Who says adults can’t play in the mud?
Thanks to the waxing and waning of the moon each day, the power and intensity of the tide swirling into the Shubenacadie River, Nova Scotia’s largest river, creates the perfect equation for upriver whitewater rafting. Luckily, for the kid in all of us mud sliding, is the perfect excuse to play in the mud!
Twice a day (according to the tide times), tidal bores, a phenomenon in which the incoming tide forms waves travel up a river against the normal direction of the river, occur. Fortunately for us travellers, local tourism operators seize this opportunity to ride the tides, found at the lower part of the river, with large boats called Zodiac Hurricanes. There are several operators; we chose Shubenacadie River Adventure Tours and highly recommend them.
Shubenacadie Mud Sliding Nova Scotia: What to expect when you arrive
Once you arrive at the lodge you are required to sign a waiver, get suited up with life jackets, and if, weather requires, rain gear and boots. The operators will ask that you arrive at least an hour before your tour time. You may, like us, need to wait until everyone is ready and suited with a life jacket, which can take a while, but be patient, the wait is well worth it.
Start out slow, then ride the tide (tidal bore that is)
Soon enough the guides took us down to the riverside to enjoy a nice, relaxed ride up the river past sandbars, mudflaps, Acadian dykelands, and forests. Shortly after our launch, the water quickly receded, and we were able to stand on the bottom of the river. Almost as soon as the river recedes, you will be amazed at how the ground that you were standing on just seconds earlier, becomes filled with the tides. With the waves crashing over the sides of the boat, you’ll need to hold on tight for this adventure!
Slip sliding, Mud sliding Fun
At about the midpoint of the tour, the guides offer a chance for rest, relaxation, and refreshments. On the banks of the river, the shore is full of soft, slippery mud, angled at about a 45-degree angle. Almost as if the mud sliding gods conspired – it’s time for mud sliding Nova Scotia style!
Riders are given the option to stay conservatively in the boat or to literally, jump feet first into this Nova Scotia river and mudslide! We were surprised at how many people opted to stay in the boat. Now is a chance of a lifetime, put your modesty aside and get sliding!
Like me, your first thought may be “eww!” However, when you step into the slimy mud, embrace it. Feel the mud squish between your toes, let your inhibitions go and with a little push, or a running dive, just slide down the riverside and bury yourself in the mud. Afterwards, float and splash in the river to rinse off the mud. Then get back into the boat, without any hesitations, for more rafting and fun.
After the tour: Warm showers, clean clothes, and food!
After the tour, especially if you choose to mudslide or jump into the river to cool off, you can enjoy a hot shower in their change rooms back at the lodge. Or, based on the tour package, enjoy a hot, complimentary barbecue of hamburgers and hotdogs.
Up for more after the tidal bore rafting? Take a swim in their pool or try your hand at horseshoes, volleyball, or badminton.
Fancy something a bit more mesmerizing? Go for a quiet hike on their nature trails.
What to Bring and What to Wear on your Mud Sliding Adventure
- Wear old clothes as the mud from the riverbed can stain
- Be sure to bring a change of clothes, including a sweatshirt or long pants for after the tour.
- Sense of Adventure
Shubenacadie River Adventure Tours
# 10061 Hwy. 215
South Maitland, Nova Scotia
Toll Free North American Wide: 1-888-878-8687
*We recommend calling ahead and asking the operators for the best option for everyone in your party, based on age and/or physical ability, as we found some of the waves can be very strong.
Read more reviews of the experience TripAdvisor.