Prince Edward Island National Park, a National Park is located in Prince Edward Island. It is situated along the north shore of the island, in front of the Gulf of St, Lawrence. Prince Edward Island National Park was established in 1937 and protects a landscape that includes superlative red sandstone cliffs, submerged estuaries, offshore bars as well as some of the nations’ most popular and longest beaches.
Moreover, the park is also a narrow wooded sliver of land which stretches over 40 km along the northern coat of Canada’s smallest province where the theme of the parks is `sea people and the changing landscape’, the island’s heritage which dates back from the earliest native people to the European inhabitants who followed thereafter.
The parks’ protected beaches provide nesting habitat for endangered Piping Plover and the park has been designated a Canadian Important Bird Area. The park’s ecosystems provide various animal species and around 400 varieties of plants species and though there are no moose or deer on the island, coyotes, raccoons, red foxes, beavers, mink and weasels are common on this island. Over 3000 species of birds besides the Piping Plover, the park also plays an important role in shorebird migration during spring and fall.
Archaeological Site – 100,000 Years
Towards 1998, the park extended to include 990 acres on the Greenwich Peninsula with rare u-shaped dunes known as parabolic dunes. Besides this, there is also an archaeological site which reveals that Paleo-Indians lived here around 10,000 years back with evidence indicating that the Mi’kmaq, Acadian, French, Irish, Scots and English also settled here earlier.
There is a gradual rise in sea levels as the Pleistocene ice sheet recedes northward, cut off the low lying island from the larger land area while the estuaries of the four main watersheds have cut shallow valleys into the 200 million year old rock to drain into coastal bays.
The soft sand stone coastline on the other hand continues to get worn off by wind and water erosion at the rate of .5 to 1.0 meters annually. For around 20 kilometres, the water is not more than 15 metres deep and the general landscape features within the limits of the park boundaries include beaches and dune consisting of 37% forest till uplands which makes about 39%, salt and fresh water wetlands totals to 15% with non-forested fields together with headlands to 8% and 16% of the park has been affected by roads and other disturbing areas.
Three segments of the park are very distinct, namely Cavendish, Brackley-Dalvay and Greenwich with each having their own characteristics. On visiting Cavendish and Brackley-Dalvay, one will find supervised beaches, campgrounds together with a variety of trails easily adapted to hiking and cycling.
Cavendish and Stanhope provide full service campgrounds, where organised groups could get in touch with the park to arrange group camping at unique campsite as well as day use locations. Greenwich does not offer camping though private accommodation in the location of 30-40 minute drive to Stanhope or Brackley is available.
The evening campfire activities present the park’s heritage through storytelling and skits with the aid of interpreters, which are held at Cavendish and Stanhope Campgrounds accompanied with costumes and music.