Hollywood doesn’t just exist in California. There is also a Hollywood Beach in Manitoba. A historical marker on the beach says the beach was created as a public space in order to celebrate the Canadian Centennial in 1967. No one seems to know how it got its name although “there was a movie made there once” and “when they named the beach it had a downed holly tree on it” are the two most popular explanations I have heard.
Hollywood Beach is near Langruth Manitoba and has something to do with the now ghost town of Lakeview. It is about three kilometres long and one of the nicest of the Lake Manitoba beaches as far as quality of sand goes. We have been here many times. There used to be a long narrow sand bar that trapped the water on the beach so it would get smelly and greenish and the beach would be very unpleasant in hot weather. That’s why we haven’t been there in several years. We were delighted to arrive and find the past floods and very high water seems to have cleaned the beach out and restored it. The choking sandbar is gone and the beach is clean and lovely.
Technically the beach is a campground. There are no services, no gate, no fees, and no amenities of any kind except for fire pits, ‘recycle everywhere’ bins and someone regularly mows the grass. It would be a really lovely spot to boondock for free if one had a self-contained trailer that could manage without hookups. We have never camped here ourselves. That may change now that we have seen how nature restored the beach. There are also no “No Dogs Allowed” signs. Misty loved the beach. She will be five months old tomorrow and she has grown so much.
Manitoba is in full fall gold and yellow display and the lovely colours included the beach. We enjoyed the 53 kilometre drive to the beach due to the fine fall colours. The beach was littered with gold leaves.
The beach is on a narrow spit of land with a marsh on other side of the road into the beach area. We have canoed in the huge marsh behind Hollywood beach. During our visit today we saw innumerable arctic terns, curlews, gulls, ravens and even a small flock of tundra swans on their migration south. There was one large blue heron, a straggler, as most have long since migrated. In the past, during summer, we have seen huge flocks of red wing black birds and yellow headed blackbirds among many other marsh birds, as well as white pelicans. Those have apparently already headed south. Beyond the marsh is a lot of pastureland and this makes a trip to Hollywood Beach a bird watcher’s delight.
We enjoyed the fine details of the beach as well, including a spot absolutely full of tiny snail shells, both rams horn and pond snails. I don’t know why so many empty shells covered the area at the end of the beach. We also found evidence of the flood’s work on tree roots still in the sand. This demonstrated again that the terrible floods of the last decade have ended up doing some good. These floods, difficult as they are for humans, seem to be part of the cycle of the lake itself.
There was a family having a picnic when we arrived. They had made a fire and the little ones were having fun. Otherwise we had the beach to ourselves. It had been warm and sunny when we left Alonsa and we had planned on trying to get one more canoe trip in. The wind had picked up and it got cloudy and cool as we arrived. The water was bitterly cold. We decided to skip a freezing cold canoe ride and just enjoy a long walk on the beach instead.
I think it would be especially lovey to do an overnight trip in summer with our trailer. With absolutely no amenities or nearby towns, the night sky over the lake would be perfect for stargazing or watching the aurora. The start of the roadway into the beach and the campground spots are big enough for even a big rig. The further on ones goes, the more the road deteriorates and the smaller the “campsites” which are really just big mowed areas with a fire pit.
After a nice walk down the length of beach we had our own nature call in this lovely but no facilities place and headed home. We really enjoyed the visit and we will be back. Hollywood Beach in Manitoba is a very special place.