Since we visited the northernmost and westernmost points of PEI, we head out to visit the easternmost point of PEI. You even get a little certificate for having visited both ends – okay we’re suckers for this kind of stuff. PEI is world famous for its Blue Mussels and mussel operations dot the coast.
The Interpretation Centre has information about the wildlife and the parabolic shifting sand dunes, one of the most unique ecosystems found anywhere in the world. Then we head out for the short hike – under 3 miles – over to the Parabolic Dunes.
It’s a pleasant enough hike and then you reach the boardwalk, which goes over beautiful Bowley Pond, bordered by the parabolic dunes – stunning. The dunes also contain a number of Aboriginal, French and Acadian archeological sites. And they are now protected as part of Prince Edward Island National Park.
The wetlands area, Bowley Pond, is full of plant life. Beautiful grasses and cattails stir in the wind, and, with the backdrop of the dunes it’s breathtaking.
As if that isn’t enough, the boardwalk then leads to a white sand beach, and one of the most spectacular beaches we’ve seen. It’s also practically deserted, since the only way to get there is by the trail or a VERY long walk from the end of the beach that is accessible by car. The water is clear and almost Island Girl temperature – but the search continues 🙂
Back in the car we head towards East Point and stop in at the lighthouse. The East Point Lighthouse is an active lighthouse, located where the St. Lawrence and Northumberland Straits meet. It was built in 1867 about a half a mile away.
In 1882, a British ship was wrecked off the point partially due to the position of the light, so in 1885, the lighthouse was moved within 200 feet of the point. Then, due to erosion the lighthouse was moved again in 1908.
The lighthouse, where we received our “Tip to Tip” certificate, is open to the public. There are three floors on the way to the top, with each housing some artifacts, including some Fresnel lenses. On the first floor, they uncovered signatures of some famous early settlers while stripping some paint.
The second floor has an old Marconi radio that Hector was pretty excited about. And the third has some artifacts related to the lightkeepers’ lives.
Next, we head to Souris Beach, which we heard was a sea glass beach, to go beachcombing. I’m a little disappointed, as there is not too much sea glass, and the pieces are pretty small, but we find a couple of nice ones. Sea glass hunting may never be the same after Inverness Beach in Cape Breton Island.
Sadly, it’s time to leave Prince Edward Island for our next destination.
The bridge was completed in 1997 after four years of construction. Eight miles long, it is the longest bridge crossing ice-covered waters (not ice covered now, thankfully), and one of Canada’s top engineering achievements of the 20th century.
It was a bit windy that morning, and I was concerned about the crossing, but we heard that they will not allow us on it if they consider it too windy.
But weather is ok when we arrive, and it’s smooth sailing across. And we also save money, as taking the bridge to leave the island cost $59 compared to the ferry, which would have cost $109. Not bad.
I heard that Panmure Island, on the southern side of the East Coast drive has the warmest water on the island. Darn, we didn’t make it that far. Oh, well, I guess we’ll just have to return.