My Virtual Press Trip to the Bay of Fundy
Travel is at an all-time low with the global coronavirus pandemic still in full swing. However, the pandemic has stimulated the travel sector to come up with new and creative ways to teleport nostalgic travellers to bucket list destinations around the globe. Thanks to 21st-century technology, teleportation is now possible through webcams and platforms such as Zoom. And I got to experience first-hand, this spring, just how lovely such a virtual trip can be. In late April, I joined a group of hilariously entertaining and incredibly warm and welcoming folks over in New Brunswick, Canada, for a virtual press trip to a place I’ve never been to, but have been longing to visit for quite a while: The Bay of Fundy!
What Is the Bay of Fundy?
The Bay of Fundy is a 16,000 stretch of Maritime water hugging the coasts of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and located within Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded lands of the Mi’kmaq people of Canada. It is a very popular tourist destination for its famed high tides, prehistoric lifelike rocks, and gorgeous coastal scenery. The area attracts kayakers, hikers, cyclists, whale watchers, beachgoers, and road trippers from all across Canada and the world. It holds its rightful place up on a pedestal as one of the 7 wonders of North America.
On the road again: teleportation through cyberspace
The first sign of the adventure to come arrived in the mail in late April when Alison Aiton at the New Brunswick tourism office, Destination NB, sent me a thoughtfully put-together box of souvenirs that both showcased some New Brunswick favourites like Saint John Sea Spice, blueberry tea, and maple syrup (though the latter’s pretty Canadian across the board, eh?). Some of the souvenirs were incorporated into the virtual press trip, either by mention or in an actual activity. More on that later.
My virtual press trip teleported me to 3 locations in the Bay of Fundy: the famed Hopewell Rocks, the stunning Fundy Trail Parkway, and Saint John – the only city on the Bay of Fundy.
The Hopewell Rocks
The virtual press trip kicked off at the Hopewell Rocks in the Bay of Fundy, where general manager Erika DeGrace introduced us to the site’s knowledgeable and passionate interpreters. Kevin Snair (whose book was included in the gifted box) and Paul Gaudet talked to us about the geology of the Hopewell Rocks and tides that come into the bay. Did you know that the Bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the world? Kevin put that into perspective by highlighting that the world average for a high tide is 3 feet; but in the bay, the lowest tides are 32 feet, and they can go as high as 46 feet! Play the video below to listen in and learn more about this unique tourist attraction.
The Fundy Trail
Next, I travelled virtually about an hour away from Hopewell Rocks to the Fundy Trail Parkway, where Nancy Lockerbie and Kristen Scott guided us through what is one of the last remaining coastal wilderness sections on the eastern seaboard of North America. The Fundy Trail Parkway is a 6,300-acre park on the southern coast of New Brunswick, where you can view the tides on the coastline of the Bay of Fundy and where vacationers can hike, bike, drive through, or just relax while exploring the region. It is part of the network of trails that form the Trans Canada Trail, with 10 km of their multipurpose trail overlapping. Overall, there are roughly 27 trails within the park. The Fundy footpath is a multiday hike (64 km/35 mile path) from Fundy Trail Parkway to Fundy National Park. Play the video below to learn more about the Fundy Trail Parkway.
Finally, just before 5 pm EST and right in time for happy hour, we made a final stop at Saint John City Market in Saint John, the only city on the Bay of Fundy, where Jen Silliphant from Envision Saint John and Gillian Nadeau the owner of Uncorked Tours were waiting for us. They helped us wind down our tour and kick it back with a demo of a cocktail called Slocum’s maple smash (recipe below) and a chit chat about where to find great food to eat in Saint John. This is the part of the tour where we got to use the maple syrup from Slocum and Ferris and learn more about the Saint John Sea Spice, both of which were in our souvenir box. Play the video below to join in on the happy hour with Jen and Gill.
Slocum’s Maple Smash
1.5 oz vodka or neutral moonshine
1 oz lemon juice (juice from a whole lemon)
0.75 oz maple syrup
Stir the mixture (cocktail shaker not needed) and pour into your glass over a few ice cubes
Top with soda water, tonic water, or sprite if desired
A unique destination to add to your bucket list
After my virtual press trip to the Bay of Fundy, I was fired up and ready to make my bucket list road trip destination a reality. The extremely knowledgeable and welcoming guides provided a ton of useful information that will help me plan my trip, and visit with a much better understanding of the local culture and attractions of the Hopewell Rocks, the Fundy Trail Parkway, and the city of Saint John. Hopefully, this information will help you plan your trip there too! I know that, no matter what, a visit to the Bay of Fundy is sure to create beautiful memories that will long outlive the trip, and I can’t wait to hit the road again and make that happen.