I can think of no better way to spend a sunny Canada Day than on a beach in Cape Breton. Canada Day is also a great starting point to my summer “Beach Bum Adventures”. This summer I will be traveling around the island and checking out some of our amazing beaches and writing about them. I put a request out to folks on Facebook and by email asking them to tell me the beach that is their favourite and the reason for their love. I have taken all the beach names, put them in a hat and am randomly picking one or two each weekend to write about. Some are bustling beaches. Some are secluded and hardly populated at all. Each one is a gem in its own right and has something amazing to offer on a hot summer day or even when it isn’t sunny and warm.
My wife and I were married on Canada Day, six years ago. We decided to head to Morien Sandbar on this balmy anniversary. We have a 15 month old daughter and she loves Morien Sandbar. It was the first beach she ever visited. When she was less than a month old, we took her there. It was too cold to really do anything on that day but since then, we’ve returned numerous times. Bailey, our daughter, loves the beach for numerous reasons. It is the perfect beach for families with small children. The water is extremely shallow. You can walk quite a ways before it gets up even over your ankles. This makes it perfect bathing depth for little ones. And Bailey took full advantage of this fact. She is a little fish. As soon as her feet touched the water, she jumped in! She splashed in the water for quite a while before deciding she was cold and needed a change of clothes and a new adventure.
The beach becomes bigger at low tide as the water retreats and sand appears making it perfect for beach-combing adventures at low tide. There are lots of shells and rocks to be combed through and you can even see live moon snails crawling along their slimy trails. We call Bailey “Rock Baby” because she loves to pick up rocks and hold them in her hands. She spent a good hour walking the beach, exchanging one rock for another, giving rocks to Daddy and Mommy and moaning delightedly over her favourites.
Morien Sandbar has a beautiful wetland behind the shining green beach grasses. In the wetland, you can see all sorts of bird life – great blue herons, terns, sandpipers, crows and numerous other seabirds. The beach is the ideal place to saunter slowly and check things out. It has all the benefits of a beach like Mira Gut, but far fewer people. So, if you’re looking for a great family beach with lots of opportunity for adventure and lots of room, check out Port Morien Sandbar at the end of beautiful Morien Bay.
The Sandbar is an easy beach to find. If you’re coming from Mira Gut, you’ll see it on the right just before you enter the village of Port Morien. If you’re coming from Glace Bay, it’ll be on your left as you exit the village. There are no lifeguards at the beach but, as stated, the water is really shallow. There is a break in the sandbar about three quarters of a kilometre down the beach where the water is deep with a strong current so be careful at that end. After your adventure, be sure to check out Dock Yur Dory, a great little restaurant in Port Morien that serves great seafood and has a fabulous view of the bay.
Until next time, I’m off on another Beach Bum Adventure!