New Brunswick – a wonderful destination from every angle

Art Weber

        The Canadian Province of New Brunswick is whales, puffins and sandpipers; picturesque country inns and fishing villages; and rugged precipitous cliffs with awesome overlooks of the rich undulating waters of the Bay of Fundy.              Inland from Fundy is a blanket of deep green boreal forest interrupted by prospering farmlands and legendary destinations. At the top of the list is Doaktown and the fabled Mirimichi River, the grail for fly-fishing pursuit of Atlantic salmon.
        Some 300 miles long and 200 wide, New Brunswick is one of the smaller Canadian provinces, one of the Maritimes. It shares a common boundary with the state of Maine and has easy access by air, rail, or highway, especially to the main cities of Saint John, Fredericton, and Moncton.
        Those who seek wilderness adventure by day and comfort by night can’t do any better than New Brunswick.
        New Brunswick’s cities and settlements, inhabited by a cultural mix of French and English-speaking residents, aren’t sprawling suburbia. Where the city limits end, nature takes over. New Brunswick is a welcoming blend of a modern culture in a comfortable relationship with nature.
        It is a land that lives by the rhythm of the sea, especially along the Bay of Fundy, the home of the giant tides. It is a quirk of geography that tides that measure less than a meter or so elsewhere are amplified to as much as fifty feet in Fundy. Fishing boats bobbing merrily alongside the pier at high tide are sitting on the bottom of the harbor at low tide. If you don’t quite like the beach you’re standing on, just wait a few hours and it will look totally different.
        At Fundy’s mouth, the tides are an amazing seven times the world’s average. It’s even more in the big bay’s upper reaches where a resonant effect amplifies the tides to as much as 16 times the average.
        Nowhere is the impact of the tides so apparent as at Hopewell Cape, a natural scenic phenomenon unique in all the world. There, in Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park, you’ll find islands that are the icons of the province.
        Locals call them “flowerpots.” At high tide, the “pots” are tiny, tree-topped islands where the area’s eagles, osprey, cormorants and blue heron roost. Come low tide, when the waters of Fundy retreat, the islands are revealed as lanky five-story stone pillars, clay-pot colored spires topped with vegetation.
        At high tide, it takes a boat to visit the islands; at low tide they can be examined on foot by scrambling over the rocky beaches and bladderrack-covered rocks. Composed of alternating layers of erosion-resistant conglomerates and erosion-prone sandstone, the unrelenting force of the bay and its tides has sculpted the “pots” into an array of shapes, eroding some cliffs and sea caves as much as two feet each year.
        Once known as a drive-through province, New Brunswick deserves the growing realization that, from every angle, it is a wonderful destination.
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