Walking on the Sea Floor at The Hopewell Rocks

No, this isn’t a post about scuba-diving or underwater adventures, it’s a post about walking around in the mud at Hopewell Rocks, during low tide.

Twice a day, the tide washes in and out, allowing hundreds of visitors to descend the cliff-dwelled staircase to the muddy sea-floor below. What awaits them is one of Canada’s most amazing sights.

I don’t mean traditional breathtaking beauty, like lush green landscapes or snowcapped mountains–I mean jaw droppingly unique views and obscure geological sights that will have you walking around in circles trying to understand it. I mean the Hopewell Rocks, in New Brunswick.

We stepped onto the metal staircase that clung to the edge of the cliff, high above the rocks below. Slowly, but surely, we made our way down the steps in a single file line with all of the other travelers that had come to see the Canadian Wonder.

The staircase spiralled downward, built into the rocks themselves, giving us a wide view of the beach with each loop around.

Finally, we made it to the bottom. I took my first step onto the sea-floor.

It wasn’t much different than the ground above, by the staircase. The floor here was still a solid rock, before it dipped down into the Bay. Think–continental shelf.

I shuffled around in the tiny pebbles that layered the rock, imagining that I was at the bottom of the Sea. It was odd to think that just a few hours earlier, there would have been people kayaking and canoeing several meters above my head.

When the tide comes in, it is a completely different scene. The water rises an unbelievable 16 meters over the course of 12 hours, twice a day.

This means that every six hours, the waters are changing levels, and gradually eating away at the sandstone rocks and modifying the landscape around them.

It’s also strange to think that one day, these rocks won’t be here any more. They will eventually erode until the entire rock becomes a fine sand, and washes away with the changing tide.

Of course, new rocks will be formed from the present-day cliff walls, and the cycle will continue.

The Hopewell Rocks have the ability to send your brain into a geological and philosophical tangent, all the while making you feel like a kid again, as you play in the mud.

Continuing forward, I edged my way across the seaweed and clay, until I had reached the muddy brown waters of the slowly rising Bay of Fundy.

I tried to wash the caking mud off my feet and legs, but it was useless. Every time the water rinsed it away, more mud would cling to my skin.

I admitted defeat and continued to slop around the in the reddish-brown goo, making my way back to the Rocks behind me.

The strange, undefined shapes of the rocks allow you to look at the shapes and decide what you want them to be. You might see faces or animals, or you could imagine unusual city skylines or alien landscapes. The possibilities of your imagination are endless.

We probably spent about an hour running around amongst the rocks, ducking under the outcrops and climbing the ones that we could get a hold of.

Everyone watched as we scrambled our way up a massive boulder, and jumped around like a couple of monkies. We didn’t really care that everyone else was staring, we were having a great time, and loving every minute of it.

Finally, we decided to call it a day. We trekked our way back up the looming staircase and down the ten minute walk through forest trails back to the parking lot. It was well worth the drive out of Moncton, and we were happy that we came.

The Hopewell Rocks will always be one of my favourite spots in Canada.

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12 Responses to “Walking on the Sea Floor at The Hopewell Rocks”

  1. Alouise
    January 8, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    Amazing photos, it looks like such a neat experience. I was in New Brunswick a few years ago, but I never made it to the Hopewell Rocks. That’s definitely something I’ll have to fix.
    Alouise recently posted..Road Trip Memories 16 – Beaver, Utah

    • Seattle
      January 8, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

      Thanks :]

      Oh, yes! You’ll definitely have to fix that!

  2. Sam
    January 9, 2012 at 12:59 am #

    Those rocks are amazing! And that mud, looks so squishy. New Brunswick isn’t so far away right now, perhaps we can make a trip out to squish in the mud.
    Sam recently posted..Mesa Verde National Park

    • Seattle
      January 10, 2012 at 11:40 pm #

      Go! Go squish away 😀

  3. Toni
    January 9, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    Wow Seattle – that place looks great! I’ve never heard of them before…definitely going to add them to my ‘to do’ list =)
    Toni recently posted..Learning to say goodbye

  4. Sharilyn
    January 9, 2012 at 11:07 pm #

    This is really one of the best ideas I have read ever since…I also love traveling …Thanks for the great post!!
    Sharilyn recently posted..Watertown Punggol Singapore

  5. James - Ouroyster.com
    January 15, 2012 at 5:14 am #

    What a strange looking place. And an amazing tidal variation. 16m is a crazy change.
    James – Ouroyster.com recently posted..What Is Your Travel Style? QUIZ!

  6. Jacky
    January 17, 2012 at 6:11 am #

    What a very lovely place!!This is one of the best and I hope i can visit this too…
    Jacky recently posted..costa del sol bayshore

  7. katrina79
    January 23, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    This is awesome!!Thanks for providing the photos…Sooooooo love it!!
    katrina79 recently posted..Test Blog 4

  8. Ally
    November 17, 2012 at 3:21 am #

    This looks awesome!

    • Seattle
      November 17, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

      It’s the coolest place ever!

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