping areas; Chignecto, Headquarters & Point Wolfe. We stayed in Chignecto, and liked it because it felt like the wilderness, but also allowed us to be close to the main areas and trails. You’re definitely camping, but also have camping neighbours, access to running water and public washrooms.
Side note: sometimes there are big scary bugs that hide in the public washrooms at campgrounds. They are more or less harmless, despite my sincere belief that they are either going to fly into my hair on purpose and get stuck or just generally suck out my soul.
You can also go Back Country Camping at Fundy National Park, which is the option chosen by people who know exactly what the heck they’re doing in the wilderness (certainly not me…) On the other side of the spectrum, for a hassle-free camping experience (which I highly recommend), you can stay in a Yurt, or an oTENTik. Both these options are great, require minimum preparation and gear, and let’s be honest… how much fun is it to say you stayed in a Yurt?! Rustic cabins will also be available for booking in Summer 2016.
There are great hiking trails scattered throughout Fundy National Park that vary from easy and moderate to difficult. We hiked the Coppermine Trail, a moderate-level trail with a few steep climbs and beautiful woodland scenery. Halfway through the hike, you’re rewarded with views over the Bay of Fundy. There are two muskoka chairs in the clearing when you hit the halfway mark of the hike as well, so you can pit stop to refuel while relaxing and enjoying the spectacular ocean views.
A great general itinerary to use as a guide would be to spend two nights, and one full day in Fundy National Park. This will give you time to explore a few trails, visit Hopewell Rocks, and just enjoy the camping experience (campfire s’mores & cold beer anyone?!)
*All photos and opinions are my own.