Back when my friend Axel was visiting me we had one outdoor day exploring Saint John, and it reminded me of how beautiful Saint John is AND how many things there actually are to do. This specific day it was sunny out so we decided to take advantage of all the great things you can do outdoors right in Saint John.
An Outdoor List of Things to do in Saint John:
- See the Bay of Fundy
- Saint John Hollywood Sign
- Reversing Falls
- Irving Nature Park
- Martello Tower
First of all, Seeing the Bay of Fundy. The Bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the world! The tides in the Bay of Fundy rise to the highest point of 50ft in some areas of the province. In particular, we visited Cape Spencer just on the outskirts of Saint John.
The Saint John Sign is the Hollywood looking sign that looks out towards uptown and the harbour from Fort Howe in the North End. This sign was installed in 1999 to celebrate the new millennium. Besides just seeing the sign, the view of the city is great from this spot on the hill.
One of Saint John’s most well-known features is Reversing Rapids or more commonly known as Reversing Falls. These are a series of rapids that are created by the semidiurnal tides of the bay force the flow of water to reverse against the prevailing current when the tide is high. Reversing Rapids is a great place to see the difference in tides between high tide and low tide! It takes about six hours and thirteen minutes for the tides to change. The rock of Reversing Falls is also really neat to see as you can see the different variations in rock from the different continents that collided together millions of years ago! One of the features of the Stone Hammer Geopark!
The Irving Nature Park is located on the West side of Saint John down Sandy Cove road. The Irving Nature Park is a 600-acre peninsula filled with walking trails and a home to a variety of different animals! We explored a couple of different trails on the hunt for harbour seals.. we, unfortunately, were unsuccessful that day but there is always next time! Poor Axel also sunk down in the sand and got his sneaks covered in mud 😜
Our last stop was Martello Tower. Specifically, Carleton Martello Tower is one of the nine surviving Martello Towers in Canada. Martello Towers are round fortress that was built by the British all over the United Kingdom, and what would become Canada. Carleton Martello Tower, which is located on the West side of Saint John was built in 1813, for the War of 1812. The tower never actually saw combat during the War of 1812, it was however used again during WWII. Machine guns were placed on the tower in case Saint John was attacked!
In the midst of our day, we made a stop at Gahan’s for some seafood! One of my favourite parts about living on the East Coast is easy to access to seafood (which also happens to be my favourite food). This day we went for the white cream mussels and seafood chowder, all delicious of course!
For being the oldest city in Canada, Saint John is pretty great! It might not be the most popular or well-known city in the country like it once was, but there are still so many hidden gems in Saint John and the history of the city is extraordinary! I also think it is important to take a break and be a tourist in your own city, just to see what you can discover.