PEI NP – Greenwich
Amazing beach today — perhaps the best yet. PEI NP s divided into three sections — Stanhope, Cavendish, and Greenwich. Greenwich, the most easterly area, was added to the park about twenty years ago. I don’t know what it was like before, but recently they have made it more accessible adding an interpretive center and boardwalk to the beach.
We drove there from Stanhope — about an hour drive. After checking out the very informative interpretive center, we headed to the Dunes Trail. They have done a fantastic job with this trail. It first takes you through an open area which once was farm land but now is full of wildflowers, then you join the trail to the dunes which cuts through a white spruce and birch forest. After the forest, there is a boardwalk through a marsh area and then a floating boardwalk over Bowley Pond – a freshwater pond. After climbing steps up to the top of the dune, we walked down to the beach. Again it’s a red sand beach although perhaps lighter in color than those we have walked on before.
We walked west on the beach until it turned to the left at St. Peter’s Bay. This bay is fed by freshwater so it is full of nutrients for fish and shellfish. It is full covered with mussel “farms” — mussels, potatoes, and blueberries are the largest products from this area. The beach was also full of jellyfish left behind as the tide went out.
We followed the beach along the side of the bay until we reached a point where the Tlaqatik trail met the beach. From there we followed that trail back to the parking area. We chose the beach side of the Tlaqatik trail which may have not been the best choice as it was in the sun most of the way — we had had enough sun. Perhaps the other side of the loop would have been in the shade. Our total walk was just 4.7 miles, but it was an easy walk with little elevation change.