Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park

Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: September 2022

Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park is located along the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick. It features a series of stunning sea stacks and is a popular spot to watch the extreme change in the tide. The park contains a single hiking trail that follows the coastline and provides three access points to the ocean floor.

While staying at Fundy National Park, we decided to make a day trip to visit Hopewell Rocks, which is one of the iconic places to visit in Atlantic Canada. After consulting the tide tables, we figured we should plan to get there during the middle of low tide. From Fundy National Park, it’s about a 45 minute drive to Hopewell Rocks. Along the way we stopped at the Anderson Hollow Lighthouse.

We arrived at Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park just after 9:30am. Entrance was a bit steep ($14 per person), but our park pass was valid for two consecutive days. The park features a series of free-standing sea stacks that have been shaped by tectonic shifts and erosion from the extreme tides and elements. The tide here rises and falls an average of 10 to 14 metres (33 to 46 feet), or a rate of up to nearly 2 metres (6 feet) per hour.

There are two options to get to the shoreline, either by taking the shuttle service (for an additional fee) or by trail. We’re all about the steps, so we opted for the latter. From the Interpretive Centre, we turned left towards Flower Pot Rocks (0.8km one-way). The path is wide and weaves through the forest. About half-way there’s a short detour that leads to a viewing platform overlooking Big Cove. The sea stacks at Hopewell Rocks are often referred to as Flower Pot Rocks because there are often trees growing from the top of many of the rock pillars.

The next point of interest along the trail was at Staircase Cove. There’s a viewing platform that overlooks a series of rock formations, including the famous Lovers Arch. There is also a large metal staircase (with 101 steps) that leads down to the ocean floor.

The ocean floor is only accessible three hours before and after low tide. And be warned, it is quite muddy down there, especially closer to the water. Thankfully there is a shoe washing station near the top of the metal staircase to help clean off all the mud and dirt afterwards. We sloshed around through some of the mud to get a better view of some of the rock formations.

After washing off our shoes, we headed back to the path towards Demoiselles Beach. Along the way there are a couple of scenic overlooks that provide a nice view of the mudflats. The mudflats here are off limits to walk across as they contain tiny mud shrimp that serve as food to thousands of migrating shorebirds.

The path leads down to Demoiselles Beach which provides another access point to the ocean floor. The name “Demoiselles” refers to the cape, creek and beach in this area, and is attributed to early French explorers who thought the flowerpot shaped cliffs resembled shapely women wearing elaborate hats, hence the name “Cap de Demoiselles”.

From the beach we walked back to the main parking lot. We would have loved to stay for longer to see the sea stacks at high tide, but we had other plans to explore more of Fundy National Park. On the drive back to the park, we made another detour to check out a covered bridge and to pick up some fresh seafood.

There never seems to be enough time to see it all.

L

92 thoughts on “Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park

  1. Ab says:

    I’m so glad to see this recap, as you had only briefly mentioned Hopewell in your previous post. This truly is a marvelous part of the East coast and I’m glad to have visited. We’re due for another visit in the near future to take T for his first visit.

    PS. You can get Covered Bridge chips in Toronto. I’ve seen them at places like Winners or Bulk Barn.

    Like

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s wild how much the water levels change with the tides along the Bay of Fundy! It was neat being able to access the shoreline during low tide, but it was very mucky. I can only imagine how much worse it would have been to walk along the mud flats! It’s probably a good call that they are off limits.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. leightontravels says:

    What a handsome and curious sight the sea stacks are. I actually like that this isn’t an easy sight; that you have to time your arrival and take the mud into account. It’s also great that they protect the mudflats, so important to the birds. Throw in that charming lighthouse and another covered bridge for the collection and this looked like a fine day’s exploring.

    Like

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s wild how there are trees and plants growing from the top of some of the sea stacks. It goes to show just how resilient nature is. It’s too bad we couldn’t have stayed until high tide to watch how much the water levels change though, but it was fun to explore the mucky shore during low tide.

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I’m such a fan of lighthouses and am always willing to make a detour to check one out! The rock formations along the Bay of Fundy are so fascinating. I love how there are even trees and plants growing from the tops of some of the rock pillars.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Rose says:

    “There never seems to be enough time to see it all.” This is true, and thank-you for sharing things with us that we may not have had the time to see ourselves. 🙂

    Like

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment. It’s been nice to explore more of Canada this past year. Visiting Hopewell Rocks was one of the highlights of our time out east. It’s wild how much the water levels change with the tides along the Bay of Fundy.

      Like

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The scenery along the Bay of Fundy is spectacular, especially along Hopewell Rocks with all those interesting rock formations. I can see why it’s high on your bucket list. Hopefully you’re able to visit someday. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. Linda

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Linda K says:

    We never made it to New Brunswick and that area on our trip back east this past summer. The photos you have of those incredible stacks make me want to return soon and check out that area!

    Like

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I’m such a fan of lighthouses and am always willing to make a detour to check one out. The sea stacks at Hopewell Rocks were stunning. It’s pretty wild that there are even trees growing from the tops of some of them. The shoe washing station was definitely needed! I couldn’t get over just how mucky it was along the shoreline.

      Like

  5. Bama says:

    I love the look of the Flower Pot Rocks! They remind me a little bit of a similar formation off the southern coast of Bali, although what I saw was much smaller. To me the shape of that lighthouse is very unique, unlike anything we have here in Indonesia (at least not that I know of).

    Like

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The rock formations at Hopewell Rocks are gorgeous. It’s pretty amazing how there are even trees and other plants growing from the tops of some of them. There are a lot of lighthouses in eastern Canada. I love how each one has a unique shape and size. It’s too bad we didn’t have more time to try to find them all.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lookoom says:

    Nice memory, unfortunately I arrived too late at the Bay of Fundy the day I was supposed to go. And this covered bridge, I also stopped there, the traffic is diverted because it is too fragile if I remember well.

    Like

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s too bad that you missed out on the Bay of Fundy as it’s such a special place. And yes, good memory. The covered bridge is located just off the main road so you can’t drive through it anymore. Fine by me as I just wanted to take pictures of it anyway!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. wetanddustyroads says:

    I find it quite amazing that trees grow from the top of the rock pillars. Oh, I can see how muddy it is … but definitely worth going down there to see the Arch and rock formations from closer. And I like the covered bridge!

    Like

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Oh I know, it’s pretty incredible how some trees can grow in the most precarious positions. It was neat to walk along the ocean floor, but my gosh was it muddy. I’m glad we wore our hiking boots and that they had a shoe washing station afterwards.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. alisendopf says:

    What a great tour you’re having out east. I find that everything is way more expensive out there. My friend was in PEI for a bike race and she was shocked by the price of hotels. Finding a car was almost impossible.

    Your photos are amazing. I love the rock formations. Thanks for the history lesson the tides and tectonics. Isn’t it great you have a blog? It’s those cool details that get forgotten after you leave a place.

    Alisen

    Like

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment. We spent a lot of time out west earlier this year so it was nice to shake it up and explore out east. I was blown away by how charming the Maritimes are. The national parks are all incredibly scenic and have a nice range of hiking trails and other activities. We ended up camping in oTENTiks the entire time, which were actually cheaper compared to the ones in Ontario and more affordable than staying in a hotel. All we had to do was pack our sleeping bags, pillows and stuff for cooking. It sure beat sleeping in our tent, especially towards the end of our trip when we encountered a lot of wind and rain in Cape Breton Highlands.

      It’s funny because I never really cared about geography or geology when in school, but now that I’m older, I just can’t get enough of it. Travelling is such a fun way to learn. And yes, it’s nice to write about all the cool things we learn about so we can always look back and remember.

      Hope you’re all ready for the holidays. Take care. Linda

      Like

  9. BrittnyLee says:

    That’s how Matt And I felt when we were in Pittsburgh. We didn’t have enough time to get everything in even though we were there for a week! It’s hard to see it all and do it all. It’s really interesting how different the tides run. It’s a good thing they have warnings and signs to let people know about the dangers of high tide. That always scares me thinking about that. That’s Nice that they protect the area that has the mud shrimp for the birds. I always appreciate places that appreciate nature and try to protect it.

    Like

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Oh I know! It forces you to prioritize things and make the most of each day though. It’s definitely a good thing that there are lots of signs and warnings about when the tide. It’s crazy how quickly the water levels change along the Bay of Fundy. We made sure we had ample time to return before high tide. And agreed, it’s good that some areas are off limits. Humans have a way of ruining things sometimes.

      Like

      • BrittnyLee says:

        Yes, humans can do that. Ugh 😫 Matt and I like to take garbage bags and wear gloves, picking up trash when it gets warmer and throw away the trash in free park garbage cans . It helps to clean up the town. Things tend to stay cleaner longer afterwards, too. I think more people feel badly literally after they see people cleaning it up lol 🤣 . You’re right. It does help you to prioritize your time. 🙂 Prioritizing time is always good especially when you have things you really don’t want to miss 🙂

        Like

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        That’s amazing that you and Matt are cleaning up the environment by picking up trash. I never really understood why people litter. It’s disgusting. We typically pick up trash along the trails when we’re hiking and it’s crazy how much worse it’s gotten over the past few years.

        Like

      • BrittnyLee says:

        Wow 😳 it’s even happening where you’re at ! Maybe the police need to get more strict about littering laws and follow up with them. We find a lot on the trails near us too and end up picking trash up and throwing it away. It’s so gross. People just open candy bars or drinks and toss the empty containers on the ground. Lazy, I swear. We were hiking the one day and saw trash all over the grassy area where geese congregate and the rangers were chatting it up not doing a think about the trash. Matt and I were so annoyed, we just started to clean it ourselves.

        Like

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        No kidding. During the pandemic, our government provided a lot of support to students or other people who lost their jobs. It’s too bad that they didn’t use it as an opportunity to get those people to give back to their community by helping plant trees or pick up litter. Sounds like a missed opportunity.

        Like

  10. ourcrossings says:

    Wow, what a fascinating place, Linda 🙂 It is quite amazing to see such unique rock formations that the massive tides of the Bay of Fundy have been patiently sculpting for thousands of years. I’d say no Atlantic Canadian vacation would be complete without experiencing these icons. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

    Like

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure. It’s amazing how the forces of the tides have shaped the landscape around the coastline of the Bay of Fundy. Hopewell Rocks was such a neat place to explore, especially since we could walk along the ocean floor during low tide and get a close-up of some of the rock pillars. I especially loved how there were trees growing from the tops of some of them. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. Take care, Linda.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s