One of the reasons I am super excited about moving to the South Shore of Nova Scotia is Bridgewater’s proximity to beaches.
Even though 86% of Nova Scotia’s coastline is privately owned (State of NS Coast Report, 2009), there are still many wonderful public access points to our 13,300 kilometres of coastline. And, if you travel south from the opening of the LaHave River along Highway 331, there are four great beaches within 30 minutes that are worth exploring. Each has something different to offer.
Crescent Beach is known for its firm sand, and cars are permitted to drive right onto it. This was why the day after my daughter’s wedding two summers ago, they chose to have a picnic beach party there. We drove down onto the beach, opened our trunks, shared wedding feast leftovers, played washer toss, and some people discovered quahogs in the shallow waters. The firm sand made it easier for the guest who uses a wheelchair to fully participate in the festivities.
Rissers Beach is a provincial park with camping on the land side of the highway. It has a tunnel going under the highway to the beach, making the crossing safer. Driving by on a summer’s day, you can experience the family fun, smelling BBQs and campfires from one side, and hearing the shrills of children meeting water on the other. It is a narrow strip of beach and the water gets to a nice temperature as the summer rolls along.
Sperry’s Beach is a bit of a local secret. Access to it is via a beach road, if you can find it, camouflaged as it is with hedges of Japanese Knotweed. It is a sprawling beach at the mouth of the Petite Riviere, and its shallowness makes for fun and safe play in the tidal waters, which flow inland and then pour out later, warmed by the trip upriver. There are tidal pools to play in and the river portion gets deep enough to swim.
Cherry Hill Beach is different again, more like those that seem to get whiter and more tropical looking the farther south you go along the shore. Cherry Hill is vast, extending for kilometres, giving you every possibility of having a very private stretch. Given its shape and location on the shore, you can catch more waves here than at the more sheltered beaches mentioned above.
And, there are more beaches along the south shore than I have listed, waiting to be discovered by you. I am writing this in mid-July, prime time for beach going. But the allure of beaches goes on well into the fall when the warm currents persist, rewarding us with ocean swimming possibilities in September and October.
In a cohousing community like Treehouse Village Ecohousing, I expect that opportunities to go to the beach will arise naturally. Every sunny weekend, I imagine there will be a friend or neighbour who says, “We’re off to the beach, wanna come?”