Nestled along the shore of the scenic Bay of Fundy and about 30 minutes from Amherst or Parrsboro is the Joggins Fossil Cliffs: Canada's 15th UNESCO World Heritage Site. Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008 for its unrivalled record of fossils dating to the Carboniferous "Coal Age" Period in Earth's history (over 300 million years ago), the 15km stretch of protected beach contains fossils of Carboniferous plants and animals ranging from microscopic organisms to large predacious amphibians and reptiles. Preserved in situ, large trees stand where they once grew, footprints of animals are preserved where they once walked, and the earliest reptiles are found entombed in their hollow tree dens. Studied by Sir William Dawson, Sir Charles Lyell, and discussed in Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species, nowhere other than the Joggins Fossil Cliffs can you find a more complete fossil record of life on Earth over 300 million years ago.
Constructed in 2008, the state-of-the-art Joggins Fossil Centre is one of the greenest buildings in Nova Scotia. Capable of generating more than 60% of its own electricity via solar panels and a wind turbine, the Joggins Fossil Centre demonstrates a change from the dependence on fossil fuels, which were formed during the Carboniferous (Coal Age), to an environmentally friendly carbon-neutral present and future.
The museum at the Joggins Fossil Centre is fun, educational, and interactive and has some of the finest examples of Carboniferous fossils ever discovered. The Joggins Fossil Institute provides 0.5 to 4.0 hour tours of the World Heritage Site (the Cliffs), museum tours and green building tours. The Institute can also accommodate large groups, including school group visits, and have a wide range of educational activities for participants of all ages. The Centre can also be used for hosting special events that can be catered within the spacious multi-purpose room overlooking the World Heritage Site and the majestic Bay of Fundy.
Although a bit off the beaten trail, it is well worth the trip to the Joggins Fossil Cliffs UNESCO World Heritage Site where you can take a trip back in time to see what life was like over 300 million years ago. For more information about the Joggins Fossil Cliffs and Centre, visit www.jogginsfossilcliffs.net.