Rissers Beach Provincial Park, located along the South Shore Region of Nova Scotia, Canada, is the place to visit if you crave camping and a day at the beach, but you can’t choose between either destination.
Rissers Beach Provincial Park is one of Nova Scotia’s gems because the forested inland landscape combined with the rolling shoreline dunes helps to create a unique and beautiful habitat for the region’s different animal species. Within the two distinct settings lies a marshy wetland that supports white clams, blue mussels, pink crabs, colorful insects, and a variety of plant life. Birds like warblers, sparrows, and meadowlarks also live here, and their songs can be heard rolling across the dune grasses. The simple beauty of Nova Scotia’s shoreline is what keeps guests coming back time and again.
Rissers Beach Provincial Park is open seasonally. The average highs in the summer are cool, approximately 67 °F (19 °C) for the high and 53 °F (11 °C) degrees for the average low. With 15 hours and 32 minutes of sunlight on the longest day of the year, the summer days beckon campers to stay outside and enjoy the extra daylight. If you don’t mind a little rain, you will find the weather perfect. RVers and campers who want to hear the ocean waves and the sounds of the marsh animals should sleep with their windows down because the chilly temperatures and the natural noises will lull any camper to sleep.
Rissers Beach Provincial Park, located in Petite Rivière Bridge in Nova Scotia, is 87 miles (140 km) south of the Halifax Stanfield International Airport.
When you arrive at the park, go directly to your campsite. Campers are permitted to set up their campsite early if the previous occupants have vacated the premises. If you plan to arrive after hours, please call the park ahead of time to get a gate passcode, or use the yellow phone at the kiosk to call an attendant.
In Nova Scotia, a camping permit includes the admission of one vehicle. Campers bringing more than one vehicle must pay for an extra permit. Day use guests must pay for a daily camping permit upon entry.
The North Rissers Campground is a pet-friendly, seasonally operating campground that has both serviced and unserviced sites available for reservation. The serviced sites have 20 and 30 amp electrical hookups, water, a fire pit, and a picnic table. The unserviced sites have just a fire pit and a picnic table, but all campers, regardless of the site they reserve have access to a comfort station, trash and recycle bins, drinking water, vault toilets, and a dishwashing station. The campground offers different size spaces, with some driveways accommodating RVs and trailers over 40 feet long. There is a dump station on site for registered campers. All campers must observe quiet hours between the hours of 10:30 pm to sunrise. Generators are only permitted between 9:00 am and 8:00 pm unless medical circumstances require use outside of generator hours. Guests who require electricity for medical purposes must speak to a member of the park staff for generator-related questions.
The Little Rissers Campground is a two-looped, pet-friendly, seasonally operating campground that has unserviced sites available for reservation. Many of the sites in the Little Rissers Campground are beachfront, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The campground has sites accommodating many different sizes of RVs and trailers, with some sites permitting rigs over 40 feet in length, and regardless of site size, all spaces have a fire pit and a picnic table. The Little Rissers Campground provides guests with trash and recycle bins, pit toilets, drinking water, and use of the park’s dump station. All campers must observe quiet hours between the hours of 10:30 pm to sunrise. Generators are only permitted between 9:00 am and 8:00 pm unless medical circumstances require use outside of generator hours. Guests who require electricity for medical purposes must speak to a member of the park staff for generator-related questions.
During the summer months, the community around Rissers Beach holds special events and festivals that bring people in from all over the province. From farmer’s markets to guided tours, Nova Scotia’s South Shore Region plans events and activities for people of all ages and interests. If you arrange your visit during one of the area’s community fairs or festivals, you won’t want to miss out on the fun, food, arts, crafts, and excitement. For information on what’s happening during your trip, ask a member of the park staff.
When you visit Rissers Beach, playing on the beach is a must. Bring your whole family to the shoreline and sit in the soft sand, and when you feel like cooling off, take a dip in the Atlantic Ocean. The park has lifeguards on duty during peak operations and the day use area, located next to the beach, has restrooms, a changing facility, and showers. When you get hungry, bring your packed lunch to the picnic tables to eat, or head to the canteen for a snack. Don’t forget your beach gear and your sunscreen! The beach is so beautiful; you will want to stay outside in the sun all day!
The day use area at Rissers Beach rests at the heart of the park. The park’s main attractions, the beach, and the hiking trails connect to the day use area, making it easy to get to the parts of the park that most people want to see. The park office, canteen, parking lot, picnic tables, restrooms, and changing area are all in the same vicinity, so you can start your day with one activity and end your day with another.
Hikers who like to spend time adventuring in different landscapes have two areas to walk and explore within the park. All of the trails offer outdoor enthusiasts easy-day hikes, so guests who stay more than one day can try out all of the trails. One of the trails starts at the campground and moves through the park’s forested landscape, while the other trail begins at the day use area and runs along the flat, soft, and sandy beach. When you arrive and set up your camp, ask a member of the park staff for a detailed park map so that you can plan out your hikes accordingly.
If you enjoy fishing, bring your fishing gear and fish on the Petite Rivière or any of the nearby waterways. If you don’t have fishing gear or your prefer chartered fishing trips, there are many charters near the park that take anglers fishing on the different waterways in the South Shore Region. The Petite Rivière is famous for being one of the only two rivers in the world where the endangered Atlantic whitefish still lives. Anglers who see the endangered fish should report its sighting to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. If you catch an Atlantic whitefish, release it immediately. Anglers ages 16 and older must hold a valid sport fishing license in Nova Scotia. Fishing regulations and rules vary by fish and by area, so its best to consult the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture before planning your fishing excursion.
While visiting Rissers Beach Provincial Park, take the time to visit the Lunenburg, a town known for its off-shore fishing and rich history in the fishing industry. Lunenburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Historic Site of Canada. Its brightly-colored architecture, and the ship-lined waterfront is a reflection of the town’s British colonization, and the town still aims to keep the look of its past. While in Lunenburg, walk the narrow streets, visit the local distillery, and visit the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic. The town is less than an hour’s drive from Rissers Beach.