Have you ever stumbled upon something in or around your community that you never knew was there and didn’t expect to find?
I never expected to find a black sand beach in the Maritimes. I’ve never seen a black sand beach, except in photos. So, a short time ago when I saw a picture posted on Instagram of Black Beach in Lorneville, just a few kilometers from my home, I knew I had to check it out for myself.
Black sand beaches are rare in this part of the world. They are most commonly found in areas of volcanic activity, such as Iceland, Hawaii and the South Pacific.
Black Beach is located in the community of Lorneville, NB, about 19 km from Saint John. The colour of the sand is derived from graphite deposits. The beach is located along the Musquash Estuary, one of the most biologically productive areas in Atlantic Canada. Over 4,000 acres of the estuary is protected by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC).
Known for its biodiversity, the Musquash Estuary is home to numerous species of birds, fish and terrestrial wildlife. It is the last fully functioning estuary in the Bay of Fundy.
Two hiking trails are located in the area, maintained by the NCC: Black Beach trail and Five Fathom Hole trail. Joel and I hiked the 4.2 km loop of Black Beach trail a couple Saturday’s ago. It’s a lovely hike through the forest with great views of the estuary. We didn’t get to see a lot of wildlife, but it was quite windy when we were there, so we’d like to come back in the summer when the weather improves and we have more time to spend nature-watching. I love the thick moss carpet that lines much of the trail. It provides a splash of colour, even in this brown period between winter and spring.
It was cold on the beach so we weren’t able to stay long but this area is so unique and special, for its black sand as well as its ecological importance. I encourage you to explore the area and discover the beauty you might not have even known was there. Just make sure to leave the area just as you left it.
Here are some photos of our hike:
If you’d like more information about Black Beach and/or the Musquash Estuary, please visit www.natureconversancy.ca.
Do you know of a surprising find in the Maritimes? I’d love to hear about it?