Since moving to Nova Scotia, Canada, I was amazed at all the natural beauty in the province. Trying to see as much as possible, I made sure Burncoat Head Park was at the top of my list.
Burntcoat Head is located North of Halifax and looks out over the Bay of Fundy. It is only about one and a half hours drive to reach this beautiful park and have an experience of a lifetime.
This location is home to the world’s highest tides and at low tide you can actually walk on the ocean floor.
It is free to visit and there are workers there to fill you in on any rules, information, or safety issues!
I will go into more detail below about what to expect, but you can also check out this quick video for an idea of what it looks like! The majority of my information is based on my personal experience and their website.
Quick Park Facts
Check tide times to know when is best to visit.
No shade, but can also be very windy by the water.
Easy – Moderate walk as you control where you venture.
Very muddy, bring pair of shoes or plan to wash your feet!
Wear appropriate footwear as it is also slippery and bring water!
Locating Burntcoat Head Park
We used a simple GPS input to guide us to the park, but if you want directions I have the directions provided directly from the website:
From Halifax: 1 hour 9 minutes/87.9 km
- Take the MacDonald Bridge and continue onto Nantucket Ave. (signs for NS-107/NS-118/Nantucket Ave.)
- Turn left onto Marine Dr./Victoria Rd./NS-322N
- Turn right onto Woodland Ave.
- Continue onto NS-118N (14 km)
- Merge onto NS-102 (21 km)
- Take Exit 8 for NS-214 towards Elmsdale/Lantz/Windsor **
- Turn left onto Elmsdale Rd./NS-214 (signs for Belnan/Nine Mile River/Windsor)
- Turn left onto NS-14W (signs for NS-14W/Windsor/Rawdon)
- Slight right onto NS-202W
- Continue straight onto NS-354N (signs for NS-236/Kennetcook/Noel)
- Slight left in Kennetcook to stay on 354 (signs for Noel/Walton)
- At the junction of 215 in Noel turn left and a quick right onto Burntcoat Road
- Park is 5 km on the right
They also provide directions from other locations in Nova Scotia, but feel free to use your GPS.
There is a parking lot and clear signage to guide you where you need to go!
The World’s Highest Tides
At Burntcoat Head Park the tides can reach over 40 feet or 12 metres twice a day in the lunar tide cycle.
Depending on what you want to see it is important to check tide times.
Walking on the ocean floor was our focus, so we made sure to go at low tide. If you make a day out of it you can even wait around to see how high the tide actually comes.
This video can give you an idea:
Three hours before high tide they will signal everyone to leave the ocean floor to a safe location, so it is important to give yourself lots of time to explore the ocean floor while it is allowed.
If you go at low tide you have the opportunity to explore the geologic structures and even some ocean critters that are waiting for the tide to come in.
Make sure to dress appropriately as the ground can be slippery, wet, and muddy. I suggest taking an extra pair of shoes and socks and cleaning your clothing as soon as you return home.
Besides the ocean floor there is a lighthouse that doubles as a museum and giftshop, a picnic area, and even cabins and many local attractions nearby! You can make this a day trip or even make into a few days.
Science of Burntcoat Head Park
The rocks located here are actually from the Triassic Period when dinosaurs roamed the earth.
What is even more amazing is that at this location is where continents were connected to form the supercontinent Pangea.
There is so much history and geology to be seen here, especially with the geomorphic features that tides and erosion create.
Many fossils have been found here which can be reflected in the lighthouse museum.
Although we only saw hermit crabs (which was still super cool), there are lots of wildlife to be seen.
When walking on the ocean floor be mindful of where you walk as to not disturb the creatures too much.
There are different sea creatures, plants, and even birds that you may see on your visit. You can learn more about what to expect and when here.
BurntCoat Head Park Summary
This park is a must-see. Being able to walk on the ocean floor or sea the world’s highest tides is an amazing opportunity and I cannot express the feeling until you see for yourself.
It is a beautiful location for pictures and you will become even more amazed by the area if you understand truly the history of the sediment you are walking on.
If you want to get more out of this experience, they do offer tours!
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