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Monday, August 31, 2015

Hopewell Rocks ~ walking on the sea floor

The nice trail through the woods to the cliff and stairs to the beach at Hopewell Rocks.

Have you ever heard of the famous 'flower pot' rocks at Hopewell Cape in New Brunswick?  The The Hopewell Rocks have been formed by nature and the high tides of the Bay of Fundy and are a big tourist attraction.  I know some of you have been there at least once and I have visited this place many times in my life but not for the last 20 years I think.  It has changed a great deal since we were last there with our children and friends and it's a beautiful park area with many amenities.  We went to Moncton the weekend before last and drove through Albert County and the pretty village of Hillsborough along with some other pretty villages until we arrived at the Rocks - about a 40 minute drive.

When you arrive at the huge parking area you walk to the ticket gate to pay then just beyond that is a large reception building (I forgot to take a photo) with a restaurant, gift shop, rest rooms inside and picnic and playground area outside.  From there you take the path to the Rocks or for $2.00 per person you can travel on a trolley.  

When you emerge from the trail there is another area with a foot washing station.  Hmmm.....I wonder why one needs that!  Well, after being down on the beach we found out.  People love to walk in the mud!  One can also rent kayaks to go sea kayaking from here.

Before you take the stairs down to the beach you can enjoy the view from this deck.

And this is the view!!  The Flower Pot Rocks.  Just imagine how many years the tides have been eating away that this cliff to make these rock formations.  It's really quite incredible.  This is only part of the rocks as one can walk quite a distance along the beach and see more.  There is a hitch though.....the tide has to be out.  There are guided tours or you can just go yourself but you have to be very mindful of the tide.  It's best to plan your visit during the lowest tide to give yourself lots of time to explore the beach and rocks.  

Let's go walk on the sea floor among the giant flower pots shall we?

This is the view from the first level of the stairs.

A lot of areas are roped off for safety due to crumbling and falling rocks and boulders.  As kids (and our kids too) we had fun exploring the caves that are now off limits. 

People love building inukshuks don't they?  One sees them everywhere there happens to be a lot of loose rocks.  These are in front of the roped off area in the photo below.

Can you see the stairs wedged between the cliff and the rock? That's where we came down to the beach. 

Some perspective of the size of these rocks.

This is the reason why there is a foot washing station at the top of the stairs.  :)  These two were having a blast and a lot of adults and teens were enjoying the mud as well.

Do you see the face profile in the rock?  A bit exaggerated but it looks like a face to me.  There were thunder clouds and thunder over the river but no showers for us.  It was very hot and sunny!

This is at the end of the beach.  There are emergency stairs (on the right) in case one gets caught with the rising tide and can't get around the beach and rocks to the other stairs.  It's happened a lot.

We almost missed this and it's a wonder someone hadn't stepped on it, but someone took the time to build a very tiny Inukshuk with a stone path leading up to it in front of this huge boulder that is about 5 feet high.

A close up of the teeny tiny inukshuk.

After we had done our beach walk we climbed up the stairs again and then, even though it was afternoon and we hadn't had anything to eat or drink since breakfast, we decided to take the hiking trails to the look offs and one that leads to another beach.

This is the view from one of the platforms.

And from another one we had a wide open view of the river.  On the left is the muddy Petitcodiac River which is part of the basin of the Bay of Fundy and the white rippled line down the middle is where the tide is coming in over the mudflats.  The Petitcodiac River is also called the 'Chocolate' River and I think the mud looks like chocolate pudding.  :)  The Tidal Bore also comes up the Petitcodiac River at Moncton where it is much narrower and more visible.

I read on the Hopewell Rocks Facebook page yesterday that the 'Super moon' of Saturday night will cause a 46.3 foot tide at the Rocks on Tuesday.  That is a lot of water!

This is the building with the restaurant etc.

We took another trail through a beautiful woods and it came out on a beach below the Hopewell Rocks themselves.

When we got on the beach there was no one else there.  We saw moose tracks in the sand heading to the marshland on the right.  I think the rock at the end of this row is called Elephant Rock.  Around the corner from that is the beach with the Flower Pot rocks where we had just come from.

This is looking down toward Mary's Point and Shepody Mountain.   

Some beach artwork.  :)

The chocolate pudding mud and a little backwater.  Soon this would all be under water.

And that was our visit to the Hopewell Rocks.  Here is another link to visit if you wish more information - Tourism New Brunswick - Hopewell Rocks.  It was such a great day weather wise although there were thunder storms going on across the river all afternoon and we drove to Moncton through a couple of rain showers, but to be at the Rocks and it be so hot was rare.  I've been there on cold, windy, foggy and misty days in the past.  We traveled to Moncton and met some good friends for supper after stopping at a couple of vintage shops along the way.  I may share those another day.  ;)

We were stopped at a traffic light in Riverview where the bridge crosses over the Petitcodiac River to Moncton and I snapped this picture of the beautiful flowers beside the road.  I also love the decorative streetlights in Riverview.

After dinner with our friends we went for ice cream (of course!) and then the 4 of us drove out Mountain Rd. to Lutes Mountain to see the new sub-division of beautiful homes.  We stopped to take a photo of the sunset from the top and it was spectacular!

Here is a hazy view of Moncton from Lutes Mountain.  It was still lightening over in the distance.  I wish I could have caught a flash.

Thanks so much for visiting.  I hope you have a great week and a happy September 1st.  I'll be back soon with another post of our travels that weekend.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Alma ~ gateway to Fundy National Park

Alma is the village at the gateway to Fundy National Park.  There is a wharf with pretty fishing boats and it is known for the highest tides in the world (along with the Bay of Fundy) which it sits on.  Alma has many B&B's, motels, cottages, restaurants with great seafood, the famous Kelly's Bake Shop (known for it's sticky buns) and quiet charm of a resort town.  It's pretty quiet in the winter of course but the tourist season keeps this place hopping the rest of the year.  

This rocky bluff is known as Owls Head.  The fog was just rolling in.

This is the inner side of the harbour where some sea kayaks were just heading out.

Alma Beach.

Looking to the right and the road into the park.  That treed bluff is where I took the photo of the Red Chairs looking towards Owls Head.  

And that was our day at Fundy National Park (in case you missed this post) and Alma.  We drove through the park to the other end and to Sussex for supper at the golden arches (a treat!) and ice cream for dessert (another treat!!) then the 1 1/2 hour drive home - hot, tired and full.  

We had a rain day yesterday but the sun is shining this morning as the clouds clear off.  I hope you are having a great week and enjoying these last days of August.  Thank you for visiting and your comments.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Fundy National Park ~ a New Brunswick gem

The beautiful greens, pond, and amphitheatre at the park's headquarters entrance from Alma.

Fundy National Park is one of our province's many gems that draws people from all over the country and the world.  It was opened by the federal government in 1948 and is located near the small fishing town of Alma on the Bay of Fundy coast between Saint John and Moncton.  One can get to Fundy National Park via the Sussex area at Penobsquis or by travelling from Moncton through some very pretty small villages and historic sites along the Petitcodiac River and the basin of the Bay of Fundy.  There is lots to see and do along this route and one almost needs to spend a couple or 4 days in the area to take it all in.  

I went with a couple of friends just over a week ago to do some hiking on a few of the many trails.  It was another scorching hot day inland so the coast would be cooler.  It was beautiful there although a fog hung just off the coast and eventually drifted in later in the afternoon.  My friends and I hiked 4 trails, all easy.  In fact the last one on our way out of the park was a flat boardwalk to a small lake that took us just 10 minutes....a nice way to end the day.  

The first trail we took was the Dickson Falls Trail which has a lot of stairs to climb down and then up, of course, as it was in a ravine.  It was so beautiful and cool and green once we got down the stairs.

I love finding trees growing on rocks.

The next trail we went to was the Herring Cove Trail.  Before the park was developed Herring Cove was a small fishing community on the Bay of Fundy.  The whole area was settled by Irish, Scottish and English in the early 1800's.  We walked down many stairs to the beach cove below.

The tide was coming in very quickly and you can see the fog bank hanging over the bay.  It was beautiful in the cove though and several people were enjoying the sun.  The waters are usually very cold and I didn't take my shoes off to find out.  ;)

One of the sets of stairs from the beach.  You sure do get a good workout!

Our next stop was at Point Wolfe.  This was a bustling community in the 1800's with a sawmill.  The covered bridge has been rebuilt but there has been one here since I was a little girl.  Our family would drive down and have a picnic at one of the many picnic areas in the park.    

It was such a hot and hazy day that I had to edit this photo a bit due to the bright light.  We had a picnic lunch right here.  

All through the park in 14 specific areas one can find these beautiful red Adirondack chairs set up to enjoy the view.  The ones below were occupied but I took a photo with their permission.  ;)

We took a trail from the covered bridge along a ridge that overlooked the inlet and out to the bay.  Here we found another set of Red Chairs.  Spectacular!  Just don't step off the trail!!

Back at the headquarters entrance to the park there are some gorgeous flower beds along the parking area and the view of the bay is spectacular.  Do you see what I see?

Another set of Red Chairs!  

The view of Owls Head with the fog bank hanging over it.  The village of Alma is in the cove.  We drove down there too and I have some photos that I will share next time.

This was our last trail - Caribou Plain - that was so easy and also wheel chair accessible.  It went through a pretty sun-dappled woods with a solid wooden boardwalk over a wetland area.  Apparently caribou roamed this area even in the 1800's.

Beaver pond.

This is Bennett Lake which is near the Penobsquis entrance to the park.  It was beautiful and a lot of folk were enjoying the nice sandy beach.  There are hiking trails all around this lake too.

And look what we found!  More Red Chairs.
Some day I'd like to visit again and find all 14 sets of Red Chairs in the park.

Well, that was our day of hiking at Fundy National Park. There are many beautiful trails to hike from easy to difficult but please go prepared for any type of terrain and weather.  We had a perfect day for it and had a lot of fun.  I hope you enjoyed it and maybe one day, if you haven't already, you will be able to visit and spend some time there.  There are motels in the village, chalets and a motel in the park and lots of campsites for tents or trailers.  I'll be back soon with some photos from Alma.

We just took a weekend trip to Moncton and area and the Hopewell Rocks so I'll be posting about that soon.  Oh, and I went to Kings Landing with another blogger and her husband who were visiting our fair province from British Columbia!!  That will be another post too.  We had a wonderful time.  It seems I've been busy running the roads most of August and I have so much to share with you.  We've enjoyed the best summer weather most of the month and I've been feeling very well and energetic.   I hope it continues!!

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.  Soon the 'fall' season will be upon us and schedules will return.....including blogging a bit more. 

Have a blessed day.


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