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Burntcoat Head

Home of the highest tides in the world


Among Nova Scotia’s many treasures, the highest tides in the world at Burntcoat Head stand out as a natural phenomenon.

The Bay of Fundy is known for its extreme tidal range; nestled along the shores of the Bay of Fundy, Burntcoat Head is a remote coastal area that just happens to be the epicenter of this natural marvel. Twice a day, as the moon's gravitational pull interacts with the bay's unique geography, the water level in the bay rises and falls dramatically.

As a result of its funnel-like shape, Burntcoat Head boasts an average tidal range of 14 meters (approximately 46 feet), making it the highest tidal range in the world.

To put it in perspective, that's roughly the height of a four-story building.

Those who visit Burntcoat Head during low tide are treated to a sight unlike any other. As the tide goes out, a bay filled with churning water transforms into a vast expanse of mudflats, revealing trees, rocks, and cliffs that were previously submerged.

As the tide comes in, the transformation is equally remarkable.

The water rises at an astonishing rate, filling the bay with a relentless surge of energy. Those who venture out onto the mudflats during low tide could find themselves standing in water just a few hours later. It's a captivating display of the raw power of nature, and it happens twice each day, like clockwork.

The dynamic nature of these tides has given rise to a unique and vibrant ecosystem. The exposed mudflats teem with life, from clams and mussels to various species of birds, creating an ecological paradise for both nature enthusiasts and scientists alike. As the tide rushes in, it brings with it a bounty of marine life, providing a feast for the local bird population.

For those who wish to witness this natural wonder, Burntcoat Head Provincial Park offers a visitor center, interpretive panels, and well-marked trails that lead to viewpoints overlooking the bay. Be sure to check the tide schedule and plan your visit during low tide to experience the mudflats up close.

Photo By: Rhonda Steeves

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