Robinsons Island Trail
Robinsons Island Trail is a dual-use trail just to the west of Barkley Beach. It is an excellent wooded trail with special obstacles set up for bicycles — teeter totters, narrow bridges, moguls. In order to accommodate both cyclists and hikers, the former are asked to traverse the trail in a clock-wise direction so that the former who are walking in a counter clock-wise manner will see the cyclists as they approach.
The trail is on what used to be an island, but in 1964 the island was connected to the mainland by a causeway. From 1964 until 2005, there was a NP campground on the island, but it was closed “because it was not popular with campers.”
Prior to 1937 when the land was purchased for the NP, the island was a farm owned by the Robinson family. They also farmed on the mainland, but brought their livestock to the island in the summer to graze, swimming them to the island at low tide.
The 2.5 mile trail is level and well-marked. Lots of wild flowers — fox and cubs, lupine (though not currently in flower), birdfoot trefoil, Mountain holly, wild raisin, meadow sweet, and lots of yarrow, goldenrod, and Queen Ann’s Lace. Along the route were a couple of side trips to the water with comfortable chairs. While sitting at the one that looked across the bay to North Rustico, we were surprised to see an Osprey fly close by with what looked like a mink dangling beneath him. First Osprey we have seen on this trip.
From Robinsons Island we headed to Cavendish – PEI National Park where we will be staying for a few days. On the way we stopped at the Dunes Gallery and Cafe where we were quite amazed by the driftwood furniture in the gorgeous gardens and the rustic, yet elegant, furniture inside the gallery. The gardens are colorful and well-tended, providing a place to sit and wait for a table at the very busy cafe. We continued on with stops at the Rustico Country Market for veggies, the fish market in North Rustico for mussels, smoked fish, and scallops, and the pharmacy for eye drops.
Our Cavendish campsite is reasonably large and level, with fire ring, picnic table, electric and water. Trees shielding us from neighbors are mostly mature birch and spruce with few lower branches, so the privacy is reduced. We are not nearly as close to our neighbors as at Stanhope.