Constructing a Beach


Old 07-06-11, 10:06 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 1
Constructing a Beach

This is my first post.

I have a cottage property in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada. I have a permit to landscape 80 feet of shoreline and would like to build a small beach of about 20 feet which would include beach sand on the shoreline and into the water.

The shoreline has a natural grade down to the water but the floor of the lake is quite muddy. Does anyone have any tips for how to construct a beach in this area? e.g. lay down a layer of 'shade cloth' to keep sand from sinking? should I put in a layer of stone before dumping in the beach sand? Perhaps someone knows about some other resources (books, magazines, websites) where I can get some more information about shoreline landscaping without having to hire a consultant.

Thanks in advance,
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Old 07-06-11, 11:01 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 18,606
Maintaining a beach is going to be a long term commitment since a sand beach is not a natural thing for a small lake so you will be fighting mother nature to some extent and unfortunately, she never sleeps. Waves and natural silting action will constantly be working against you and using the beach will push the sand downhill with each step you take.

You could start by building the beach of pea gravel. The pea gravel will be easy on feet and will stay in place better than sand. Slowly it will sink into the muck and eventually should firm up but depending on the silt and it's depth it may seem like a bottomless pit as gravel magically disappears into the mud. Once the gravel has firmed up the sediment somewhat you can try adding sand on top. If you have permission you can use a pump and try to wash off accumulated mud & silt once a year.

I have never seen sheeting work very well. It provides a smooth surface for the sand to slide downhill. If the sand layer on top is relatively thin walking on the beach can be an odd feeling as you shove the sheeting down into the muck.

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