En route to a weekend getaway outside of Halifax I convinced my lovely wife to entertain my wishes and we dropped by Joggins to experience the fossil cliffs. First of all, I can’t say I am a fanatic when it comes to fossils but I do have a moderate interest, intrigued by the resulting geology. Regardless it was a nice diversion, a chance to get out and stretch.
Location: 20T 0387024 E 5060799 N
AKA Joggins Fossil Cliffs – Joggins, Nova Scotia
The same rules apply to fossils and coal in Nova Scotia as they do in New Brunswick, both belong to the province and legally you are not carting any fossils home unless you have a special permit of which I have none. On a different occasion I had visited the ‘drag line’ in the Minto/Chipman area where you can find all kinds of fossils. Where it is a commercial operation and not a provincial park they are much less protective of their specimens.
The history surrounding the coal industry in the Joggins area is interesting. Seams of coal, visible from the ocean, were exploited by the French and the English. The thickest coal seam is only 3 ft. 6 inches wide with many of them less than 6 inches wide. This led to 83 separate mining operations within a 30km range. You can walk along the beach and pick up handfuls of coal.
All in all a nice little visit, there is an attached museum, gift shop and cafe. There are organized directed tours, and if you are passionate about fossils plan on half a day. The gift shop had numerous mineral samples for sale, which in itself captivated me for 15-20 minutes.