White sand beaches are cool, and so are pink ones... But have you ever seen a purple sand beach? Canada has a few of them, and they are truly otherwordly sights to behold; resembling something out of a Willy Wonka-type of world.
Surprisingly, the concentration of purple sand beaches exists in Saskatchewan. According to Nature Canada, the purple sand beaches resulted from glacial activity in Saskatchewan's recent geologic history. The purple colour is said to be given off by garnet particles, which were carried south from the Canadian Shield and deposited in lake shores.
Purple sand beaches exist in multiple parts of the province, including (but not limited to) Prince Albert National Park, Candle Lake, Deschambault Lake, Hunter Bay, and Good Spirit Lake. Most of the beaches start off as a mix of purple and brown sediment streaks, which eventually turn more purple as the garnet rises to the top.
Manitoba also has a purple sand beach, at Clearwater Lake Provincial Park along the northern and eastern sides of the lake. The purple colour in this case is produced by high levels of manganese rather than garnet.
Needless to say, the existence of purple sand beaches in Saskatchewan should dispel any inaccurate stereotypes of the prairies as a dull region!