Best sand beach for beach walks — Martinique

martinique_6208. provincial park, Nova Scotia

What an excellent day at the beach.  Imagine – the last weekend in September and the weather on the eastern shore was sunny and warm – also really windy, so I was glad I’d brought my fleece.  Lots of people had the same good idea 🙂 – almost all of the parking spots were full.  Across the boardwalk and below the dunes we ate our sandwiches (my partner makes the best!) as the tide fell and then we set off for our walk.

Martinique is one of the best sand beaches in Nova Scotia for a beach walk.  Today we watched the shore birds running and fluttering in and out of the waves – always just a few feet ahead.

Far up the beach were piles of seaweed – all kinds.  We found some of the green invasive, Codium  fragile.  It looks like a finger sponge, but it’s not.

Codium fragile

DFO’s website suggests reporting this species (at least the French website does – not the English!), but really there is an awful lot of this around, probably not worth reporting anymore.

Imagine you are looking through binoculars to see the sweep of the beach.

panorama_6216 Stitch-cv1

Check other posts about Martinique Beach.


reflection – contemplation

Dollar Lake provincial park

Dollar Lake – quiet and contemplative today.

With all the snow this winter there has been fabulous skiing around Halifax.  Dollar Lake provincial park has excellent skiing although after the rain yesterday trails are icy now!. We walked to the lake from the outside gate.  Its about 45 minutes along an open road (completely snow/ice covered!).  We met a family with young kids having a snack under some pines, but once at the lake we were all alone and spent some quiet time enjoying the frozen lake. Dollar Lake provincial park NS

Dollar Lake provincial park, Nova Scotia

The road to Dollar Lake is a bit tricky – so, coming from highway 102 take exit 5A, turn onto Aerotech Dr., then left onto Pratt and Whitney Dr. and then right onto the Old Guysborough Rd. and what looks like a regular Nova Scotian secondary road, highway 212. It is all highway 212, but not signed that way.

The Martock Nordic Ski Club maintains the cross country ski trails at Dollar Lake Provincial Park.




Tiny jellyfish at Martinique Beach

Martinique Beach

A sea gooseberry is not a jellyfish – title above not withstanding! But they really do look like jellyfish.

sea gooseberry at Martinique Beach provincial park. Nova Scotia. Jan 2014

beach find

Recently we were walking at the beach and there were these amazing little beasties, the size of dimes to quarters, that looked like droplets of water on the sand.  They were scattered across the sand in strung out lines revealing where waves had washed and retreated. A short internet search turned up this excellent video of these sea gooseberries.

There are always neat things to see at the beach and Martinique Beach provincial park and it is such a great walking beach  – highly recommended.

Crystal Crescent Beach’s fall colours

Crystal Crescent BeachA beautiful fall weekend and beautiful fall colours in shades of orange and brown accented by a blue ocean and green spruce.  Crystal Crescent Beach is one of my favorites (and for many Haligonians too!). We didn’t make it out to the point, since we started late in the day and stopped frequently to admire the view, and snap pictures.  The sun was brilliant on the ferns and the fields were painted in sweeps of golden browns and orange browns.

Check out this post for more info on the trail itself and this one for more.

Crystal Crescent, fall colours, Sept, 2013.crystal crescent beach - fall colours

Martinique Beach & Clams

clam - quahog April 2013Flying straight toward us a gull dropped a clam on the beach from about 10-15 metres in the air today at Martinique Beach Provincial Park.  That clam didn’t break, but all along our walk we found clams – whole ones, broken ones and wet gull tracks.  These clams were over 10 cm wide – really big and I’ve never seen so many of these large clams on one beach on one day.  Some people call these clams quahogs.

clam or quahog - Nova Scotia. April 2013There was excellent walking on this beautiful flat sand beach – all 10 kms, 5 km east and 5 km west to return. Martinique Beach is about an hour east of Halifax – map.

Thomas Raddall – provincial park

provincial park - Thomas RaddalNova Scotia has a great collection of provincial parks and I’ve heard great things about Thomas Raddall.  I’ve wanted to go for ages and so was thrilled to finally get there this week.   Of course the gate was closed, so we walked three kilometers on squishy gravel road to get to the first “parking area” and trails.  We had taken our snow shoes, anticipating snow, but the road in was clear so we left them in the car. That did mean though that we had to more or less stick to easy walking as we explored.

We walked to the beach, a marvelous beach.  We took the Sandy Beach Trail, a short loop trail, from the beach back to the “parking” area. There are lots of other trails and we will definitely be back in the summer.

Thomas Raddall provincial parkThomas Raddall provincial park is just over two hours southwest from Halifax, along the south shore. The provincial website has an online map which is good for orientation, but the map in the brochure (available as a pdf file) is better.

Notes:   1) Because I really wanted to show the effect of the stream coming to the shore the beach picture is stitched – sorry for the difference in lighting.  This picture looks toward the area (Sandy Bay) now protected by the Nature Conservancy of Canada.    2) Thomas H. Raddall was one of Canada’s and Nova Scotia’s foremost authors and historians.

laminaria in winter

Crystal Crescent Beach, Nova Scotia

Crystal Crescent Beach is such a lovely and typical Nova Scotia Beach I am always happy to visit.  A popular beach – even in winter when we went a few days ago on a brilliant sunny day, there were a few other people on the beach and trail.

Crystal Crescent Beach, Nova ScotiaWinter storms typically cast seaweed up on the shore in squishy, drifts.  Waves must have washed sand over seaweed strewn on the beach since the laminaria (and other seaweed) were poking up through the sand – something not usually seen in summer!

labrador tea-cv1

The trail winds through some typical boggy/spruce woods.  Tight flower buds topped Labrador tea plants.  We will try and return in the spring to see them in bloom.  (And double check that they are labrador tea and not some other ericaceous plant.)

Crystal Crescent Beach provincial park is a great place in winter or in summer.  This previous post links to maps and other info.