A Road Trip Through New Brunswick - Moncton
After a nature induced sleep at Fundy National Park we met up with Heather again (From New Brunswick’s Department of Tourism) to continue towards Moncton.
If you have been following along on our driving journey through New Brunswick you already have an idea of how great this Maritime province is for eco-tourism adventures for all ages.
After a nature induced sleep at Fundy National Park we met up with Heather again (From New Brunswick’s Department of Tourism) to continue towards Moncton. Back in our spiffy Ford Escape we tuned into the local radio station at my son Noah’s request for some lively tunes as we drove through this picture perfect bilingual province.
Driving Thru Alma
Like all fulfilling road trips, first we must stop to eat. Not far from the park in Alma is An Octopus’ Garden Café located at 8651 Main Street. Their delicious menu features local produce and they sell organic veggies grown on their own farm. We sat outside on the patio and happily devoured vegan orzo soup, fresh bread with tasty homemade peanut butter, and a delicious garden salad.
Lunch at Octopus’ Garden Cafe
With gas in the car and food in our tummies we were ready for upper Bay of Fundy activities. Our end destination was Moncton but there is so much to do along the way. It’s about an hour and a half drive from Alma to Moncton and you can head north east on Main Street following Route 114 North.
Or if you want to make a few detours on your road trip like we did you can turn right onto Scenic Drive to the 915 East and head to Cape Enrage located at 650 Cape Enrage Road in Waterside. Cape Enrage has stunning views of the Bay of Fundy and this unbelievable marine wonder of the world has tides that rise as high as 53 feet twice a day over a 12-hour period. If you are a fan of The Amazing Race Canada you may recognize the landscape from a 2014 episode. Cape Enrage is home to a tall light tower and fog alarm that is over 140 years old and dates back to 1838.
The Cape Enrage Interpretive Centre is open from mid-May to mid-October and adventurous travelers – including children – can go zip lining along a 600 foot zip line for a birds eye view of the Bay of Fundy. Guests can also go rappelling over huge waterslide rock cliffs for a thrilling guided session, equipment is provided in the admission price. The view from Cape Enrage is outstanding and you can even see Nova Scotia across the bay.
Back on country road Route 915 we passed a remarkable shoe tree – that’s right – shoes of all shapes and sizes hanging from their stringy laces from a tree in the middle of an open field. Of course I had to stop and take a photo, as it was definitely one of the more unique roadside attractions I have seen. Boots, shoes, and sneakers galore hung from the outstretched bare branches like a peace offering. But what does it mean? Rumor has it the shoe tree represents a spiritual “Walk of Hope” and some of the shoes have prayers inside. It all began when someone kicked off a pair of shoes and let them fly into the air. How liberating! However I kept my shoes on my feet.
Shoe Tree along the road
We continue driving with the glorious Bay of Fundy on our right and arrive at Hopewell Rocks. Located in Hopewell Cape, the park is open from mid-May until mid-October, and an ideal destination to see the highest tides in the world and learn about the famous sandstone formations in the cliffs and coves.
Hopewell Rocks sign
Paul, the friendly interpretive services manager from Hopewell Rocks, explained to Noah and I how the rocks were formed and all about the 100 billion tonnes of water that flows into the bay twice a day. We learned about the alignment of the sun and moon and how the gravitational pull can cause higher than normal tides.
Noah at Hopewell Rocks
Guests can access the ocean floor for three hours before and until three hours after low tide. The water is always moving and depending on the moon phases the tides can travel from six to eight vertical feet per hour. The squishy brown wet sand is great to sink your toes into and Noah loves picking up the exposed slimy green seaweed.
Hopewell Rocks formations
There are videos in the Interpretive Centre Exhibit that allow you to travel back in time to see how the famous “Flowerpot” rocks were formed by the wind and water. After a fun day playing on the ocean floor and walking through the cave like formations in the cliffs we waved goodbye to the magical tides and continued on our road trip to Moncton.
We arrived in Moncton and checked into the Residence Inn by Marriott located at 600 Main Street. This family friendly hotel in the heart of Moncton has a swimming pool, complimentary breakfast, and a kitchenette if you want to get groceries and make your own meals. We had worked up quite an appetite so after settling in we walked over to Gusto Italian Grill and Bar on Westmorland Street, just a few minutes away. We both loved the wood-fired oven flatbread pizza and the restaurant was buzzing with locals and visitors enjoying the summer night.
If you are in Moncton next summer check out the Atlantic Nationals Automotive Extravaganza from July 5 – 9, 2017, when Moncton welcomes Canadian hot rods and classic cars for five days. This event attracts over 100,000 car-loving spectators annually from around the world.
Moncton is a great city for families with attractions such as Wharf Village, Centennial Park, Magic Mountain Water Park, and a natural phenomenon called Magnetic Hill. This magical hill has dazzled people since the 1880’s when it was first discovered. Much later in 1933 stories of cars rolling uphill without power had people flocking to the famous landmark to check it out themselves. Noah was really curious how a car could possibly roll up a hill so it was first on our list. We were told to drive our car to the bottom of the hill, put it in neutral, and sit tight as it miraculously rolls backwards on it’s own. We were amazed as the car literally started to roll right back up while we tried to figure out how it defied the natural law. Was it the magnetic power? Was it the magic of this province? You will have to go to Moncton to find out.
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All photos by Miriam Porter
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