Kayaking, Lighthouses, and Lobster with Mike Carpenter

Overview

The world’s highest tides—rising and falling as much as 50 feet twice a day in some areas—are the Bay of Fundy’s best known attraction. But these phenomenal currents and the cliffside panoramas they have sculpted are just the beginning of our adventure. The Bay of Fundy is comparable only to the Amazon rainforest for marine biodiversity. We explore many ecosystems on hikes through rare, old-growth Acadian forests, past salt marshes, mud flats and sphagnum bogs, and into beautiful wilderness areas. Kayak to sea caves accessible only by water, explore sea stacks and rugged beaches, and spot eagles, whales, dolphins, and other wildlife. Keep an eye out for finbacks—the world’s second-largest whales, reaching lengths of up to 80 feet.

Our hikes are complemented by stories of the area’s history and culture—rich with shipbuilding and fishing, and we’ll visit vibrant villages, working harbors, and Canada’s oldest city, founded by Americans who fled the Revolutionary colonies because they wanted to remain British subjects. Settling for a few days on Campobello Island, we’ll experience the beloved homestead of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who spent many summers here. And of course we sample lobsters and mussels in the region’s renowned fresh maritime cuisine.

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1, Jul 15, 2019
Arrive to Saint John

Arrive to Saint John, Canada’s oldest incorporated city, and check in to our hotel right on the waterfront, near historic Victorian-era architecture, beautiful stone buildings, and several museums.

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Day 2, Jul 16, 2019
Hike in a Nature Park and Discover Historic Village Life

We’ll learn about the Bay of Fundy’s remarkable tides, reversing rapids, and tidal bores at Saint John’s Market Slip, then hike in Irving Nature Park, with its beautiful coastal trails, deep forests, and serene water views. We also visit St. Martins, a picturesque UNESCO site where we learn about the history of shipbuilding and lobster fishing.

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Day 3, Jul 17, 2019
Kayak to Isolated Sea Caves

Hiking the Fundy Trailway, we’ll view unforgettable panoramas and learn about the area’s natural and cultural history. Trip Leader Mike Carpenter takes us to his own favorite locations such as Flowerpot Rock, Fuller Falls, and Big Salmon River. Then we kayak through the St. Martins sea caves—a phenomenal adventure even the locals love. No previous experience is necessary. End the day with a beach barbecue.

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Day 4, Jul 18, 2019
Experience the World’s Highest Tides

What do the world’s highest tides look like? We find out at Fundy National Park as we hike along a beautiful forest trail, past waterfalls and scenic vistas, and out to the rugged coastline and grand cliffs eroded into distinctive sandstone sculptures.

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Day 5, Jul 19, 2019
Walk on the Ocean Floor and Stay in Summer Cottages on FDR’s Island

At low tide we explore the ocean floor five stories beneath the area where we kayaked to sea caves two days ago. Then we head to Campobello Island and learn about Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s summer lives there—a highlight for many visitors. We overnight in turn-of-century cottages, once the residences of affluent American friends and family members of the Roosevelts.

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Day 6, Jul 20, 2019
Whales, Eagles and a Lobster Dinner

Learn about the area’s ecology as we sail past lighthouses and rugged seascapes on a whale-watching adventure. We’ll keep an eye out for rare and endangered species like the humpback, finbacks and north Atlantic right whales, as well as dolphins, seals, eagles, and a wide variety of birds. Explore the historic arts-and-crafts-style Roosevelt Cottage Museum before finishing off the day with a succulent lobster dinner.

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Day 7, Jul 21, 2019
Spectacular Scenery and Fascinating History Converge

We’ll hike through Roosevelt International Park’s wilderness areas with shady forests, sphagnum bogs, and spectacular views of tidal flats, cliffs, and headlands. Then we head for pretty St. Andrews—one of the best preserved examples of colonial heritage in North America—where a local historian gives us a tour of its graceful architecture, Loyalist-era wooden buildings, and historic cottages.

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Days 8-9, Jul 22-23, 2019
Visit a Remote Island and a Vibrant Fishing Village

Ministers Island, accessible only at low tide and once home to the Passamaquoddy First Nations, is our hiking destination today. Then we’ll step back in time at the old estate of a flamboyant railroad baron who turned St. Andrews into a seaside resort, and explore the town’s historic architecture, shops, and galleries. We depart on Day 9 from the Saint John airport after a memorable New Brunswick visit.

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Highlights

Highlights

Experience 50-foot tides—the highest in the world!
Hike by cliffside panoramas, sculpted sea stacks, and rugged beaches, and along the “ocean floor” when the tide retreats
Explore rare ecosystems, including old-growth Acadian forests
Go whale watching with one of the top outfitters in the Fundy Isles
Kayak to spectacular, isolated sea caves—no previous experience necessary
Visit vibrant fishing villages and savor lobster and other fresh maritime cuisine
Step back in time at Campobello Island, where Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt summered

Details

Length: 9 days
Cost From: $5895  
Arrive: Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Depart: Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Lodging: 8 nights inns and hotels
Meals: All meals included except 2 lunches (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Sea Kayaking, Wildlife & Natural History, Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

Easy to moderate hikes of 2-4 hours on most days; optional easy sea kayaking and whale watching.