|At the far end of the boardwalk, you clamber up a steep, grassy dune
and catch your first glimpse of the Gulf of St. Lawrence
Where We Be
|This scenery is typical of what you'll see in the park, which hugs PEI's
north shore. The park is quite narrow but stretches for about 60 km (37 mi).
|If you like broad stretches of endless beach to explore, then the
middle section of the park, known as Brackley-Dalvay, is for you
|The view in the other direction. I imagine it's much busier in summertime.
|I like the soft hues of the grasses covering the dunes
|Parts of the park make you feel like you've reached land's end
|Before you get to the boardwalk or the dunes, you walk through a pretty woodland first
|Eventually you reach the floating boardwalk and make your way across Bowley Pond
|The views as you cross the pond are quietly pretty
|This dramatic overlook can be the endpoint of your explorations...or the beginning
|The curving boardwalk makes for a delightful image in its own right
|At another stop in Greenwich Dunes you can climb a watchtower for a fine view looking out
towards the ocean. At the bottom of the photo you can see our shadows atop the watchtower.
|This clearly demonstrates just how strong the winds were!
PEI National Park is divided into three distinct
sections. The section furthest to the west is in
Cavendish near Green Gables. At the main
overlook here, you crest a grassy dune for fine
views of a red-rock crescent beach. A spit of
land continues west from here, offering even
more remote stretches of beach to explore.
The middle section of the park is known as
Brackley-Dalvay for the two towns at either
end. We're talking seriously long stretches of
sandy beach here; it's primarily a destination
for beachgoers in the summer months.
The third park section is the smallest and most
remote but also the prettiest. Greenwich Dunes
is located on the far side of St. Peters Bay. A
half hour's walk brings you to the famous
floating boardwalk, which sits atop a reed-filled
pond. You can feel the buoyed boardwalk
move as you take each step. It curves prettily
through Bowley Pond and eventually brings
you to (you guessed it) a grassy dune area.
From atop the parabolic dunes you get a terrific
view of the curving boardwalk in one direction
and a dramatic white-sand beach in the other.
The 4.5 km (3 mi) round-trip walk was our best
experience of the day: we'd say it's a must-do.
|To get on or off PEI, you'll either have to take the ferry or cross the Confederation Bridge. This bridge is the longest over ice-covered
waters in the world -- some 13 km (8 mi) in length as it crosses the Northumberland Strait. Here we're looking from New Brunswick
back at PEI. It costs a steep 42.50 CAD to cross. You pay on the way out -- and yes, even residents have to pay on their way off PEI.
|To get to most of the beaches you have to crest a grassy dune first.
It's somewhat reminiscent of Cape Hatteras in North Carolina.
|Red is the predominant color here. PEI was formed long ago from soft red sedimentary sandstone.
|This is the windswept view from the westernmost section of PEI National Park near Cavendish
|We're not the only ones who appreciate these protected parklands
|Fine white sand blows everywhere here; it covers the
grasses but can't stop this little tree from showing its colors