Beaverdam Lake: Canadian Oasis on the South Shore of Nova Scotia
Nestled deep down near the southern tip of Nova Scotia in the Shelburne County region sits a veritable oasis from the humdrum and stress of life. Just off the 103, this paradise seems to have cropped up out of nowhere. Visitors will certainly notice the timeless, almost primordial sensation of getting back to nature. This is a place where frogs, toads, turtles, snakes, fish, birds, squirrels, porcupines, rabbits, beavers, and even deer abound in their natural environment. Despite the constant rustling and buzz of the ubiquitous wildlife and the occasional speedboat on the water, this can be an excellent place to relax and recharge your batteries. There are always plenty of trees to offer shade from the summer sun, and when that isn't enough, you can take a dip in the lake. Because water is constantly flowing in and out of the lake, there are no leeches, who prefer to dwell in stagnant water. You also need not fear lampreys or other nasty creatures. There are, however, plenty of American eels in the depths and garter snakes that sometimes lurk in the shallows, but they are by no means venomous and will always flee at the slightest indication of human activity.
The brown color of the water is not the result of pollution, rather from the tannic acid that flows in from the typically Nova Scotian peat rich bogs that supply the rivers. Although the edge of the lake is made up of white sand, this becomes softer and softer the deeper one goes into the water until the bottom consists of a fine dark brown silt. This will feel very slippery and squishy under your feet.
There is a very stable duck population in the lake and they have grown very tame over the years. They are more than happy to wander about on people's lawns and allow humans to feed them stale bread.
The water deepens very gradually and is therefore very safe for children. However, I recommend warning them not to swim where there are lily pads. This is a major hazard because of how easy it is to get tangled up in them. Also, you will want to be wary of the long wall of boulders just beyond the lily pad forest.
You might enjoy a slow-paced row boat or canoe tour around the lake. There really is a lot to discover on the uninhabited beaches on the other side of the lake. I have been surprised in many a hidden beach, river, and forest pathway in my youth. Just take caution not to run aground on a field of boulders hidden just under the dark tannic depths.
If you are someone who would prefer something a little more fast-paced, perhaps you would enjoy an exciting speedboat circuit around the entire lake. Better yet, why not let yourself be towed at top speed on an inner tube?
I am glad I could share my favorite personal summer resort with you all. If you ever find yourself on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, I can recommend a visit to Beaverdam Lake without the slightest of reservations.
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