There’s still time to squeeze in some late summer beach walks.
The Annapolis Valley offers a variety of beaches ranging from rocky to sandy to muddy, depending on the tides and location.
We recently went for a gorgeous walk at Avonport Beach, a hidden gem boasting spectacular views of Blomidon and the Minas Basin.
Families were scattered, enjoying picnics on folding chairs or venturing across the wet sand to dip their feet in the ocean as the outgoing tide took the shoreline farther and farther away.
We found crabs and even a small squid in the sand. Our dogs enjoyed the smells of the sand and sea (and the occasional picnic). Don’t expect your dogs to come home clean!
After a pleasant beach walk, we plopped down onto one of the rocks to rest and enjoyed the sights and sounds of children laughing, the waves lapping up against the shore and the majestic views beyond.
The next day, we headed over to the well-known Evangeline Beach in Grand Pre. There were more tourists at this beach who mostly enjoyed the views from up above, as the tide was just going out and there was only a narrow strip of sand for walking.
After rounding a few bends, we were rewarded by a seal sighting quite close by in the water. I thought it was a dolphin’s tail at first, but this seal kept popping his head up, leaving no doubt.
The shorebirds were very active at Evangeline Beach, flying in unison to create a beautiful show for onlookers. The sandpipers and plovers are preparing for their long migration to South America, so respect them and observe from a distance to keep them safe, using binoculars or a telephoto lens for photos.
Teach your children about the shorebirds so they will respect their needs and keep your dogs on leashes.
You will likely see shorebirds well into the month of September, especially before and after high tide.
If you like the sandy beaches, try Kingsport Beach (where you can also buy ice cream at the canteen as a bonus), Medford Beach or Houston Beach near Blomidon Provincial Park.
For rockier beaches, it’s hard to beat Hall’s Harbour for its picturesque vistas, lobster pound and rocky cliffs.
Farther down the Valley, Harbourville also offers a stunning rocky shoreline and village. And don’t forget Scots Bay, another spectacular beach with smooth round rocks, en route to the Cape Split hike starting point.
Blue Beach in Avonport is one of our favourites. It’s a short trail from the parking lot to the beach and you won’t be disappointed.
You can also take the kids to the popular Blue Beach Fossil Museum while you’re there; it’s a world-class fossil site with a large collection of fossil bones and tracks.
The kids are back to school, the temperatures are dropping and the winds are starting to blow. We all know what this means!
Take your family and get out there while summer is still officially here. Bring a picnic, sand pails and shovels and prepare to get your feet muddy.