How to Walk on the Ocean Floor

With summer right around the corner, there is no shortage of potential warm-weather activities to get Canadians on the road and seeing this country. Add in the abysmal state of the Canadian dollar, and there really is no reason not to travel domestically. Make this summer a staycation, and be a tourist in your own backyard.

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The Bay of Fundy is home to the highest tides in the world. Over 160 billion tonnes of water move in and out of the Bay twice every day. While these tides are visible from many locations around Nova Scotia, a trip to Burntcoat Head Park is the best way to experience this natural wonder first-hand, by walking on the ocean floor.

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A small lighthouse greets you upon entry to the park. 3 acres of parkland, including access to washrooms and picnic areas, is free to guests. Don’t be surprised when the little trail ends abruptly, abandoning visitors at the edge of the ocean – or the mud – facing sheer cliff faces and the floor of the ocean.

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Snails and other sea life can be spotted in the tide pools, a great source of amusement for children (or people who like snails, like me…). Before the park closes at dusk, leave your sandals on high ground a take a stroll (or a slurp) around the rock formations.

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Watch out for the mud – this is not a walk for those with weak ankles, or poor balance. Mud in the Bay of Fundy is an interesting colour and more slippery than anything else. It suctions your feet and (again to the amusement of children) makes an attractive slurping sound when it releases your limbs. We easily spent two hours enjoying the squelching our toes made, and watching the tide slowly recede.

 – Keep road-tripping in Nova Scotia with 48 Hours on the South Shore

When you finally escape the mud, wipe your feet in the grass, and use the handy tap to wash off. The water is freezing, but it gets the job done.

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Be sure to check the tide clock before take off for the park, as the ocean floor is only accessible when the tide is out. Burntcoat Head Park is less than 90 minutes by car from Halifax, and 1 hour from Wolfville.

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