Favourite Nude Places: Patricia Beach, Manitoba

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Canada has 9.98 million square kilometres of land and only 35 million people. There are bound to be a lot of nice, remote, natural places where nude is just the best way to be.

Panorama of the view north across Lake Winnipeg from Patricia Beach

Patricia Beach, Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba. One of our favourite places to hang out – too bad it’s 2300 km away!

One we discovered a few years ago is Patricia Beach on the south shore of Lake Winnipeg. It’s not a formal government-sanctioned nude beach (there are only two of those in the country) but, by long-standing tradition and the tacit approval of the local authorities, proper beach attire (i.e. nudity) is very much OK here.

Patricia Beach attracts a mixed-gender, mixed-age crowd, although (like most naturist sites) it was, at the time of our visit, predominantly a middle-aged demographic. It seems to be a fairly quiet, relaxed place with no stereos, no vendors, and no crowds. If you’ve never tried a nude beach before, and are perhaps struggling with hang-ups or worries about it, this is the perfect place to wash all those worries away. Manitobans are, almost without fail, a universally pleasant culture – even more so when nude. We felt right at home here within minutes, and had a very hard time bringing ourselves to get dressed and leave when dinnertime rolled around.

The place was teeming with wildlife. Frogs, tadpoles, fish, minnows – this waterfront is ALIVE, and vibrantly so. Call it a “naturist naturalist’s dream” and you wouldn’t be far off the mark.

Canada could do a lot worse than to treat Patricia Beach as the model for how a public beach should be run.

We’d be very curious to hear from folks who have been there more recently. It’s been three years since our last visit; the 2300 km drive from Kingston is a wee bit too long for a weekend jaunt.

Directions

Point your map at Patricia Beach Provincial Park, Manitoba. Prov. Rd. 319 (a gravel road off MB-59, just south of Stead Rd) ends at a parking lot in the provincial park. The beaches near the lot are textile and crowded. You want to head east (right) along either the service lane or the beach. At the end of the service lane, or after the driftwood piles, stuff your clothes in your bag and keep on going. East of here – including the beach, the channel, and Beaconia on the other side – nudity is the norm.

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Why Clothing-Optional?

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“Why is the group clothing-optional?”

The simple answer:

Freedom.

The detailed answer:

It’s easier, really, to add up the reasons why we might wear clothing, and then see what’s left if none of them apply.

Pretty much every garment has a purpose that is some combination of:

  1. To provide protection from the elements, harsh conditions, or hazards.
  2. To indicate rank or status.
  3. To shape other people’s impressions of the wearer.
  4. To comply with cultural norms and rules laid down by other people.

To expand on those categories, we can consider some familiar examples:

  1. Protective clothes include winter coats, bug- and brush-resistant jeans, mechanic’s coveralls, welders’ smocks, and sailors’ foul-weather gear.
  2. Military uniforms, business suits and red-carpet dresses are primarily about showing off one’s high status, rank, wealth or power.
  3. Bikinis and lingerie are designed to draw the eye to specific areas in a sexually appealing way; billowing pastel-and-lace long-sleeve dresses are designed to symbolize traditional religious purity; biker leather is designed to make the wearer instantly identifiable as part of a specific subculture.
  4. Most of our day-to-day attire is chosen, in large part, according to what other people like us seem to be wearing. Swimsuits, which serve no practical purpose outside of elite competition, are a classic example.

How does that apply to us?

We don’t have or want rank or status here. However those things might affect you in day-to-day life, they’re irrelevant to us.

We do have equality here; garments that specifically try to emphasize or repress sexuality or to put the wearer in a specific category tend to work contrary to that goal, and it’s much easier to be truly honest and open with someone when there’s nothing to hide.

And we’ve found that real freedom is pretty hard to experience when other people are judging your inherent worth as a human based on the fabrics that happen to be covering you at the time.

That leaves only protection – a logical, practical category that we Canadians, with our long cold winter and bug-ridden spring, can’t ignore.

So we try to be nude when it’s possible, we bundle up with fabrics when it’s practical, and the choice of what (if anything) to wear is up to each individual.