Province/Territory: Nova Scotia

An ancient Galapagos set in stone

  • 15 kilometres of fossilized coastline
  • 30-metre-high petrified trees
  • 300-million-year-old swamp creatures

Wander a 300 million-year-old fossil forest, now a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site. Descend to a rugged beach that was once the floor of a teeming tropical forest. Tap the trunk of a still-upright, fossilized tree. Peer into the den of an ancient amphibian, preserved with its last meal.

Touch the tiny footprints of the first creature to break free of the ocean to live on the land. Be the first to discover a new specimen. Twice a day, the world's highest tides scour the ten-mile-long cliff – sometimes exposing new fossil beds. Walk in the footsteps of Mi'kmaq fishers and Charles Darwin. Touch a puzzle piece in the origin of species.

Why you should visit
  • Explore a coastline UNESCO World Heritage Site, designated for its preserved forest, fossilized animals, and coal-bearing rock.
  • Gaze at an ancient, natural fossil forest diorama with the world's most complete fossil record of life in the Coal Age.
  • Examine the first creatures to emerge from the sea and walk on land.
  • Join the park's Chief Interpreter on an investigative tour of the cliffs.
  • At the Joggins Fossil Centre, visit the resident scientist's lab for a peek at the latest discoveries.
  • Watch the world's highest tides rock boats at the nearby Bay of Fundy.

Weather

Visitor information
When to go
  • Up to an hour before and after high tide, as the beach is not accessible during high tide.
  • To experience a 2 or 4-hour tour, make reservations.
Need to know
  • Wear sturdy footwear and layered apparel.
  • Be aware of cliff, beach, and tidal hazards.
  • Reservations are required for 2 and 4-hour tours, but not for 30-minute tours.
Getting Here
  • Joggins Fossil Cliffs is a 45-minute drive from the nearest town of Amherst.
  • The site is a 2.5-hour drive north from Halifax or a 3-hour drive southeast from Fredericton, NB.
  • Driving directions.
  • Not served by transit, but taxis are available from Amherst.
  • On-site parking for cars and RVs.