Situated on the shores of the Bay of Fundy at Hopewell Cape, The Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park, also known as The Flowerpot Rocks or The Rocks, comprises a set of rock formations sculpted patiently by the Bay of Fundy tides in New Brunswick, Canada.
One of the Major Marine Wonders of the World is Hopewell Rocks. It is also famous for experiencing one of the highest average tides in the world from the Bay of Fundy.
UNESCO also designated the upper Bay of Fundy as a World Biosphere Reserve in the year 2007.
1. What are Hopewell Rocks?
Hopewell Rocks are 20 freestanding sea stacks that closely stand within a 2 km range of the shoreline of the Bay of Fundy at Hopewell Cape. These 40-70 feet-tall rocks are carved with time and tidal erosion. Welcome to the Hopewell Rocks Ocean Tidal Exploration site located in the Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park, New Brunswick province, Canada.
These rock formations consist of sandstone, muddy, slippery, reddish brown, and minor mudstone rock formations. A variety of shapes and sizes of these rocks are available. The unusual shape of these rock formations, along with the trees and vegetation growing at its top, looks like a flower in a minor mudstone crock pot. Hence, the name Flowerpot Rocks.
Elephant rock, Beer rock, Dinosaur rock, etc., are also some whimsical names given to these Flowerpot Rocks. Only a creative eye gaze is needed to introduce a new figure in these Hopewell Rocks.
The Hopewell Rocks have witnessed some of the highest average tides globally. Its high tide can be as high as 52 feet tall. Back in 2016, a similar extreme high tide had once caused approximately 100-200 tonnes of the collapse of the Elephant Rock at Hopewell Rocks. However, you can have a good look at the formations from the ground level during low tide times.
Hopewell Rocks is a must-visit place if you are anywhere near Canada. Just make sure that you are aware of the tide times in advance, as every 6 hours, high and low tides transform the ocean floor into an unbelievable sight.
Check out Tide Tables
2. Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park
Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park in New Brunswick, Canada’s top tourist destination, offers guests an exceptional view of the Hopewell Rocks along with the dramatic tides coming out of the Bay of Fundy at Hopewell Cape. The park is open from May up until mid-September.
The tickets are valid for two consecutive days, costing per person 12 dollars for seniors, 14 dollars for adults, and 8 dollars for children below 18, and the ticket fares are free for children below the age of 5. Group tickets are also available.
Hopewell Rocks is a self-guided park with helpful Visitors Interpretive Centre services available throughout the park. The parking at Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park is massive and free.
Unlike the other Provincial Parks in Canada, Hopewell Rocks do not allow any camping and have fixed timings that are strictly to be adhered to. However, there are many private campgrounds available near the park that offer camping facilities and are available for camping.
3. 5 Things to do at Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park
3.1. Walking Trails
The lifeline of Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park is these well-maintained, 5-mile-long walking trails. These trails are mostly used for hikes and walks and are also wheelchair-friendly.
There are several networks of walking trails that will connect you to different trails within the park. Despite the trail you choose, you will always be welcomed with a spectacular view of the Hopewell Rocks.
You can also opt for a shuttle service to get to the shoreline. There is a separate additional fee for the shuttle. If you are in the mood for a little adventure, then we recommend walking through the trails and taking in the beautiful view of the forests and of the Hopewell Rocks from the deck.
The first trail is a short walk to the Ocean Floor Access Trail that will walk you directly from Hopewell Rocks Park to the ocean floor. This trail is not that lengthy and is an easy walk, with the distance measuring just 0.8 km.
One more trail is the Demoiselle Beach Trail, which is 0.7 km long and is also well-groomed and easy. This is a trail leading to the South from behind the Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park Interpretive Centre. The trail is not too steep and very gently descends to the ocean floor and takes you to Demoiselle Beach.
While walking through the trails in the forest, you might see red squirrels, skunks, raccoons, groundhogs, etc. There are many wildlife animals residing in the Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park. The site itself states that 35-50 different species of birds visit the park annually.
3.2. Ocean Floor
There are 3 primary access points to the Ocean Floor of Hopewell Rocks. These access points will help you to explore the entire shoreline of Hopewell Rocks during the low tide timings.
The first and primary access point is the metal staircase. To begin with, it has exactly 99 stairs that lead you down to the Hopewell Rocks. These stairs also come with a huge viewing platform deck.
If you don’t want to use a staircase, then the second option for you is a ramp. The North Beach grants access to the ramp, and this ramp has benches placed along its incline. The ramp is also suitable for wheelchairs.
The third and last access is a trail leading to the South from behind the Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park Interpretive Centre. This trail descends gently to the sea level and is not too steep.
As mentioned above, every 6 hours, there is a transformation of high tides and low tides. That means it takes 6 hours for a low tide to turn high and another 6 hours of wait for a high tide to become low. This means that you can take a walk on the ocean floor during low tide and also kayak at the same spot during high tide and that too on the same day!
However, the only time to take a walk on the ocean floor is three hours before and after low tide. Make sure to check the tidal timetable before your visit. The ocean floor can get slippery and quite muddy because of the high tides. Therefore, appropriate shoes or footwear are advisable.
3.3 Kayaking at Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park
A short walk on the ocean floor of Hopewell Rocks is one experience. Another amazing way to explore and enjoy the Hopewell Rocks shoreline to the fullest is by kayak. During the high tide, the Flowerpot Rocks, which once seemed like a gigantic sandstone, would barely be able to peak above the surface.
They give you guided instructions and necessary safety precautions. The Baymount Outdoor Adventures is a guided tour that offers the highest tidal kayaking tour in the whole world. They offer both daytime and night-time, i.e., after-dark kayaking tours.
The after-dark kayaking tour is the most famous and the most beautiful experience. This unique 2-hour kayaking tour begins at dusk hour. Then, it slowly paddles into the night hour with the enormous, starry night sky as your backdrop.
As mentioned above, you will be amazed by how you can kayak at the same spot where you were walking just a few hours back. High tides allow kayaking. So, do keep a watch on the tidal timings.
3.4. Demoiselle Lookout Deck & Beach
The name Demoiselle refers to the beach, creek, and cape of the Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park. The early French explorers thought that the Flowerpot Rocks resembled women wearing hats. Hence, Cap de Demoiselles was the French name given.
The main deck viewing platform at Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park is the Demoiselle Deck. The entrance to the deck offers a huge clock timetable of the tidal timing. Moving ahead, you will come across a huge, spacious viewing platform deck on the cliff. You will be treated to an amazing view of the seashore and the sea stacks!
Demoiselle Beach has an area marked for the mudflats. This marked area is off-limits as there are tiny mud shrimps here that serve as food to the thousands of migrating shorebirds and sandpipers.
3.5 Other Amenities at Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park
There is a shoe washing station near the top of the metal staircase where you can wash the mud off your shoes. There is a children’s playground available at the Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park.
The restaurant and cafes at Hopewells Rocks Provincial Park are also a must-visit. Overlooking the panoramic tidal waves coming from the Bay of Fundy, you can enjoy fresh, locally sourced, and flavorful dishes along with local beer. No doubt, the view with food feels like heaven on earth!
There is an Interpretive Centre at Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park where the guests can learn all about the Hopewell Rocks, its history and geography, and much more. You can also listen to the sounds of Whales in the Bay of Fundy here and also click a picture with the humungous Atlantic Whale replica.
Finally, there is also a gift shop located inside the Interpretive Centre itself, where guests can shop. There are several options available.
To summarise, if you are anywhere near New Brunswick, then don’t miss out on the chance to experience nature’s tidal clock of the Bay of Fundy. Today itself, add Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park to your travel bucket list!