Road Trip to the Cape Enrage
Cape Enrage is a blustery and bold cape that juts out into Chignecto Bay. It's home to a wonderful adventure center that could be a model for centers worldwide. It costs C$10 per vehicle or C$4 per person to enter the cape, but the real draw here is its adventure center.
Cape Enrage Adventures traces its roots to 1993, when a group of high school students from Moncton decided to arrest the decay of the cape's historic lighthouse, which had been abandoned a few years earlier. They put together a plan to restore the light and keeper's quarters and establish an adventure center. And it worked. Today, with the help of experts in rock climbing, rappelling, and local history, a few dozen high-school students staff and run this program throughout the summer months. (The program closes in late August, when the student-managers have to head back to high school.)
Part of what makes the program so notable is its flexibility. You can pick and choose from day adventures, which are scheduled throughout the summer, as though from a menu. Prices vary; you might pay about C$55 per person for a 2-hour rock-climbing or rappelling workshop.
Families looking to endure outdoor hardships together should inquire about custom adventures. For something like C$200 to C$300 per person, the center can draw up a 2- to 5-night adventure vacation that includes equipment, instruction, food, and lodging.
For more information about the program, contact Cape Enrage Adventures (tel. 888/280-7273 or 506/887-2273; www.capenrage.com).
Road Trip to the Hopewell Rocks
There's no better place in Canada to witness the extraordinary power of ocean tides than at the Hopewell Rocks (tel. 877/734-3429; www.thehopewellrocks.ca), located about 40km (25 miles) northeast of Fundy National Park on Route 114. Think of it as a natural sculpture garden. At low tide (the best time to visit), these eroded columns as high as 15m (50 feet) stand on the ocean floor like Brancusi or Easter Island statues, and you can walk right out among them and gawk. (They're sometimes called the "flowerpots," on account of the trees and plants that still flourish on their narrowing summits.) But don't linger: Most of those rocks will be under water in a few hours.
When you arrive, park at the visitor center and restaurant and wander down to the shore. (There's also a shuttle service that runs from the interpretive center to the rocks for a small fee.) Signboards fill you in on the natural history of the rocks. If you've come at low tide, you can descend the steel staircase to the sea floor and admire these wondrous free-standing rock sculptures, chiseled by waves and tides.
Even the visitor center is a pleasant place to spend some time. It not only has intriguing exhibits (look for the satellite photos of the area, and a time-lapse video of the tides) but the cafeteria-style restaurant has terrific views from its floor-to-ceiling windows and serves good, simple food.
The park charges an entry fee of C$9 adults, C$7.75 students and seniors, C$6.75 children ages 5 to 18, and C$24 families. It's open daily mid-May to mid-June, 9am to 5pm, then 8am to 8pm from mid-June until mid-August (mid-Aug to late Aug to 6pm only), and from 9am to 5pm from September until it closes in mid-October. Note that the site can get crowded at peak times, which is understandable given its uniqueness and beauty, but might not jive with your ideal of peace and quiet. If your schedule allows it, come early in the day, when most travelers are still in bed.
If you arrive at the top half of the tide, consider a sea kayak tour around the islands and caves. Baymount Outdoor Adventures (tel. 877/601-2660 or 506/734-2660) runs 90-minute kayak tours of Hopewell Rocks from June through early September for C$59 per adult, C$49 per child, or C$199 per family. Caving tours of nearby caverns are also offered by this family outfit; contact them for details.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.