Having been away all summer, we had only just recently heard of the Accidental Beach so when we got an invite from some good friends to go, we had to check it out! We are after all on summer holidays for a few more days and we are determined to do as many “summery” activities as possible!
What is it?!
The Accidental Beach is exactly what it’s name suggests! With the construction of a new LRT bridge, crews put in temporary rock berms which changed the currents on the North Saskatchewan River creating the buildup of sand along the shore!
A happy accident?
I was a bit skeptical at first for sure, not a sight we are used to seeing downtown Edmonton… but we had such a great time!! I did not actually swim but the kids did and they said the water was nice. They are strong swimmers but don’t have any experience swimming in a river so I made sure they stayed close although just a heads up, it does get quite deep very quickly. And of course it is a river so it does have it’s own set of dangers with the currents and such so no matter what the age or swimming ability, it’s very important to be careful at all times!
That being said, I was quite impressed at just HOW much beach there actually was!! It stretches on for quite a ways and is nice and wide so there is plenty of room to lounge, play frisbee, build sand castles, etc.
And the views! By far my favourite part. On one end you have an amazing view of downtown and on the other nothing but trees, it is gorgeous!
As with all great secrets, they do eventually get out! Which is lucky for us, it’s actually quite easy to find, you can even now search it on Google Maps! If you are driving down 98th Avenue, past the traffic circle towards the Muttart Conservatory, you immediately spot it on your right. Such a cool and unexpected sight the first time!! We parked just off of 98th Avenue in the residential area, but were very careful to respect the residents and any parking signs. This area is not meant to accommodate the amount of people that it is attracting so it’s very important to be respectful. Carpooling is a great idea if possible! Once you’ve parked you cross into the green space on the other side of 98th Ave, cross the paved bike path, and into the trees where there is another, more rugged, mountain bike path. Follow this until you see an opening allowing you to access the beach!
What to bring
Anything you would bring to any other beach! Towels, sand toys, sunscreen, life jackets, snacks. Strollers and wagons will have a difficult time with the path in the trees as well as actually getting down onto the sand so if possible bring only what you can carry. And most definitely make sure you have a bag for any garbage. There are no facilities here so what you pack in, be sure to pack out!
All in all, this is a beautiful spot to be enjoyed respectfully and would love to see it stay. But nobody seems to be too sure of it’s future so just in case, be sure to go soon because it truly is something to experience at least once!