Lawrencetown’s Best Kept Secret
But there's another beach in Lawrencetown that isn't as well known. As everyone speeds toward the Lawrencetown Beach on a hot Sunday afternoon, they pass right by another even more beautiful and larger beach - Conrad's Beach. I hesitate to provide precise directions to this wonderful little secret. So I'll just coyly say if you are intent on finding Conrad's, success will be in your grasp if you pay attention to the signs.
Conrad's Beach is part of the Nova Scotia Coastal Heritage Park System and therefore boasts boardwalks from the very small parking lot to the water. The boardwalk's purpose is twofold - several years ago before the boardwalks were constructed one had to traverse through very sandy pathways amongst the dunes - makes for difficult walking. But there's another more important reason for the boardwalks - the piping plover.
Piping plovers are small tan-coloured birds that scurry along the shorelines of Conrad's Beach which is a protected breeding ground for the endangered birds. Called The Piping Pover Guardian Program, signs are posted at various locations along the marshes and beach areas in an effort to protect the chicks as they hatch and grow. If you're lucky enough to find Conrad's Beach, be on the lookout for these signs:
PIPING PLOVER BREEDING AREA
DO NOT DISTURB!!!!!
Volunteers also patrol the protected areas of the beach during the breeding period and are only too happy to explain the program to the curious. But now, onto the beach itself.
Conrad's Beach at low tide is a huge expanse comprised of wonderful fine sand both loose and packed nearer the waterline, almost as far as the eye can see in either direction. I personally believe that Conrad's outshines the Lawrencetown Beach by miles. The water here is less active wave-wise than Lawrencetown but most of the time just as cold. Every once in awhile though the water at Conrad's has been described as lukewarm. I've been lucky enough only a few times to experience that deliciously warm water. The beach is hardly ever packed with people. There are no lifeguards and no facilities. There are however trash cans and everyone is strongly encouraged to use them. Swimming and sunbathing are only two activities one can enjoy on this beach- strolling from one end to the other is rich in the sights of funny piping plovers as they follow the water line going in and out, scurrying up and down foraging for tiny worms and crustaceans. Always present are the seagulls, either standing still at the water's edge or flying over the surf as they too search for their next meal. The sights and sounds and smell of the ocean is something I never take for granted and Conrad's is always just down the road if I suddenly need an ocean fix.
If one is feeling extra energetic, a trek out to the remnants of an old wharf situated on a point to the left of the beach is invigorating, but beware of the tides! That particular spit of land disappears during high tide. If you happen upon Conrad's Beach someday as you are taking a drive outside the city in search of the cooler air, enjoy. But can I ask one small favour? Don't tell anyone how to find it...let them discover it themselves. That way maybe Conrad's Beach will remain a best kept secret for a very long time.
Photo and article compliments of D.L. McCracken, www.halifaxlive.com