During our long trip to Prince Edward Island, I looked for some interesting places to stop along the drive. The SKYWALK Saint John was just an hour drive from St. Andrews.
Not only are the views amazing, but you can watch a unique natural phenomenon from the viewing platform. The Reversing Rapids occur where the Saint John River meets the Bay of Fundy, which has the world’s highest tides. Twice each day, the tide rises 28 feet and forces the Saint John River to reverse it’s direction. It’s the only place in the world where this happens.
One of the first things that I noticed about traveling in Canada was the ease of it all. We never waited in line, sat in traffic or had trouble parking. When we arrived at the SKYWALK, we were able to park right out front on the street and we were the only people in the building. I asked the women if it was always like that and she said that none of their attractions are ever crowded.
The boys were happy to find the pins that they collect in the gift store and then we took the elevator upstairs to the SKYWALK. We were first led into a small theater where we watched an educational show that explained the phenomena of the reversing tides. There were cookies and water provided to keep the kiddos happy.
We head out to the observation deck and I was instantly terrified. I am so afraid of heights, I completely froze up and couldn’t get myself to move over the glass. The kids had no problem and it made me sick to my stomach to even see them jumping on the glass floor. You can look straight down 110 feet to the cliffs below.
For the most dramatic scenes, you should time your visit with the tides. The tides change every 12 hours. To see the rapids reverse direction, come at high tide. To see whirlpools, come at low tide. We were just stopping on the way, so didn’t really plan around the tides, but it was still really impressive. We watched whirlpools created by the force of the currents. The tide is so strong that there are only 20 minutes during the day that it is safe for boats to cross. Click here to check the tide table.
Another thing to look for is the different colored rocks on the cliff side which formed 685 million years ago. You can see where 1.2 billion year old Precambrian age marble (light color rock) from the South Pole area collided with 515 million year old igneous rock (dark color) of the Caledonia terrain from Africa. How wild is that?
There is a restaurant inside the SKYWALK with nice views of the reversing rapids, but it was a bit too formal for us. We were anxious to get back on the road and just wanted to get something quick. There is a really nice cafe right next to the SKYWALK called 14 1/2 Cafe & Bar that also had the views and good food. We were able to order salads and sandwiches to go.
Right behind the little cafe is a wooden walkway that leads down to the water. The kids ran down to see the rapids while we waited for the food. It looks like it is really far, but only took a few minutes and it was nice to see the river from a different angle.
We didn’t spend too much time here- an hour tops. I really wanted to stop by Hopewell Rocks, but it was getting late in the day and that took us too far off course. If you have time to spare, I would check it out. We are definitely going to put it on the itinerary for next year.
If you are looking to break up your long drive, the SKYWALK Saint John is definitely worth the stop!