When the Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia’s largest river, encounters water rushing in from the Bay of Fundy, the phenomenon is known as a tidal bore. The leading wave swallows the sandbars, creating intense rapids in its wake. Once a day, rafting companies take clients into the soup, where you’ll ride waves as high as five metres. When you raft the Shubenacadie in extreme conditions, “bore” is the last word that comes to mind.
Length of Trip : Half Day or Full Day
Cost : Click here for the latest tidal bore rafting prices.
Best time to go : Trips run May to October, but July/August is best for the sun
Wheelchair friendly : No
Family friendly : Yes, although Extreme Tides can get intense and rafting is open for kids over 6.
Where to eat : There is a restaurant on-site with a two-tier deck ideal for drying off in the sun after your ride. Open daily from 8am to 8pm.
Official Site : Tidal Bore Rafting
Where to Stay : There are cottages and chalets on site, or you could make it a day trip out of Halifax.
Getting There : From Halifax: About 1 hour and 20 minutes Take highway 102 North to Exit 10. Turn West onto Route 215 and follow straight to Maitland. From Yarmouth: About 4 hours Take highway to exit 5 at Windsor. Follow Route 215 (Coast) or Route 236 (Inland) to Maitland. From Truro: About 30 Minutes: Take Exit 14 and turn West onto Route 236 until stop sign. Turn right and cross bridge. At stop sign turn West onto Route 215 and follow straight to Maitland. From Cape Breton or New Brunswick: Take Exit 15 onto Highway 102 South. Take exit 14 and turn West on to Route 236 until stop sign. Turn right and cross bridge. At stop sign turn West onto Route 215 and follow straight to Maitland.
Note from Robin : The rafting company provides old, wet and ruined shoes, so rather wear theirs than yours (unless your shoes are already ruined). A white T-shirt is also not a good idea as the brown water will stain it. Lockers are provided for your valuables. Don’t worry if you’ve never rafted before. The rafts have an outboard motor, so all you have to do is hang on. Rafting trips run rain or shine. Note: The company in the book has since closed operation but there are other operations running a similar experience.
Photo: Wally Haynes