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Explore on Your Own

Ocean Floor Adventures

Walk on the ocean floor. We offer guided tours of the shoreline from May to October, or you can explore on your own. The shoreline can be muddy. Sturdy shoes or boots that are washable or waterproof and you don’t mind getting dirty are recommended for the uneven and sometimes slippery terrain (flip-flops and crocs are not recommended). A foot wash is available at the top of the stairs after the tour but be aware that the Bay of Fundy mud may stain some fabrics. We also recommend that you bring along a windbreaker, hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

The park is open daily from dawn to dusk mid-May to mid-October. The lighthouse and washrooms are open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. The ocean floor should only be accessed in daylight. Make sure you know the tide times. No overnight camping is permitted.

There is ample parking available once you enter the park.

There is a walking path around the park. Part of the path is surfaced in crushed stone and the other in mulch. Getting from the parking lot to the lighthouse is fairly easy although there are some ups and downs in elevation. There are stairs to the ocean floor. From the parking lot to the ocean floor is about a 3 to 4 minute walk.

A young blonde tourist holding a magnifying glass while two other tourist women are holding a periwinkle picked up on the Atlantic Ocean’s floor under the Bay of Fundy at low tides. The tourists are exploring the organism at Burntcoat Head Park in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Please Tiptoe through the Periwinkles

When the tide is out, the creatures left behind are vulnerable. Please be respectful of the ocean life and leave things as they are, sometimes what looks like nothing is actually an important part of the ecosystem. Try to avoid wading in the tidal pools or stepping on the colonies of shells found on the ocean floor. What appears to be an empty shell could actually be home to a hermit crab.

Did you know a protected species calls Burntcoat Head Park home? The Atlantic Mud Piddock is an intertidal bivalve mollusc, whose population is limited to the Minas Basin of the Bay of Fundy, with the most accessible being at Burntcoat Head. Help us protect this species by not walking in the Piddock Protection Area (to the left of the stairs when you enter the ocean floor).

Find a Fossil, Leave the Fossil

Fossils are evidence of ancient life. Important fossils have been discovered at Burntcoat Head Park, including the skull of a strange, beaked archosaur called Teraterpeton and the backbone of a huge, lumbering dicynodont, creatures that lived and competed with the early dinosaurs.

It is illegal to collect fossils without a Heritage Research Permit. If you don’t have a permit, please leave the fossils in place. If you believe you have discovered a fossil, we encourage you to take a photo, note the location, contact the Fundy Geological Museum so it can be identified, and tell us too!

Two tourists, a man and woman exploring periwinkles and rocks, picked up on the Atlantic Ocean’s floor under the Bay of Fundy at low tides. The tourists are exploring the organism at Burntcoat Head Park in Nova Scotia, Canada.