Joggins Fossil Cliffs – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage Site (UNESCO)
Joggins, Nova Scotia
Joggins Fossil Cliffs are an amazing place to visit, the cliffs are millions of years old and as our guide explained, walking a meter along the beach is like moving back or forward a million years in time!
Joggins is unique as the shore line is constantly altered by the Fundy Highest Tides in the world, and the Low Tides reveal the most complete fossil record of the “Coal Age,” 100 million years before the dinosaurs. I can’t grasp the science or such a huge span of history, but I was filled with awe being in this place.
There are numerous tours you can take with knowledgeable, personable guides who make it easy to walk the beach looking for fossils. They tell you a lot about the “Coal Age”, point out fossils in the cliff, on the beach and explain why this site is so unique. Due to the Fundy Tides, this site is not a place “set in stone” but dynamic and ever-changing making it an important living educational and scientific site.
There is a museum with interactive displays making it easy to digest the information. You can walk the beach for free,you can pay a nominal fee to get into the museum and a 30-minute beach walk with a guide. But we were glad we took the guided 2-hour tour as we got so much more out of the experience. We slowly walked along the beach and our guide told us history and made the cliffs living. We had time to look for fossils on our own. He pointed out imprints of trees and possibly trees themselves in the cliffs. I can’t possibly do any justice to this place as it is so awe-inspiring and so much information to take in.
There is also a 4-hour tour for the more committed visitors and if you are a student of this education, a once in a lifetime experience. In case you are wondering the 2-hour tour is physically easy as you walk along the beach slowly, it just requires a walk down some stairs to the beach.
A “World Heritage Site” as the Joggins website explains “is the designation given to special places in the world that are of outstanding universal value to humanity, and as such have been inscribed on the World Heritage List to be protected for future generations”
View the website before you go for the tide times and information on the Coal Age, tours available: Joggins Fossil Cliffs UNESCO World Heritage Site