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The bore is anything but.

Rivers flow in one direction. Right? Not always. Sometimes nature throws us a curveball. And when we witness one, it reminds us—in the most palpable way—that we aren't always in control. Though we are all a part of nature, we are also at its mercy. And that is a powerful realization. Case in point: the tidal bore.

When the quickly rising waters of the Bay of Fundy tide meet a river—such as New Brunswick’s Petitcodiac—it overpowers the river, pushing against the river’s flow in a visible wave. This natural phenomenon—a tidal bore—causes the water in this otherwise placid river to roll back upstream in a wave that ranges in height from three cm (one in.) to 75 cm (30 in.) and at speeds up to 13 km (8 mi.)/hour. Just as spectacular is the rapid and dramatic change in the river itself. At low tide, the muddy river bottom is often visible, but within an hour of the arrival of the tidal bore, the water level rises and fills the river to its banks. 

Experience the tidal bore in Moncton

The Petitcodiac is nicknamed the Chocolate River due to its brown colour—the result of heavy sedimentation (among the heaviest in North America). It runs through the city of Moncton, which has a wonderful tidal bore viewing point in Bore Park, off Moncton’s Main Street. Many factors affect the time of the bore—it can occur 15 to 20 minutes before or after the scheduled arrival time, so arrive early. From Bore Park and the Visitor Information Centre, you can explore the shores of the Petitcodiac River all the way to Dieppe and Riverview on the extensive multi-use trails.

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