One of our goals when moving to the Northeast was to explore the nearby areas as much as possible. With Greywolf and Timber living in Maine for most of the summer, we were lucky to be able to take a road trip through the Canadian Maritimes.
The first stop was Saint John, New Brunswick, just for the evening. We walked through this coastal town area and ate dinner. After just missing a festival, there was not much else to do for the night. The next day we headed to Fundy National Park to get a taste of the coastal Canadian wilderness. We drove around the park, exploring its coasts and forestry. The park is known for having some of the highest tides in the world which we were able to experience in full.
We stayed overnight in the park inside a newly built oTENTik. This blend of a tent and a cabin gives you the outdoor feeling of camping while providing you with a roof over your head and a bed to sleep on. A great little patio and firepit made for a fun night of roasting marshmallows and relaxing in our hammock before retreating to the oTENTik and getting into our cozy sleeping bags for a good night's sleep.
Hopewell Rocks were a short drive from Fundy National Park, so we drove over to experience these famous rock formations. Originally created from tidal erosion, the unique shape of these large rocks have been modified throughout the years as the tides erode the rocks at different speeds on different levels of the formation. When the tide is low, tourists visit the shoreline to walk on the ocean floor, even through the arches of the rock formations. As the tide is rising, kayaks can be rented to view the rocks by boat. With one of the highest average tides in the world at 52 feet, visitors are encouraged to stay through a full tidal cycle to experience the occurrence of this worldly phenomenon. We were unaware of the tides when we made it to the rocks and unfortunately were unable to walk around the rocks, so plan ahead!
The capital of Nova Scotia, Halifax, was our next destination. The first and seemingly most popular attraction of this large Canadian city that we visited was the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site. Present Fort George, completed in 1856, overlooked the city and the shore and was intended to provide protection from enemies and pirates. The guided tour of the Citadel takes you back in time to when men were dressed in kilts, even when the sun was sweltering, and bagpipes could be heard across the fort. Old weaponry and soldiers dressed in uniform gave a well rounded tour of this historical gem.
We shopped the shops and walked the boardwalks in this coastal city before shipping off (literally) to Prince Edward Island by ferry. We drove our truck onto the ferry and took a beautiful 75 minute cruise over to PEI. Cows Ice Cream, rated as the world's best ice cream, is on board as well as live music and viewing decks. After driving off the boat, we explored PEI's scenic coastlines and countryside.
Our arrival at Prince Edward Island National Park lead us to the Stanhope Campground where we set up our tents for a 2 night stay. Stanhope has about 100 campsites and is conveniently located across the road from Stanhope Beach. We enjoyed this white sand beach after a long day of traveling.
The next day we headed out to explore the park. Greenwich Dunes was one of our favorite spots; three miles in total, the trail leads you through fields of lupines and other sightly wild flowers, then some forestry, and finally a boardwalk floating on Bowley Pond before finally arriving at the white sand dunes. While many of the dunes were roped off, the park provided many great areas for viewing and playing. This short trail included diverse but lovely scenery, ending on a squeaky white sand beach where visitors could take a dip in the ocean and soak up some sun.
Prince Edward Island is a fairly sparse rural area that features beautiful beaches and lovely coastal scenery. We spent lots of time driving from one small fishing village to the next. We also ate a lot of lobster!
A few small hikes and beach trips later, we said goodbye to PEI National Park and headed for Charlottetown, the capital city of Prince Edward Island. This historic city had the streets lined with unique shops and outstanding restaurants. After one night spent in the town, it was time for us to head back to the states.
Rather than taking the ferry back from the island, we traveled across the Confederation Bridge. It is the longest bridge in the world running across ice covered waters at 8 miles in length. Once we reached land at New Brunswick, we drove south across the border and back into Maine. The Canada Loop was completed and a success!