Highlights: Lobster poutine, Fossil Hunting, Waterside Winery
Duration: 2-3 hours
Pairing: Waterside Winery - Sparkling Rhubarb
Anyone who has been on a tour with me knows that I am nuts about rocks, minerals and fossils. My tours regularly include a discussion on deep-time, the moon and the tides, and famous fossils from Saint John. Not to mention the geology of the stones used to build Uptown SJ after the 1877 fire. So imagine my surprise when I "discovered" that Cape Enrage, New Brunswick is home to a FOSSIL BEACH. This was an extra shock since I had grew up visiting Cape Enrage, and I've made several trips to Joggins, NS across the Bay of Fundy, well-known for its fossilized tree trunks and coal seams.
Over the past few years I've introduced a few people to my rockhounding hobby, my husband being one, so we decided to go on a fossil hunting trip to Cape Enrage. On our way we stopped at Waterside Winery, a fruit winery located just a few minutes from Cape Enrage. You can either stop in on your way, or if you have lunch at Cape Enrage, like we did, you can order Waterside Winery wine by the glass.
On the day we visited Cape Enrage was earning its moniker. The wind blew so strongly that the zipline and rappelling has to be closed. Down on the beach it was a bit more calm and set about on our hunt. It takes a few minutes to adjust your gaze to see across the surface of the rock and "through" time, but it didn't take long before the fossils jumped out at us.
Mostly, we found Calamites, a distant relative to the modern horsetail fern, and the fossils of small bivalves. There was plenty of indication of ancient trackways and ripples from ancient waves preserved in the stone. The most exciting find for me was a circular fossil that reminded me of an echinoid like a sea urchin.
Cape Enrage is home to one of New Brunswick's oldest light stations. The original light was built in 1830, with the current light station being constructed in 1870. You many not see many boats on the Bay today, however, a kilometer reef extending South from Cape Enrage caused many shipwrecks in the 19th centuries when this area was heavily trafficked.
The wind was so strong at the lighthouse that we could barely walk out to it. As we walked along the path, holding the rope railing, we could see the wind whipping up the waves and sediment in the Bay. It's easy to imagine how important these light stations were to mariners in the 19th century, and how scary some of their trips must have been. The Bay provided the main access to the farming communities and the developing community of The Bend (Moncton).
Next time you visit the Upper Bay of Fundy, make sure to schedule enough time for a quick fossil hunt, however, please remember to take only pictures as fossils continue to be protected and should never be removed from the beaches.
2/27/2021 12:23:24 pm
Thanks for telling us about the great fossils at Cape Enrage. Must go there sometime. I have found a few fossils of my own over the years. I am not sure what deep time has to do with making of fossils? Many people are convinced that it just takes the right conditions not eons of time.
7/5/2022 11:38:29 am
Great post thankyou
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At Uncorked Tours we're all about sharing the fabulous food, wine, beer & spirits being produced in the Province of New Brunswick.
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