Camping Near the Bay of Fundy
Fishing boats sit amid shallow puddles that wouldn’t even float a toy boat, tied to docks that tower overhead: Such is the Bay of Fundy at low tide, renowned for the most dramatic tidal shifts on the planet. Situated north of Maine’s border with Canada, the Bay of Fundy stretches 170 miles between the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
The tides vary by as much as 50 feet every six hours, with as much as a mile between water’s edge and some boat docks when the tide is at its lowest. You can explore for days along the bay to see tidal effects such as rivers running upstream, tidal bores, and giant whirlpools, and can stay close to the action at a number of campgrounds around the bay.
Nova Scotia provides camping opportunities ranging from remote walk-in tent sites in provincial parks to upgraded amenities at private RV parks. You’ll see the most dramatic effects of the tide in the northern part of the bay. Wide-Open Wilderness Family Campground near Maitland has a viewing area where you can witness a tidal bore as it rushes back upstream, and provides hookups, camping cabins, hot showers, planned activities and playgrounds.
For a remote experience, choose from walk-in and wilderness sites at Cape Chignecto Provincial Park in Advocate Harbour. Explore the coastal trail system, see dramatic tidal shifts on the beach, or take in views from the towering cliffs.
You may be lucky enough to hear the breaching of whales in the night along their feeding route off the coast of Grand Manan Island. Hole-In-the-Wall Park and Campground provides walk-in tent campsites along the island cliffs, or drive-in sites for small trailers, with great views of the bay a little farther back from the edge.
The campground also provides camping cabins and sites for larger RVs, along with hot showers, Wi-Fi, laundry and a kitchenette at the park’s entrance. Among the other many camping options in New Brunswick, you can find both serviced and unserviced sites in provincial parks and private facilities, as well as at Fundy National Park.
Dense fog is common throughout the bay, caused by warm summer air meeting the 45-degree Fahrenheit water. The fog can put a damp chill on early morning plans, but usually dissipates by mid-morning. Fog horns warn fishing boats away from dangerous areas, and can seem very loud in the predawn hours when you’re trying to catch a few Zs in your tent.
Check with the campground where you intend to camp regarding the proximity of nearby foghorns before booking your site, if you anticipate this being a hindrance to your camping experience.
Campgrounds on the edge of the sea cliffs do not, in most instances, provide safety rails. Camping on a cliff’s edge is not recommended for families with small children. Select a site farther back, or choose from the many inland campgrounds.
Water advances about one inch per minute when tides are rolling in. Don’t leave chairs or other belongings on the beach while you take a walk or they may be washed out to sea. The tide produces powerful currents, which can be dangerous when swimming or kayaking. When in doubt, head to a provincial park that provides a swimming beach or kayaking area.