Ditch The Crowds At This Truly Underrated National Park Known For Its Record-Breaking Tides

In the realm of Canadian national parks, the western wonders of Banff and Jasper often steal the spotlight. Yet, tucked away on Canada's Atlantic coast lies a lesser-known marvel — Fundy National Park. This coastal haven has an allure quite unlike its Western counterparts. While the Rockies command attention with their towering peaks, the Bay of Fundy captivates visitors with its record-breaking tides.

With tidal ranges surpassing 40 feet, this natural spectacle transforms the park's shoreline twice daily, reshaping landscapes and revealing hidden treasures along the rugged coast. Fundy offers visitors a chance to explore the bay on the water and then discover the wonders of the ocean floor. Located in the province of New Brunswick, Fundy National Park is easily accessible for New Englanders looking for a quieter alternative to the popular Acadia Park: Fundy attracts around 350,000 visitors per year, compared to Acadia's four million! From Boston, Fundy is a 7.5-hour drive, making it a great destination for a long weekend getaway.

Oceans and tides in Fundy National Park

If you want to experience the ebb and flow of Fundy's tides, you'll need to spend most of the day in the area. There are two high tides and two low tides every day, each approximately six hours apart. (You can check the tide times here.) During high tide, kayaking is a popular activity. Paddle along the tops of cliffs that will be slowly revealed as the water recedes, explore sea caves, and moor your boat on remote beaches. Several local outfitters offer guided kayak tours, which receive high praise from reviewers on TripAdvisor.

The dramatic rise and fall of the tides in Fundy create a rich habitat for diverse wildlife. At low tide, explore the ocean floor alongside shorebirds gracefully scouring the mudflats for a feast. As you wander among the seaweed and sand, you'll get to see rock crabs, limpets, and periwinkles, among other sea creatures.

Hiking and exploring the park

Many people go to Fundy National Park for the hiking trails as much as to watch the tides. The trails vary in difficulty and scenery and offer glimpses of Fundy's thriving ecosystem. If you want diverse views, Matthews Head Trail is a great choice. The 2.8-mile loop passes through forests and fields before linking up with the Coastal Trail for sweeping views across the bay. Hikers on AllTrails loved the coastal lookouts in particular, though they warn that this trail can be seriously muddy. Hiking boots are needed!

Other popular hikes in the park lead to breathtaking waterfalls. The one-mile Dickson Falls loop is short but packed with stairs, with AllTrails users writing that it's an easy but rewarding hike. For something more challenging, Third Vault Falls Trail leads you across ruggedly beautiful terrain to the park's tallest waterfall. One Google reviewer calls the trail "amazing," while another says it's one of the best trails they've ever hiked.

If you want to stay overnight inside Fundy National Park, there are several campgrounds available. Point Wolfe campground is near the coast and has a hiking trail leading down to Point Wolfe Beach, where you can watch the tides rush in and out of the bay.