Dunes, the East Point and a Bridge

PEI  107PEI  106Since we visited the northernmost and westernmost points of PEI, we head out to visit the easternmost point of PEI.  You even get a little certificate for having visited both ends – okay we’re suckers for this kind of stuff.  PEI is world famous for its Blue Mussels and mussel operations dot the coast.

PEI  112PEI  108PEI  110PEI  109We start on the northern part of the Points East Coastal Drive.  Our first significant stop is in Greenwich.  The Greenwich peninsula separates the Gulf of St. Lawrence from St. Peter’s Bay.

The Interpretation Centre has information about the wildlife and the parabolic shifting sand dunes, one of the most unique ecosystems found anywhere in the world.   Then we head out for the short hike – under 3 miles – over to the Parabolic Dunes.

It’s a pleasant enough hike and then you reach the boardwalk, which goes over beautiful Bowley Pond, bordered by the parabolic dunes – stunning.   The dunes also contain a number of Aboriginal, French and Acadian archeological sites.  And they are now protected as part of Prince Edward Island National Park.

The wetlands area, Bowley Pond, is full of plant life.  Beautiful grasses and cattails stir in the wind, and, with the backdrop of the dunes it’s breathtaking.

PEI  120PEI  114PEI  115PEI  113PEI  124PEI  118PEI  116PEI  117PEI  119As if that isn’t enough, the boardwalk then leads to a white sand beach, and one of the most spectacular beaches we’ve seen.  It’s also practically deserted, since the only way to get there is by the trail or a VERY long walk from the end of the beach that is accessible by car.   The water is clear and almost Island Girl temperature – but the search continues 🙂

PEI  121PEI  127PEI  132Back in the car we head towards East Point and stop in at the lighthouse.  The East Point Lighthouse is an active lighthouse, located where the St. Lawrence and Northumberland Straits meet.  It was built in 1867 about a half a mile away.

In 1882, a British ship was wrecked off the point partially due to the position of the light, so in 1885, the lighthouse was moved within 200 feet of the point.  Then, due to erosion the lighthouse was moved again in 1908.PEI  128

PEI  129The lighthouse, where we received our “Tip to Tip” certificate, is open to the public.  There are three floors on the way to the top, with each housing some artifacts, including some Fresnel lenses.  On the first floor, they uncovered signatures of some famous early settlers while stripping some paint. PEI  131

The second floor has an old Marconi radio that Hector was pretty excited about.  And the third has some artifacts related to the lightkeepers’ lives.

Then you climb a ladder to the top with a beautiful view of the water.  You can definitely see how the ocean could get very angry around here.PEI  133PEI  126PEI  130PEI  134

PEI  136PEI  135

PEI  142PEI  141Next, we head to Souris Beach, which we heard was a sea glass beach, to go beachcombing.  I’m a little disappointed, as there is not too much sea glass, and the pieces are pretty small, but we find a couple of nice ones.  Sea glass hunting may never be the same after Inverness Beach in Cape Breton Island.

PEI  143Alas, it’s time to head home, and we’re not even halfway around the coast.   There are just too many fun things to do along the way.PEI  145

Sadly, it’s time to leave Prince Edward Island for our next destination.

PEI  209PEI  205We’re off to Kouchibouguac National Park in New Brunswick.  This time, instead of the ferry, we cross the confederation bridge, which conveniently connects Prince Edward Island to New Brunswick.PEI  146

Can I drive Dad?

Can I drive Dad?

PEI  147

PEI  204 PEI  150PEI  151The bridge was completed in 1997 after four years of construction.  Eight miles long, it is the longest bridge crossing ice-covered waters (not ice covered now, thankfully), and one of Canada’s top engineering achievements of the 20th century.

It was a bit windy that morning, and I was concerned about the crossing, but we heard that they will not allow us on it if they consider it too windy.

But weather is ok when we arrive, and it’s smooth sailing across.  And we also save money, as taking the bridge to leave the island cost $59 compared to the ferry, which would have cost $109.  Not bad.

I heard that Panmure Island, on the southern side of the East Coast drive has the warmest water on the island.  Darn, we didn’t make it that far.  Oh, well, I guess we’ll just have to return.

~ BrendaPEI  214

7 thoughts on “Dunes, the East Point and a Bridge

  1. Beautiful! Love the hiking, trudging and walking part! Maybe a little jog before or after?! Looking forward to joining you sometime soon. Great area, sorry we did not see it personally!!!

    • Welcome! PEI is lovely. And there’s been many places that we’ve had practically to ourselves here in Canada, we’ve really not seen any crowds. Just love it! You have a great blog, and have visited such great places, I plan to keep up on it to get my international fix :).
      Happy trails,
      Brenda

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