Nova Scotia has many natural attractions to make a visitor’s trip more interesting. One of these is a phenomenon seen in many rivers that empty into the Bay of Fundy, home of the highest, most dramatic tides in the world. When the tide comes in, the surging water pushes water into the rivers, against the natural river flow. The fresh water flowing out of the Maccan river holds back the Fundy tide briefly but the rising tidal water reverses the river’s flow.
The leading edge of this surge forms a wave that can be inches to several feet in height. This reversal combined with narrowing of the river causes the wall of water or tidal bore to rush up the river ahead of the incoming tide. After the water comes crashing by, emptied rivers fill quickly.
The Maccan Tidal Wetlands Park is a little park along the Maccan River where you can safely view the tidal bore. This tidal bore viewing area has an extra special experience: Gordon Boss.
While at the picnic table area, take a look at that posted tidal bore chart. The chart is the work of Gordon Boss, a local treasure who is often a host to the tidal bore event. Gordon not only posts the chart, marking the estimated times for the tidal bores, he also calculates estimated heights to help manage visitor expectations.
He loves making the tidal bore accessible to anyone interested and he loves to meet people. Gordon can see the river from his house and he and his son-in-law take care of the park. It is they who mow the paths, post the charts, and make this an inviting place to spend some time. Now in his late 80s, Gordon is still an animated, interesting, vibrant person.
Gordon has lived in this area all his life and has been watching the bore for over 50 years. Now he talks with visitors at the Maccan Tidal Wetlands Park and types out the tidal bore schedule each year on a 50 year old Remington quiet-writer typewriter.
Also note that the times listed are estimated times. Plan to arrive 10-20 minutes in advance to be sure to not miss it should it arrive earlier than expected.
While there may be places where one can see higher tidal bores, even places where one can do river rafting on them, this is a place for a more intimate experience, with a personal guide.
While in this area, you may also want to check out Tidnish Bridge.