Much like clouds, the true identity of a rock formation lies in the eye of the beholder. The Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick, Canada—a series of distinctive coastal rock formations—have been likened to bears, elephants, and dinosaurs. Most commonly, they are classified as a collection of stone flowerpots, fully visible when the tide recedes.
The Hopewell Rocks are unique due to the dramatic difference between high tide and low tide in the Bay of Fundy. During low tide, visitors can stroll on the ocean floor and gaze up at a row of top-heavy rock formations with slender bases. A few natural stone arches, formed by relentless erosion over many centuries, also grace the scene. The whimsical rocks—likened to mushrooms, Tiki gods, and wizards—are constantly changing shape due to the tremendous force of the water during the daily tide change.
During high tide, visitors often kayak around the Hopewell Rocks to view the slim, scrappy trees and plants that grow atop the towering formations. These flora are one of the reasons why the rocks are nicknamed the “Flowerpots.” For those who find kayaking in choppy waters less appealing, numerous lookout points offer a chance to view the thunderous high tide from a safe distance.
Admission to Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park includes a 2-day pass, allowing visitors to experience the striking tide change and view the Hopewell Rocks from several vantage points. The tide change takes about six hours, making it possible to view the staggering shift in a single day. As low tide only lasts a few hours, consulting a tidal chart before attempting to survey the Hopewell Rocks from the ocean floor is crucial.
Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park features a winding metal staircase with 99 steps that descend to the ocean floor. Additionally, a low-impact hike allows visitors to view the Hopewell Rocks from numerous lookout points and explore the dense forest surrounding the formations.
No trip to the Atlantic Coast of Canada is complete without spending a few days exploring the Hopewell Rocks from different perspectives. Few experiences are as thrilling as viewing a landscape that changes dramatically by the hour. A visit to Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the ocean’s awesome power.