Hot Shots: Saint John’s Reversing Falls Rapids
Saint John’s Reversing Falls Rapids is an unusual natural phenomenon, created by the powerful impact of the Bay of Fundy on the Saint John River, and a must-see New Brunswick attraction.
If you’re like us, you vaguely remember learning in at least one high school geography class that the Bay of Fundy, a body of water found between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, has the highest tidal range in the world. It can be tough to fully appreciate how dramatic the difference in tidal levels can be until you see it in person. One spot to get a sense of the impressive rise and fall of the bay’s tides is Reversing Falls Rapids, located just west of downtown Saint John, New Brunswick.
Here, the Bay of Fundy collides with the Saint John River within a rocky gorge, resulting in a series of whirlpools and rapids that flow one way at high tide and the opposite way at low tide. The short time between high and low tides, known as slack or neutral tide, is the only time vessels can safely sail through the gorge. Interestingly (and sadly), the flooding of the Saint John River this week has created water levels so high that the tides are not reversing as normal.
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