The tidal bore

Even if you’ve never previously been to the Bay of Fundy, you may have heard about the phenomenon known as the tidal bore; outflowing rivers flowing back upstream as the tide comes in. Folks who have never been to Fundy before tend to take our 15 m (50′) tide measurement and combine it with the bore concept — then end up thinking that we have a 50′ (think: tsunami!) bore twice a day, which we do not. The actual rapids of a tidal bore are between 3 and 4 m (10 to 12′) high, which is still pretty cool — and on really high tides, the tidal bore is like a tidal wave as high as 2-to-3 m (6-to-9′).

Where can I go to see a tidal bore?

Many rivers in the upper part of the Bay have tidal bores but, unless you’re a local, you may have trouble finding them. Visitors usually like to view those with some interpretation.

You can see tidal bores on both sides of the Bay (see our blog for more details on where to see a tidal bore). In New Brunswick, a good place to see the tidal bore is in Moncton, N.B. There is a riverfront walking and cycling path from which you can see the tidal bore come rolling up the Petticodiac River.

Tidal bore in New Brunswick

  • Moncton, on the Petticodiac River: the most famous of the tidal bores

Tidal bore in Nova Scotia

  • Nappan tidal bore look-off on the Maccan River: about 10 minutes from Amherst
  • Truro: the tidal bore on the Salmon River
  • South Maitland: the South Maitland Tidal Bore Lookoff (interpretation centre)
  • Windsor: Kennecook and St Croix Rivers

Note that the bore time will not match either the high- or low-tide times listed on the tide chart for that community. The bore time varies depending on where you’re perched to view it from the riverbank.