Caledonia Highlands Plateau
Fundy National Park
Fundy National Park is more than its coast line! Most of the park is made up of rolling and rounded mountains which form the Caledonian Highlands. Here, the story is mostly hidden under the trees and soil but if you explore the more than 100 km of hiking trails which criss-cross the park you may run across a wide variety of rocks. Or, as you drive along the provincial highway 114, check out the road cuts which have exposed some outcrops. The rocks you see are the exposed roots of the vast mountain chain referred to earlier. Erosion over the ages has reduced these mountains to the Caledonian Highlands of today. You will find granite, which originated in the Earth's interior and volcanic rocks.
The Caledonian Highlands have played an important part in another story: the Ice Age. During this last glacial period, the highlands had their own ice caps. When the ice finally melted, about 13,000 years ago, it released all of the sand and gravel which had been incorporated into it over the years. This rocky and poor soil covers the surface of the land today. This explains one reason why farming was never easy for early settlers around Fundy. The soil is too poor. In some areas, the melting ice formed rivers of glacial water. These rivers laid down great quantities of sand and gravel.
The River Valleys
Moving inland from the massive cliffs of the Bay of Fundy coastline, the geological story becomes more subtle. One of the best avenues to explore this story is to be found in the river valleys of Fundy National Park. The varied geological story is creating a breathtaking landscape.
Moving water has carved through the more recent pages of geological history to reveal just what a long story it is. For the last 10,000 years, the rivers have been carrying away tonnes of rocks and sand which were dumped into the valleys by the retreating glaciers of the last Ice Age. The Upper Salmon River and the Point Wolfe River existed before ice covered the land! Now, gradually, the running waters are carrying this glacial till into the Bay of Fundy. Go to Kinnie Brook where the valley is still full. During many times of the year, the brook disappears underground, filtering through a thick layer of glacial gravel.
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