Fundy North Shore

A day-trip from The Belgravia

Explore the Fundy North Shore

The Bay of Fundy is one of the 7 Great Forgotten Natural Wonders of the World. Walk on the ocean floor at low tide or marvel at the extreme contrast of high tide. The Belgravia is located in Truro, at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy, where the highest tides on Earth have carved an incredible landscape to explore.

A very popular day trip from the Belgravia is the drive along the north shore of the Bay of Fundy. This section of the Glooscap Trail is 136 kilometres, or nearly two hours driving time from Truro to Advocate Harbour. The Glooscap Trail is a two lane rural highway (Rts. 2 and 209) and there are a number of interesting places to explore along the way. (Refer to the Nova Scotia "Scenic Travelways Map for Doers and Dreamers").

The Bay of Fundy is home to the world's highest tides. The rise and fall of these tides create an ever-changing seascape. The Bay is never far from the highway and there are numerous side roads giving access to rugged shoreline cliffs and lonely beaches. An interesting bit of trivia is that an equal volume of water flows in and out of the Bay of Fundy as the combined total flow of all the rivers in the world.

Before leaving the Belgravia, guests should check with your hosts to find the time of arrival of the "Tidal Bore.". If the arrival of this natural phenomenon is imminent then the viewing area at Exit 14 may be your first stop. The tidal bore immediately precedes high tide in the Bay of Fundy. Low tide is six hours later. Tidal bores occur every twelve and a half hours, with the water height depending on the moon cycle and weather conditions. Do not be too disappointed if you happen to hit a day when the event lives up to the other meaning of its name. What is truly remarkable is the amount of seawater that floods into the riverbed with the incoming tide.

Travelling out Highway # 2, visitors may wish to stop during open hours at the Joy Laking gallery in Portapique. There are numerous paintings on display by this well known Nova Scotia artist.

Further along, enjoy the scenery at Economy and Five Islands. Inquire about the legend of how Glooscap created these islands. Maybe even go clam digging if the tide is out, or enjoy a serving of fried clams at a roadside takeout.

For those interested in geology, rock collecting or dinosaurs, then the provincial museum at Parrsboro is a must. With a short side trip to the shore in this area visitors can find pieces of amethyst, garnet and other semi-precious stones along the cliff edges and gravel beaches.

From Parrsboro to Advocate Harbour is an especially scenic drive, with the winding road topping rolling hills to yield pleasant vistas of forest, field and water. The general store in Port Greville is a neat place to stop and check for collectables or a quick snack. Other scenic little coves and rivers along this stretch are perfect for those wishing to explore unique settings.

A must for the adventurous is a side trip to Cape d'Or. Take the gravel road to the left just as you enter the village of Advocate. As you climb further up into the forested hillside you may wonder if you are in someone's private lane because of the narrow road and sharp curves. But don't give up, after about five miles you will come to a parking lot on the bluff overlooking the Cape'd'Or lighthouse. From the parking lot you have to walk down a rocky trail to reach the shore. This hike will build up your appetite to try the fabulous little restaurant located beside the lighthouse. A warning: The restaurant only takes cash, as there isn't an outside phone line for credit cards. While here check out the basalt pillars on the shore and the rugged wildness of the shoreline cliffs in both directions. Depending on the stage of the tide cycle, you can watch from the shore in awe at the eddies and currents sweeping past as the tide surges into the upper part of the Bay.

Back at Advocate Harbour, take the opportunity to drive out to the beach to beachcomb and breathe in the fresh salt air. This is an ideal spot for rock hounding and driftwood collecting. Down beyond the north end of the beach is the entrance to Cape Chignecto Provincial Park. This is a newly designated park in the early stages of development. For seasoned hikers this is one of the truly great wilderness areas of Nova Scotia.

At this point it may be advisable to check your time schedule. You have the option to continue driving northward to Joggins where it is possible to view petrified trees in the shoreline cliffs. From Joggins, cut across country to Springhill to tour the Anne Murray Centre before returning to Truro. Alternately, if time is short it may be wise to backtrack from Advocate to Truro.

Driving the Fundy Shore is a favorite trip of your Belgravia hosts. We hope you too will find it appealing. For your comfort we suggest you take along some warm clothing. The water of the Bay of Fundy is cold at the best of times so it is nice to have a windbreaker or sweater available for those cool breezes, even on a hot summer day.

Drive carefully, take lots of pictures, create fond memories, and have a fun day in this part of our picturesque province!