Thursday, August 11, 2016

Joggins Fossil Cliffs - Joggins, Nova Scotia

First off, yes I did feel the need to jog into the visitor's centre on arrival at Joggings Fossil Cliffs. And the post office and the fish and chips restaurant in town.  Sue me. 

Joggins Fossil Cliffs, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site,  is another place where you will want to check the tide charts before planning your visit.  If you have trouble parsing the charts you can always email them and they will tell you when you should come.  There is no point in showing up if the tide is at its highest because you won't be allowed to go down to the beach.
A budding paleontologist
My kids loved Joggins Fossil Cliffs and so did I so it really is fun for the whole family.  I loved seeing the ocean and learning about the fossils and finding neat rocks and sea glass.  My youngest daughter though turned out to be a future paleontologist in the making because she was in her glory.  She loved listening to our guide, Dana, tell us all about the fossils and the history of the place and she was the fossil diviner!  She would come up to me with a rock and I would be like "Neato!" and then she would show it to Dana and he would say "well, this here is a fine specimen of one of the earliest life forms on earth, the unpronounceable name".  Which is presumably why he is the guide and I am not.  Anyway, Dana told my daughter that one of her specimens, of some kind of ultra old timey worms, was going in "the collection".  That was pretty much the highlight of my daughter's life.  She is still talking about it.

Along with the actual cliffs, there is a pretty good interpretive centre with some fossil samples and microscopes and whatnot where you can kill time if you arrive between tours.  They also have a gift shop and a restaurant which was cooking something that smelled good when I was there.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Those tide charts!
  • You only need a half day at Joggins so you can check out some other attractions in the area such as Cape D'or Lighthouse or the Anne Murray Centre (hey why not?).  
  • They have computers near the restaurant that you can use for free if you need to check your email or anything.  
  • You don't have to go as part of a guided tour, you are free to wander down on your own but I strongly recommend going with a tour.  Otherwise you will probably think you are looking at a bunch of rocks and not realize the significance of what you are looking at.  I thought it was just me but I spoke to another mom and she said the same thing.

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