Prince Edward Island National Park

Travel Guide North America Canada Prince Edward Island Prince Edward Island National Park

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Introduction

Prince Edward Island National Park, a 22 kmĀ² oceanfront park established in 1937, faces onto the Gulf of St. Lawrence from the north shore of Prince Edward Island. Established in 1937, the park's mandate includes the protection of many broad sand beaches, sand dunes and both freshwater wetlands and saltmarshes. The park's protected beaches provide nesting habitat for the endangered piping plover; the park has been designated a Canadian Important Bird Area.

An extension was added to the park in 1998 when an extensive sand dune system in Greenwich was transferred from the provincial government to Parks Canada. The Prince Edward Island National Park also includes Green Gables, which was the childhood inspiration for the Anne of Green Gables novels by author Lucy Maud Montgomery, as well as Dalvay-by-the-Sea, a Victorian era mansion currently operated as an inn.

In recent years, environmental and conservation groups have identified Prince Edward Island National Park as being the most endangered in the national park system, based on human impact. The park also experiences severe coastal erosion as a result of winter storms and its vulnerable shoreline.

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Geography

PEI National Park exists to protect broad sand beaches, sand dunes and both freshwater wetlands and salt marshes; its 60 kilometres length faces onto the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Most of the parkland is reachable as a discontinuous pair of segments of coastline; one of these long, narrow sandy beaches runs westward from North Rustico through Cavendish, while the other runs eastward from Brackley Beach through Stanhope to Dalvay. These two segments are separated by Rustico village and its bays. In Cavendish, the western segment of the park includes part of Cavendish village, with the Green Gables homestead and an adjacent 18-hole golf course.

While most of this beach and oceanfront land is open and public, portions are restricted to protect wildlife. There are no roads into the protected segments.

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Sights and Activities

Animals that inhabit this national park are coyotes, red foxes, raccoons, beavers, minks, and weasels. Numerous birds roam in this park including species of various herons, ducks, owls, cranes, plovers, grouses, jays, falcons, geese, hawks, sandpipers and eagles.

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Cost

Daily park admission is $7.80/person (Senior $6.80, Youth $3.90); camp sites are an additional $25-35/night.

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Getting There and Around

Provincial Highway 15 runs north from Charlottetown to Highway 6, the main east-west road which runs near the southern edge of the park.

There is a drivable scenic road, the Gulf Shore Parkway West, on the Cavendish waterfront in the western half of the park. Route 15 meets the eastern Gulf Shore Parkway and follows the waterfront eastward through the eastern half of the park.

As much of the park is a narrow strip of waterfront, it is split in two by bays near Rustico. Route 6, as the main east-west road, joins the severed pieces of parkland.

There are an assortment of cycling and hiking trails, some of which provide a fine view of the ocean.

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Eat/Drink

There are six picnic areas in the park; some are equipped with washrooms and kitchen shelters.

Stanhope Beach, Stanhope Cape, Cape Turner and Cavendish East picnic areas are open mid-June to mid-September. Cavendish Grove picnic area is open mid-May to end-September. Dalvay Trail House is open from mid-May to Thanksgiving. Information is available from the park office at +1 902-672-6350.

There is a liquor store in North Rustico; Sandbox Pub & Eatery (8812 Cavendish Rd, +1 902-963-3759) is just west of the park on Route 6.

Park management may restrict campers from bringing alcoholic beverages into park camp sites at certain times, such as during the music festival.

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Prince Edward Island National Park Travel Helpers

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This is version 1. Last edited at 9:01 on Mar 1, 16 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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