Pebble Beach

I’ve collected rocks all my life and this beach was like stumbling upon rock mecca. With a name like Pebble Beach, I hoped it would be good, but I was not prepared for the quality and quantity that I encountered.  It was staggering.

First things first. You drive to a little town in northwest Ontario called Marathon and follow the signs. Locals will recognize that I just made a funny because if you are unfamiliar with the highway you won’t know that Marathon is about 1,000 kilometres away from both Winnipeg and Toronto. And you have to deliberately veer off the trans Can and travel another 5ish kilometres into town. So you have to sort of stumble upon it on purpose after a 10 hour drive.


The beach’s parking lot sits at the top of a cliff overlooking Lake Superior. The crashing waves, open vista, and calling seagulls make it one of the select few places in the province that pulls at my heartstrings and reminds me of the west coast.

But then there’s the rocks. Rocks a-plenty! So many rocks! Rocks rocks rocks. (I have refrained from using an obvious pun here.)

The ‘pebbles’ come in all sizes. Note that I don’t say all shapes and sizes, because they are just about all symmetrically round and perfectly smooth. E was once going to the beach without me (that butthead) and asked what kind of rock I’d like and I jokingly said “square” because it’s impossible to find. There must be a constant amount of wave action there because parts of the beach itself is wavy, with ridges of rocks impeding your progress.


So find a good section of beach, hunker down, and find your pretties. However, be it known that there is a sign at the mouth of the park imploring people not to take any rocks home. This made me feel a little bad as I loaded my modest haul into the van but I somehow found the strength to carry on. I asked a few locals what they thought about collecting and they responded by waving their hands at me in a dismissing manner, scrunching their faces, and muttering something about hogwash. And did I mention the lively rock displays lining the front paths and windowsills of the local homes?

So if you are a rock person and you visit Pebble Beach, make sure your non-rock travel companions have brought something to do because you are going to be busy for a few hours. But beware: Your collecting standards will be significantly upgraded.