Fundy National Park & Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick

We woke up October 18th, 2017 in Saint John, NB and headed to the St. Martins Sea Caves. The tide was very high so we decided to come back when we could walk the sea floor. Instead, we drove along a beautiful scenic road called the Fundy Trail Parkway to see the coastline.

When we arrived at the sea caves, the tide was high enough to discourage us from walking in. You can see how high the tide reaches as it thoroughly soaks into the rock.
One of the many scenic viewpoints along the parkway drive. These lookout decks have large comfortable gazebos to take in the coastal view.

We continued on the Fundy Trail Parkway to the mouth of the Big Salmon River to visit the Interpretive Centre. There’s a short video about the history of the logging and shipbuilding community that existed here in the 18th century. We walked the suspension bridge nearby and did some shorter hikes as we wanted to go back to the St. Martin Sea Caves at low tide.

We stumbled upon a porcupine basking in the sun. As we approached the critter, it noticed us and recognized we were up to no good. It quickly ran into the near by forest.
At low tide, we could freely walk into both sea caves close to shore. Beware of the fleets of tourists that come by this area and eat at the nearby restaurant during low tide. If you do not enjoy crowds, you can do the outdoorsy thing and explore the area on kayaks at high tide.
One can clearly see the stratified sedimentary rock layers that make up the geology here. The caves are dug out by erosion and fine red sand is left behind.
Along the Fundy Coastal Drive, we saw endless fields of bright red peat bogs.

Fundy National Park

After some fun exploring the sea caves, we headed to claim our campground at Fundy National Park, buy firewood, and do some laundry (finally!). That evening, we shared a fire with two Germans who were also driving across the country but in the opposite direction and living in their van. They were adamant that we should go to Berlin and skip Frankfurt if we were ever to visit Germany. We exchanged stories about our journey so far and places to travel to. For the first time, we noticed the clear night sky above us and how close the stars seemed to be.

The next morning, we cooked oatmeal for breakfast and packed a simple lunch of cucumber, tomatoes, hummus, apples, cheese and bread for our long day of hiking.

Top Left: Start of the Third Vault Falls Trail. The trail is well marked but rugged with lots of roots and rocks. Top Right: We encountered plenty of these garter snakes bathing in the afternoon sun. They quickly slithered under the dead leaves as we walked by. Bottom Left: A set of stairs lead us down the hill next to a mossy rock bed. Bottom Right: A 16m waterfall marks the end of the trail. A flat clearing made for a nice spot to take a break before heading back.

After our first hike of the day, we drove to Buddha Bear Coffee Roaster and Holy Whale Brewing Co. in Alma, NB to enjoy a coffee and warm up indoors. We continued onto some shorter hikes, Caribou Plain Trail, Tracy Lake Trail, and took in sunset views at Point Wolfe Beach.

The wall decor is certainly a conversation starter. It’s also worth mentioning that Buddha Bear and Holy Whale operate inside a repurposed Church (hence the name). They gutted the whole building, renovated the interior and kept the pews for seating.

Hopewell Rocks

The next day, we woke up at 6:30am on October 20th, 2017 to begin our drive to Hopewell Rocks so that we could catch the scenery at low tide. We stopped by An Octopus’ Garden Cafe to get a coffee and were hypnotized by the warm tray of cookies that had just come out of the oven. We bought a peanut butter chocolate cookie that was so delicious we even forgot it was gluten free.

A quiet morning stroll along the sandy floor of the Hopewell Rocks. You can almost make out the waterline at high tide by the surviving trees.
Walking along the floor at low tide in the morning at the Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick. The shape of the rocks are carved by the tides that come in and out of the Bay of Fundy twice a day.

Oliver’s German Bakery

About a 15 minute drive North from Hopewell Rocks is Oliver’s German Bakery in Hillsborough, NB. It came up on a google search because we were out of fresh bread (oh no!). After leaving Québec, we hadn’t come across any good sourdough bread so I was not expecting much. But boy, were we surprised and happy to discover this place. It’s a small, family run bakery using all organic flour, some of which is milled on-site. We happily stocked up on a spelt and kamut loaf, 100% rye loaf, fresh spätzle, and their popular rhubarb square. The rhubarb square was the most memorable ‘cake’ I had on this trip. It consisted of a whole grain pound cake base, pastry cream, roasted rhubarb from their backyard, and a generous buttery crumb topping.

Left: We arrived at the bakery at the perfect time. Hot German-style pretzel buns had just come out of the oven and I conveniently had a knob of butter in the car. This was my routine breakfast at the bakery in San Diego. Right: Their fresh spätzle made a great lunch. We always tried to buy fresh pasta while on the road so that we could save on butane.

With our pantry loaded, we were ready to cross The Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island!

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