Lawrencetown Beach, is one of a handful of south-facing beaches that can be found just 20 minutes East of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. It’s a popular location for families, mountain-bikers (nearby trails), surfers and body-boarders. It also happens to be one of the few beaches within the province that is supervised by the Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service (NSLS).
Lawrencetown isn’t exactly the easiest beach to move around on; all the rocks in the sand are a little hard on the feet. If you’re looking for more sand and less wave, there are other beaches along this stretch that are feet friendly: Martinique Beach and Clam Harbour are two examples (Clam Harbour is where the Nova Scotia Sandcastle Contest happens every year). However, no one can deny Lawrencetown Beach’s value to the surf crowd.
For us it was the ideal location to teach La Niña about the dangers of undertows and riptides. The rips in this particular area are dangerous because of all the offshore storms and tremulous wave activity. The easiest way to show her undertow danger was to let her stand in the water and experience the sand being sucked out from under her feet. Once she understood a little bit of what was happening I threw a feather into the water so she could watch it get pulled out and sucked dramatically under the waves. Rips are a little harder to explain and demonstrate without actually going into the water.
Safety lessons aside, there are a fair number of storms that hit these beaches and during Juan in 2003, Lawrencetown Beach was decimated. It’s taken years for the area to bounce back.