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Every brochure you’ll see for New Brunswick shows the Hopewell Rocks. So, we decided we had to paddle them. The Hopewell Rocks are a series of "flower pots" – very big, tall rocks with arches and "tunnels" leading into the cliffs. The location is in a park with an interpretive center and nature trails. This means that access is restricted, so we did have to pay the entry fee for the park ($8 each).
I’m not one for paying to paddle, but this experience is definitely worth the price of admission. Once we checked in and signed a waiver form, we were shown a nice little beach where we could launch from that was right next to the "rocks."
We bumped into the guys from Baymount Outdoor Adventures- the local guide company. They were extremely helpful and told us all about where we should launch, the tides, conditions, etc. They even offered the use of their hose to clean our boats when we were done! Everyone in Canada is so nice! If you don’t want to bring your own kayaks, then I would highly recommend taking a tour from Baymount Outdoor Adventures.
We launched just before high tide. The tide is so severe that while we were getting in our boats, the tide crept about 15 feet up the beach- in just about 10 minutes! We paddled out to the Hopewell Rocks just behind one of Baymount’s tours, and we were not disappointed.
Paddling among these giant rocks, we ducked into caves and crevices –some so narrow that we had to use our hands to push along the rocks. After about an hour, we returned to find the beach was completely gone! As we landed among the sea grass on the shore we were treated to the sight of several hundred thousand shore birds flocking on the shore.
At first we thought the crowds of people with cameras were watching us, until we found out that we had inadvertently planned our paddling on the peak day of the birds’ migration. We also managed to be there for the highest tide of the year. How’s that for a lucky break?
Of course, if you paddle the Hopewell Rocks, you have to go back and see them at low tide. Since the admission to the park is good for two days, we came back the next morning (the lowest tide of the year) and walked on the ocean floor – looking up some 20 feet at where we had paddled the day before!
This trip is a very easy paddle, unless the wind kicks up. The distance is very short, but you could spend hours exploring the coast line. It’s definitely worth the trip and it is only ½ hour drive from Fundy National Park.
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