Joggins Fossil Cliffs

Top choice in Nova Scotia

Located on the site of the Old Joggins No 7 Coal Mine, this impressive visitor center relates the story of the World Heritage–listed Joggins Fossil Cliffs, home to one of the world's best fossil records. Dating from the Carboniferous period (about 300 million years ago), fossils include lycopsid trees, root systems known as stigmaria and ancient shrimp-like creatures called pygocephalus. The center puts the site into context through exhibits and audiovisual displays.

The cliffs can only be visited by guided tour. You can sign up at the visitor center, but note that tour times are dictated by the tides, so booking ahead online ensures that you won't be hanging around unnecessarily. The best time to visit is at low tide, when all of the beaches can be accessed; at other times you'll be cut off from some of the more interesting sites by high water.

The standard half-hour tour is the easiest; two- and four-hour tours explore more remote sections of the cliffs that most people don't get to see. There are also occasional kayak tours, provided by NovaShores Sea Kayaking.