Joggins UNESCO World Heritage Site – Joggins, NS

Every meter of the 15 km stretch that makes up the Joggins UNESCO world heritage site represents 1000 years. You can literally walk through time on the rocky beach.

It was in these rocks that the oldest reptile ever discovered was uncovered in the 1800’s. Today that special fossil sits in a British museum, but there’s far more to discover on the beach.

Joggins UNESCO World Heritage Site

Joggins got their UNESCO status because they are the world’s most complete fossil record of life in the “Coal Age”, or Carboniferous period. As you walk the rocky beach, it’s easy to spot bits and pieces of fossilized history. There are tree roots and plant life from millions of years in the past.

Joggins UNESCO World Heritage Site

They no longer excavate at Joggins, the cliffs do it for them. The cliffs are in a slow, constant state of erosion, so there are always new fossils and discoveries emerging from the rocks.

Joggins UNESCO World Heritage Site

Some of the artifacts are not as ancient. These metal pieces on the beach came from a former coal mine which closed in the 1970’s

Tours are available at Joggins, but are dependent on the tides. When the tide is in, visitors can spend their time in the inturpretive center, which is a sight unto itself. You can learn all about the Carboniferous period, the types of fossils discovered at Joggins, and learn about that first big discovery which was key to understanding the evolution of vertebrate life on land. 

But what most interested me was all the building’s green features. Joggins is a LEED certified site that is equiped with a wind turbine, solar heating, passive solar design, a green roof, rain water collection, and more. They are working to become a Gold or Platinum LEED building.


Joggins UNESCO World Heritage Site

They also serve healthy lunches from their on-site cafe!


Whether you are coming to walk back through time or admire the building’s commitment to preserving the future, there is a lot to learn at Joggins.

Joggins Fossil Centre
100 Main Street
Joggins, NS

Season: Open daily April 22 – October 31
April 22–May 31: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
June 1 – August 31: 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM
September– October: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

November 1 – April 21 By Appointment Only


This trip is part of our #NSJoyRide series. We went on an epic road trip along Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy thanks to the fine folks at Nova Scotia Tourism. They covered the costs of our week-long road trip.  We hope you love following our tidal adventures. Check out more in this series here:

Five Islands Provincial Park
BlackRock Bistro
Catch of the Bay (Masstown Market)
Driftwood Park Retreat
Joggins UNESCO World Heritage Site
Irwin Lake Chalets
Cape D’Or
Tidal Bore Rafting
That Dutchman’s Cheese Farm (and nature paradise)

Subscribe to me on YouTube

Follow our adventures live:

About the author

The Local Traveler

Two travellers' tales of finding adventure on the East Coast. This blog is dedicated to the best parts of travel, and to discovering, celebrating and promoting things to do in our corner of the world, and sometimes beyond. We especially love craft beer, day trips, romantic escapes, local food & hidden gems. Join our community on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and share tips and photos of your favourite East Coast adventures.

Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube