Hopewell Rocks vs. Parlee Beach? This was my recent dilemma after a visit to Moncton, New Brunswick. As a beach bum, my first choice was Parlee Beach. Alas, two days before my departure ATV News aired a story about the high levels of E. coli in the famed beach’s warm waters. One lady later interviewed reported toilet paper residue lining the shores from the nearby marina. Say no more, if you have to test in the first place, that says a lot. Like many coastal communities, the citizens are working with the province to clean up the waters, yet until residents are forced to have septic systems, ocean and rivers will continue to be polluted. So Hopewell Rocks wins!
The Bay of Fundy is approximately a 30 minute drive from Moncton. Hopewell Rocks is a provincial park operated by the Province of New Brunswick. The site has lots of parking. There is an entrance fee at the main gates of $10 for adults, other prices for seniors and children. Here you will also find the interpretive centre and gift shop.
If you like to hike, visitors can take the path to the staircase to the shoreline; however, I highly recommend the $4 fee to take the golf cart back and forth. There is also a café and bathrooms in this section of the park. It’s quite lovely to have meal outside overlooking the Bay of Fundy.
The staircase to the beach is huge, accommodating the high traffic of people going up and down. There are over 100 steps and for those like me who have knee problems, take your time as it’s worth it. The cliffs of Hopewell Rocks have been carved out by the tides of the Bay of Fundy. Many of the formations look like flower pots and other figures.
If you want to swim, like me, it wasn’t my day. Unfortunately Hopewell Rocks says it has beaches at either end, but these are not white sand beaches and the water is muddy. On the bright side, if want to save some spa money, the red clay mud is great for your skin