At long last, after a frustrating technical issue, I have the final Canada 150 blog post. I have to credit my persistence at trying yet again and at Ron’s lucky (his word not mine) attempt at a different option. So here without further ado is Pat with their biking trip through PEI and through
Prince Edward Island National Park
It is 23 years since our last visit to this park and our travel plans are quite different. In 1997 our family of five embarked on a five-week road trip across Canada where our PEI days found us camped at Cavendish Beach. Our daughters were huge fans of Anne of Green Gables so we made the mandatory visit to the Anne of Green Gables House, walked the trail of Shining Waters and in Charlottetown enjoyed the Anne of Green Gables play.
On this trip we cycled just shy of 600 km through the province using the Trans Canada Trail as well as some secondary roads which allowed us to visit PEI National Park. The late summer weather was perfect for cycling and the trails were quiet as families approached the date for return to school. In PEI the main section of the Trans Canada Trail is an abandoned rail line allowing for many hours of relaxing pedalling. Upon leaving the trail and moving onto the highway to head north to Cavendish, and the National Park, we encountered more rolling terrain. This allowed us to follow the coast more closely and enjoy the seaside views. It was interesting biking along the highway with farmer’s fields on one side and expanses of sandy, red coastline on the other side.
PEI National Park was established in 1937 and is located on the north shore of the island. The park has three sections stretching 47 km. from Cavendish to St. Peter’s Bay. As cyclists; no one stopped us to ask for our park pass. As the time of day was early, we had the beach to ourselves to walk about. We wandered along rocky shores but too cool yet for swimming.
The boardwalk leads to the beautiful little town of North Rustico where we pedaled by lobster traps, boats and enjoyed cinnamon buns on the deck at the local bakery.
Red chairs above the beach at Cavendish
Each of the three sections of the park has diverse geography and plant growth. The roots of the marram grass help to stabilize the constantly shifting sand.
Cycling through the park is a mix of minor highways, 20 km of dedicated paved trails and boardwalks.
For any who were fans of the Road to Avonlea TV series, one last shot of another set of iconic red chairs with ‘The White Sands Hotel’ which is actually Dalvay-by-the-Sea Resort. Someone asked how we could pass through the park and not visit anything Anne. As we had seen the sights before we didn’t feel the need although we did attend the Anne of Green Gables musical while in Charlottetown.
Editor’s Note: of all the places in Canada there are to see Prince Edward Island tops my list. I loved Anne of Green Gables as a child and read that series and all of L. M. Montgomery’s other books. Then as an adult with young children we watched the above mentioned Road to Avonlea for years and we have subsequently watched the last version of Anne of Green Gables.
I am sure I have a romantic view of PEI which I am happy to report is still intact with these beautiful photos of Pat and Alan’s time biking through the island. I am pretty sure that a bike trip is the way we will chose to savour our island time.