Cobbles on the Bay of Fundy

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Yessterday, early evening I went for a walk on the beach at Hampton.  It’s a great work out for the calf muscles, but that isn’t why I went.  I went to listen to the waves and hear the cobbles rolling in the surf.  We often think of the Bay of Fundy as mud flats and it is, just not everywhere.  The drive to Hampton, with its working wharf, lighthouse and small cottage enclave is well worth it.

As waves rush out the cobbles roll around creating a light clacking sound.

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For further exploration: pictures and sounds of waves on cobbles .

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Waterfalls on the Bay of Fundy

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Yesterday we had a delightful surprise – Waterfalls!  Like rainbows they come after the rain…lots of rain.  We found ourselves along the Bay of Fundy coast just a couple kilometres west of Port George and Cottage Cove.  The beach here is of cobbles and larger rocks.  As always on a beach you can go for a long time or a short time.  Sunday though, once we landed on the beach it was impossible to resist a walk – the waterfalls glimmered in the distance.  Okay maybe they didn’t glimmer, but they did look tantalizing – white ribbons against the cliffs; they just had to be water rushing down the cliff faces.  There were lots of trickles coming down the cliffs and the two real waterfalls – the one above and this one:

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And a beach that is usually deserted had other people – clearly the word had spread and people had turned out to see these waterfalls created by swollen creeks.

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This beach is a bit of a challenge to find, but well worth the visit (even without the spectacular waterfalls).  Check out the map for directions and check out flickr for more pictures.

Shore to Shore

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Last Sunday was a fabulous day.  I joined the group  doing the Shore to Shore walk in Annapolis Royal’s Walkfest.  It was excellent.  We walked from Annapolis Royal to the North Mountain, over North Mountain and all the way to the Bay of Fundy.  It took us over three hours using mostly old and older logging roads.  Some of the hike was very wet, some was over washed out logging roads and so very uneven terrain.  But what a great feeling of accomplishsment!

There is no marked trail, although other locations in the Annapolis Valley do offer lookoffs into the valley.  We had our best veiw of the valley looking back, over an old quary.

For a large part of the trail we followed a stream down North Mountain.

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We crossed a stand of the most robust Equisetum sp. I have ever seen – wow!

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And after light spring showers we arrived at Parkers Cove on the Bay of Fundy.

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Belliveaus Cove Nova Scotia

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In celebration of spring (just a few days late) we drove to Belliveaus Cove on Sunday.  This fabulous cobble beach on the Bay of Fundy in the area of Baie Sainte Marie or Saint Mary’s Bay, forms part of the largest gravel beach deposit on the Bay of Fundy. Wind off the Bay of Fundy keeps the temperature cool even on balmy days like Sunday when the ambient temperature was around 5C. The path called sentier Piau begins here at Belliveaus Cove.  There are few places along the Bay of Fundy where an easy level path follows the shore, but this is one.

This wide loop trail is flat, with the cobbles removed for most of the 4.5 km making for easy walking. It skirts a lagoon on the inland side and the beach on the other.

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Icicles at Point Prim

The wind off the water was cold, freezing cold, so freezing cold that the water froze at it dripped off the basalt rock.   Swifter water, running to shore from every little stream and creek, didn’t freeze and there was a lot of water from all the recent rain.  Dripping, trickling water sounds combined with the sound of waves on shore, one or the other catching our attendion depending on where we stood, where we faced.

The water sounds were wonderful but all that water made the walking treacherous.  We picked our way over dry, grey basalt patches avoiding the slippery green algae under the fresh water and the little green seaweed lower in the tidal zone. And about a third of the way on this hopscotch walk we came across a verticle rock face where the water ran and dripped; only the drips were starting to freeze creating tiny little icicles.  These little icicles  perfectly expressed the cold.

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Point Prim in December is a rugged place.   A summer visit is on my to do list now.  These folks did visit in June and they took some great photos.  We checked out the light house and then walked down to the shore and spent about an hour exploring.   This is one of the most uneven basalt shores we have explored.  I would recommend good solid walking shoes or hiking boots.  Finding Point Prim is not difficult, check out the map.

Black Rock Beach

Shoreline walks can be easy or challenging.  Over a month ago we tried to take a walk along the shore of the Bay of Fundy.  The walk begins behind the community centre in Black Rock and loops around to the shore.  But … oops… a little planning would have helped.  We arrived at the beach ready for our shoreline adventure and oh no! The tide was coming in and too far advanced for us to begin a shoreline walk below cliffs.  So we hiked back through the woods.  I am happy to report that several weeks later we made a second attemp with much more careful planning; having consulted the tide tables.

This walk was well worth the extra effort.  The walk in the woods was a combination of old trails that led through a variety of habitats, including a woodland stream.  The arrival at the beach revealed–low tide! Then we walked to the shore following the stream bed and began our walk to the wharf at Black Rock.  This stretch of the walk takes you over stoney beaches, composed mostly of the basalt found in the North Mountain of the Annapolis Valley.  Water to one side and cliffs to the other.  The cliffs were impressive seen up close like that and gave me a new perspective for the cliffs we often see in photos from the Bay of Fundy shore.

The footing here is not difficult, but you do need good footwear and the ability to climb up and down.  This walk takes about three hours including short stops. Check the map for location and the link to Trails Nova Scotia for directions.

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For more photos check out flickr for more photos of this hike.

Birthday Walk

Hampton is the perfect place for a walk on the shore.  It has it all, picturesque wharf, cobbles (small), cottages (but not too many), streams to ford (at low tide), and easy access.  Yesterday was a grey day, but oh so warm: imagine 18˚C in November!  It is a popular spot and even late in the season you may meet others. We met two couples, but few people venture far down the shore.  And for solitude, explore east of the wharves, along the grey basalt of the Bay of Fundy shore. [more on basalt in a future post]

Hampton is located on the Bay of Fundy, between the valley towns of Annapolis Royal and Bridgetown. Check the maps.

Hampton, NS, just before the tide change.

Hampton, NS, just before the tide change.

Driftwood and small cobbles

Driftwood and small cobbles