Chockpish — Archie

Chockpish. I keep coming back to the photo of the wooden walkway to the beach at Chockpish. It goes up and over the dune before the breakwater and down to a short path through the grass leading to the beach proper. You can’t see the beach from the wharf side but you can from the platform at the top. 

We love beach access. That’s what we’re about. So many times we‘re disheartened to see signs reading “Private road” or there are obstacles that make it impossible to get to the beach, or you feel like you’re trespassing once you’re there. This walkway says, “Here’s the beach. It’s yours to enjoy.” Mind you, there are no toilet facilities and not many places to hide if the needs arises which means to truly enjoy it you should do your business at home first. But I like what that walkway says.

Who built the walkway? It was probably the Chockpish Harbour Authority which is made up, like all the other 550-some harbour authorities across Canada, of interested local parties like commercial fishermen and business people. All of them volunteers. They probably made the walkway for their own families and anybody else that visits their little corner of Cote Sainte-Anne, about 20 minutes north of Bouctouche.

I always forget about the walkway, though, probably because you can’t see it until you drive through the one lane bridge (if you’re northbound). Turn right off the road and go between the red buildings of the lobster processing plant, to the end of the long storage shed to where the breakwater begins and you’ll find it. There are other paths to the beach, but we always use the walkway. It’s just more fun. A little more magic.

And it’s all there. The wonderful sand, the beach grass, the weathered snow fences, the driftwood, the shells, the diving terns, the cormorants and ducks, as well as the seagull perched on top of the light on the pole at the end of the breakwater, facing into the wind. It would all be cliché if it weren’t so authentic.

I’m sure Parlée Beach by Shediac is authentic too but it’s crowded. When I was young the beach wasn’t the beach unless it was standing-room only and mostly girls. Now, the only girl I want with me is Elaine and finding a beautiful beach we can have to ourselves is better than any trendy hot spot.

Beach at Chockpish with old timber in the sand and grass