Day 1 – Dartmouth to Wood Island (180km / 112mi plus ferry crossing)
Your PEI tour begins in Halifax, Nova Scotia when you arrive at our Dartmouth depot to pick up your ‘ home on wheels’. Once you’ve familiarised yourself with your RV, hit the highway and head to Cariboo Harbour, a drive of approximately 2 hours. While PEI is an island, there are two ways to reach it – by ferry and by bridge. Our tour takes you to the island by ferry and brings you back over the Confederation Bridge. full details
The Caribou-Woods Island ferry leaves Caribou a minimum of five times a day between May 1 and November 15. Fares are collected only when leaving the Island. The last sailing departs from Caribou at 2130 hours. The crossing takes approximately 75 minutes.
The Northumberland Strait, which separates the rest of Canada from PEI, was named for the HMS Northumberland, the flagship of Admiral Lord Coville who surveyed the area in 1764. Wood Island is named for the two small islands, which are now joined, and form the harbour.
Our recommended campground for tonight is Northumberland Provincial Park on Route 4, 3km east of the Wood Island ferry. Advance reservations are essential as this is a very busy park. The park is open from late May until mid-September.
Day 2 – Wood Islands – Georgetown (via the Kings Byway) – 164km / 103mi
Prince Edward Island is divided into three counties, Prince at the western end, Queens in the middle and Kings on the eastern end. Today we’re exploring Southern Kings County, which makes up part of the Points East Coastal Drive. full details
Before heading out along the Kings Byway today, you may like to take a trip into Wood Islands Provincial Park – a day use park which features the most photographed lighthouse on the island. After 133 years on one spot, erosion forced the moving of the lighthouse 70 metres back to more solid ground in March 2009.
Take Highway 4 to Little Sands, named for the sandy shore between Wood Island and High Bank. Here you’ll find the Rossignol Estate Winery, named a “Top Ten Must on Prince Edward Island” by Tourism PEI. The winery is open Monday to Saturday from 10.00am to 5.00pm between May 1st – October 30th and offers wine sampling and winery tours.
North east of High Bank you’ll reach the junction of Hwys 4 and 18. Here you should take Highway 18 through Guernsey Cove to Cape Bear, located on the south-eastern tip of the Island. The coastline you’ll travel today consists of generally rugged red sandstone cliffs and small secluded beaches. Its high banks offer a good location for viewing seals.
In late June and early July, the surrounding fields are awash with the purple colour of lupins growing wild.
The Marconi station at Cape Bear was the first Canadian land station to hear the SOS of the Titanic as she sank in 1912. While the station is long gone, the Cape Bear Lighthouse still stands in the same place as it was erected in 1881. Cape Bear was most likely home to bears year ago but there are no longer any bears on PEI. In the MicMac language, the cape was called Kwesowaakeskwodek or “end of the island cape”.
As you enter the community of Beach Point, turn right onto Beach Road. A short drive brings you to the Beach Point Beach, with its beautiful white sand. You can park here and walk out to the lighthouse protecting the harbour entrance. On the far side of the harbour you can see Poverty Beach. Beach Point was formerly known as “Old Store Point” for a store opened there in 1805.
Turn left at Highway 18A and visit the Log Cabin Museum, a privately owned collection of more than 3000 items including gramophones, lamps, bottles, crystal, crockery, china and farm machinery more than 100 years old.
Continue on to Murray Harbour, which began to achieve status as an important PEI port in the late 1700’s and is still a working harbour today. Take a walk through town and talk to the fishermen as they land their catch of the day. Continue your stroll around town and visit Miss Elly's where you can purchase island crafts. If you feel like a picnic or lunch then you will find picnic tables situated around the town or try Brehaut's Restaurant, a local favorite for more than 20 years, Visit the Railhead Park and learn about the history of this very important part of Prince Edward Island.
Less than 10 km down the road you’ll cross the Murray River and enter the town of the same name. Boat building and saw milling formed the foundation of the town but nowadays lobster, mussel and other fishing are its main industry. Visit MacLure’s Dam, the largest freshwater pond on Prince Edward Island and probably the prettiest. The pond was actually a millpond whose rich history dates back to the early1800’s.
The Kings Byway continues to Murray Harbour North, another small fishing wharf. Here you will have a good view of the Seal Islands and mussel leases in the bay. Stop to admire the “Clow” house, a private historic home along your touring route.
Past Gaspereaux, you’ll reach the junction of highway 17 and the road to Panmure Island.
The island is joined to the rest of PEI by a narrow man-made causeway and beautiful sandy beach. A walk along this beach will take you out to the Panmure Island lighthouse. Built in 1853, this 18 metre structure has gabled windows and is four stories high. Tours of the lighthouse are available in the summer months and offer a spectacular view of the surrounding area and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia can be seen on the horizon.
Return to Highway 17 and, after crossing the Sturgeon River, take a side trip on route 317 to Buffaloland Provincial Park. The park is home to some plains bison, which were a gift from Alberta to Prince Edward Island. Continue along Route 4 to the town of Montague, the commercial centre of Southern King’s County.
A few kilometres past Montague is Poole’s Corner junction. Turn right here and continue on towards Georgetown. We suggest you stay tonight at Brudenell River Provincial Park (reservations essential). Once you’ve registered at the campground, head into Georgetown and perhaps take in some evening entertainment at the Historic Kings Playhouse.
Day 3 - Georgetown and area
As this island’s economy relies heavily on the fishing industry, how about taking a deep sea fishing trip today with Tranquility Cove Adventures? Discounts are available to CanaDream guests when booked direct with CanaDream. full details
If deep sea fishing doesn’t appeal, take some time out to explore the area more or continue on to the Bays and Dunes section of PEI detailed on Day 4.
Overnight at Brudenell River Provincial Park
Day 4 – Georgetown to Rustico – 207km / 129miYour journey along the Kings Byway continues today through Eastern Kings County, This is the Bays and Dunes section of Prince Edward Island, which consists mainly of small farms, tree lots and wildflowers growing along the roadsides. One third of the potatoes grown in Canada come from farms on Prince Edward Island. full details
The road meanders around Cardigan and Boughton Bays while passing through small towns which still retain the charm of yesteryear. Your first stop this morning is at the secluded beach at Spry Cove. To get to the beach turn right at Little Pond and take a 4.3km diversion to the beach access. En route there’s a great view of the cove with a sandbar and salt marsh.
Continue on past the brightly coloured houses popular in this part of Canada through Howe Bay and Fortune Bridge. This area is a favourite for canoeing and the backwaters are home to cormorants and herons.
At Rollo Bay West, turn right onto Hwy 2 and proceed northeast. The view of the fields and bays fall away to the ocean and there’s a fortuitously placed picnic and photo stop just 2km from your last turn.
Surrounded by the Souris River, Colville Bay and farmland, Souris is the largest centre in Eastern Kings County. The ferry to the Magdalen Islands leaves from here.
About 12km from Souris, you’ll reach Basin Head. Here there’s a spectacular golden sand beach which sings when you walk on it. The sound is actually more like a squeak but it’s distinctive and mysterious. Many Islanders consider this to be the best beach on the Island. Other places of interest in Basin Head are the fisheries museum and a reconstruction of a maritime village.
If you’re travelling with kids, you may wish to take a small side trip at South Lake onto Hwy 16A and visit the Elmira Railway museum. For many years the Elmira Station served as the end of the line for Prince Edward Island’s railway. You won’t want to miss taking a ride on the Miniature Railway! Here you can also hike or bike along the Confederation Trail, a route that has been converted from abandoned rail lines. Return to South Lake then travel to the eastern most tip of Prince Edward Island at East Point. Here you’ll find a craft shop featuring work by local artists and the most easterly lighthouse on the Island. Daily tours of the lighthouse are offered throughout the summer season. Pick up your tip-to-tip certificate while at East Point – we’ll be visiting the other tip later in this tour.
North Lake is the self proclaimed Tuna Fishing Capital of the World. On a clear day you may see the tuna boats off in the distance in the Gulf of St Lawrence.
Many of the farm houses you see as you travel along the north coast have been abandoned as their owners find it harder to make a living and have left to find jobs elsewhere. Continue driving this route and enjoy the peace and serenity found on this part of the island. At Naufrage you may like to stop for a picnic at Shipwreck Point Park or the Naufrage Harbour. Here you will find yet another lighthouse. The concrete structure now housing the light was built in 1967 and replaces the original combination dwelling and lighthouse, which is now privately owned and available for weekly rentals.
Monticello has the reputation of hosting one of the liveliest ceilidh nights in PEI. Every Sunday the Monticello Log Hall has a line up of musicians and performers to entertain locals and tourists with an unpredictable but always enjoyable agenda.
At the junction of Hwys 16 and 336 you can take a side trip down into Greenwich or decide to continue on to the town of St Peters. At Greenwich you can visit the state of the art interpretation centre in one of Canada’s newest National Parks. Here you will have the opportunity to learn about one of Canada’s unique ecosystems with rare sand dune formations. Take one of the three hiking trails beginning about 1km west of the Interpretation Centre.
St Peter’s Bay is home to breathtaking sunsets. The town of St Peter’s is an ideal place to base yourself if you wish to spend more time in the area. About 3km west of St Peter’s you’ll reach a pull out where you can take some great photos of the bay and the Greenwich peninsula beyond.
At Tracadie Cross, turn right on Route 219 and head for Rustico for your overnight stop. Our recommended RV Park is Cymbria Campground. They are a CanaDream Club partner and offer CanaDream guests a discount off overnight camping fees (some blackout dates apply).
CanaDream Club partners on today's itinerary are:
Days 5 and 6 – Exploring Anne’s Land and Prince Edward Island National ParkThere’s so much to see and do on the northern shores of Queens County – this is Anne’s Land where author Lucy Maud Montgomery based her famous Anne of Green Gables novels. It ‘s also where you’ll find Prince Edward Island National Park. The Park itself is home to sand dunes, barrier islands and sand spits, beaches, sandstone cliffs, wetlands and forests. full details
A variety of plants and animals thrive here, including the Gulf of St Lawrence Aster and the endangered Piping Plover. The Park also features Green Gables, part of L.M. Montgomery’s Cavendish National Historic Site, and Dalvay-by-the-Sea National Historic Site. For more information on Price Edward Island National Park, please visit the Parks Canada Prince Edward Island website. For more information on Green Gables Shore, please visit Tourism PEI's website.
Overnight again at Cymbria Campground or travel on to the Darnley Beach area for a relaxing stay at Twin Shores Camping Area where you can experience the two distinct shorelines of PEI in one place. Enjoy beachcombing and clam digging and one of the Island's best beaches for swimming and sunbathing.
CanaDream Club partners on today's itinerary are:
Twin Shores Camping Area
Day 7 – North Cape Coastal Drive – Summerside to Cedar Dunes Park – 116km / 72mi
Leave Anne’s Land behind today as you venture south-west to the town of Summerside to begin your exploration of Princes County. In Summerside, start with a stroll through the downtown and get an awareness of the city’s past. From the days of wooden sailing ships, through the glory days of the silver fox farms to the devastation of the Summerside fire, a fascinating collection of murals on downtown buildings depict significant city events in stunning detail. full details
The historic walking tour weaves in and around the downtown, featuring both commercial and residential properties. Summerside is one of the few cities in Canada able to boast a beach right downtown – stroll the 6km boardwalk stopping en route to visit museums, shops and the Marina. Admire from afar or experience up close the Indian Head Lighthouse, a treasured historic site. Further along the waterfront is Spinnakers’ Landing, offering a wide variety of gifts, crafts, food, souvenirs, and a visitor information centre.
About 9km from Summerside is Slemon Park, a former Canadian Forces Air Force base. After its closure, it was converted to civilian use and many of the buildings and hangars now house a variety of aerospace and other industries. Many original aircraft exhibits remain on site.
Miscouche is home to the Acadian Museum. Open year round, the museum showcases the multifaceted aspects of Acadian history and culture in the area. Onsite genealogy resources allow you to investigate your Acadian family roots and an outdoor heritage trail with interpretive panels depict the Acadian story. A small admission fee applies. In this area, you’ll see many homes flying the Acadian flag as well as Canadian and Provincial flags.
Soon you’ll find yourself following the shoreline. At Union Corner, the old schoolhouse has been turned into a museum. It’s said to be named Union Corner because the old school was built with the goodwill of everyone. The old schoolhouse has been brought back to life with original pictures of teachers and students. Open daily from mid-June to early October. A small admission fee is payable.
The most significant landmark in the Evangeline Region is the Church of Notre Dame du Mont Carmel. This historic Neo-Gothic Roman Catholic church has been the heart of the French speaking communities surrounding Cap-Egmont for more than a century. Even the home of the parish priest is an imposing building.
As you travel along the coast, you’ll experience the urge to stop and put your toes in the water. Go right ahead, that’s what the shore is for. While you’re there, throw down a towel and relax a while … it’s good for the soul. Another thing that’s good for the soul is a visit to Cape Egmont wharf. The view of the red stone cliffs and the Cape Egmont Lighthouse standing guard for the fishermen is spectacular.
While in Cape Egmont, the Bottle Houses must rate as one of the most unusual attractions In the area. In 1979 Édouard T. Arsenault began construction on the houses. Today, more than 30,000 recycled bottles of various colours and sizes have been used to make three charming “ houses”, created in a lovely garden setting by the sea.
As you drive between Mont Carmel and Wellington, look out for the festive mailboxes and also the three historic murals – one on the exterior of the Mont-Carmel Parish Centre, another on the Évangéline Recreation Centre in Abram-Village and a third on La Place du Village mini-mall in Wellington (off route). The murals depict part of the heritage of this Acadian community and were painted, along with the mailboxes, to mark the 400th anniversary of Acadia in 2004.
While in Wellington, a visit to the recently revitalized Barlow’s Pond and Old Mills Park is a must, which includes a Welcome and Interpretive Centre, a dam and fish ladder, a walking bridge over the pond, a Gazebo, boardwalks and walking trails. The park itself is located on the site of the former Barlow Mills, which were in operation from the early 1900s to the 1950s.
Back on Highway 11, the road passes through St-Chrysostome and Victoria West. Like most places on the Island, this town derives its sense of community from a gathering of farms rather than an active townsite. It’s modest Anglican Church seems to mark the end of the Acadian region.
Just out of Mt Pleasant (so named not because it was a “mount” but to signify the ‘mutual concord and agreeableness of the inhabitants with each other”) the road rejoins route 2 and continues to Portage. For the next 18km the land is very low and boggy with few points of interest. At Woodstock, the Mill River Provincial Park offers the opportunity for outdoor recreation and camping. Before leaving the area, treat yourself to a tour of MacAusland’s Woollen Mills. Not only can you witness pure Island wool being turned into fine yarn, you can also purchase quality traditional pieces.
From Woodstock, take Route 143 and then turn south at Route 148 to O’Leary. Here PEI’s most famous export is celebrated at the PEI Potato Museum. At the cornerstone of the PEI economy for two centuries, potatoes matter here. The museum houses the largest collection of potato-related artifacts in the world, and its interactive French and English displays will give you an entirely new perspective on this everyday favourite. Continue south to West Point and Cedar Dunes Provincial Park. Once again, the intense urge to relax and watch the waves lap against your toes will be tough to resist. Be sure to explore the West Point Lighthouse Museum, where you will learn about the history of the lighthouse, and climb the stairs to enjoy a breathtaking view of the area. This may be an ideal place to camp for the night. Here you can fall asleep to the sound of the waves kissing the shore and you’ll feel as if you were camping on the beach. The park provides supervised swimming as well as children’s activities. Reservations are strongly recommended during July and August.
Overnight at Cedar Dunes Provincial Park
Day 8 – North Cape Coastal Drive – Cedar Dunes Park to Summerside (via North Cape) – 198km / 130 mi
As you continue along the coast, the views to the west slowly overwhelm you. Steep, brick-red cliffs that look like they have been ripped from the side of Mother Earth give way to gentle sand beaches, and then rise again to form spectacular new rises. Here and there you will see the white flecks of fishing boats on the water, sometimes bobbing, other times cutting through the surf and leaving a foamy wake behind. full details
A short trip up Rte. 151 to Lauretta will lead you to Back Road Folk Art, home to the world’s largest eggbeater. Here you will find Island folk artist Kerras Jeffery creating new pieces to add to shelves full of the largest quantity of folk art on PEI. Almost everyone leaving the shop and gallery leaves with a smile on their face.
All along the North Cape Coastal Drive you’ll find places worth stopping “just to have a look”. As you travel the coast, you’ll also want to find safe places to pull off the road and spend some time just looking at the water, perhaps even exploring its edge. You’ll find a number of scenic lookouts for just that purpose.
As you approach Miminegash, if the tides and winds are right, you might be lucky enough to see Irish Moss harvesters. Harvesting takes place from boats or by the traditional method using horse-drawn rakes in the surf and on the shore. This seaweed is used in the food industry in jellies, ice cream and also for skin conditioning products.
Driving through the region you’ll see many Clydesdales and Belgians, working or relaxing in the pastures along the way. While in the area, enjoy an exotic treat … if you dare! The Seaweed Pie Café offers you the change to enjoy a tasty dessert of seaweed pie. If you think that sounds unthinkable, give it a try! You’ll find it hard to believe what a little imagination and expertise can do with a marine plant.
Further up the road, stop and enjoy the spectacular dunes at Skinner’s Pond. From there it’s a short drive to Tignish and North Cape. As you approach North Cape from the south, the skyline will be broken by the sweeping blades of the turbines from the Wind Energy Institute of Canada and the North Cape Wind Farm. This advanced wind test facility has been a leader in wind energy research and development for more than 25 years. A number of different wind turbines, including the largest wind turbine in North America, have been tried and evaluated here. The Wind Energy Interpretive Centre and Gift Shop provide a wealth of information – from the evolution of wind energy to today’s technology with a glimpse into the future of wind energy – in a series of fund and interactive displays.
Technologically advanced today, North Cape has long been famous for its natural wonders, including the longest natural rock reef in North America and the ‘meeting of the waters’. At low tide, you can walk out almost a kilometre onto the reef and, as the tide moves in, you can witness the Gulf of St Lawrence and the Northumberland Strait merge together over the reef. It’s an ideal location for seal watching. As well, the Black Marsh Nature Trail provides an up-close-and-personal nature experience with views of the coast that will take your breath away. Interpretive panels along the way provide insight into the unique coastal ecology and character of the area.
For those who live for sunsets, they just don’t get any better than this. People drive here just to witness this amazing panoramic view of the ocean.
Tignish is famous for its harbour, its church and its community spirit. Tignish Run contains the largest fleet of inshore fishing vessels in all of Atlantic Canada, and a trip to the wharf is a great experience for any landlubber. Among the sights you may see is a 1,000-pound giant bluefin tuna being hoisted on the scale while a proud angler (yes, these huge specimens are caught by rod and reel) stands to have a photo taken. The town is also home to the magnificent (PEI’s largest) Neo-Gothic structure, St. Simon & St. Jude Catholic Church, featuring a stunning Louis Mitchell Tracker pipe organ, one of only four left in the world. Right next door is the former parish convent, now enjoying renewed life as an inn with magnificent gardens.
When you leave Tignish heading toward Alberton, be sure to make a stop at Jacques Cartier Provincial Park. It was here in 1534 that the famous French explorer first landed on Prince Edward Island, declaring it “the fairest land ‘tis possible to see.’ A full-time naturalist leads nature walks and hosts children’s games. There is also supervised swimming at this beautiful beach on the Gulf of St Lawrence. This provincial park also has a campground if you feel like stopping here for the night and extending your time in Princes County.
The shore road then takes you to the bustling Town of Alberton and nearby Northport. History has a place of prominence here, as the Alberton Museum & Genealogy Centre tells this town’s story, as well as the rags-to-riches tales of the early 1900’s fox farming industry. The richest portion of these tales is still in evidence, as a number of the “fox houses” – opulent homes by any standard – remain in the town. As in Summerside, murals adorn many downtown buildings to help Alberton celebrate its past. The only town in the North Cape Coastal Drive region, Alberton has a charm all its own. Stroll along Main Street and discover a number of hand painted murals depicting local history.
From Northport’s pier, you can delight in the sights and sounds of the sea as majestic great blue herons grace the sandy shoreline, which is home to a great blue heron rookery. Northport Pier is an authentic fisherman’s wharf, so if the sea fascinates you, there are plenty of people here who are happy to share their stories as you watch the fishers unload the catch of the day.
Learn about local heroes in the Sea Rescue Interpretive Centre.
Gracing Northport waters is the Cascumpec Lighthouse. This 150-year-old lighthouse is the sentinel to the picturesque Northport Harbour. Every July, the community plays host to the Northport Aquatic Days. From Alberton, the road moves inland briefly, then winds its way back along the coast eastward.
On Rte. 163, take the causeway across the river. You’ll find Lennox Island alive with the history and culture of PEI’s native people, the Mi’kmaq. This picturesque little island has enough activities and attractions to keep you busy for a day or more. The cultural/ecotourism complex will give you a heightened understanding of Mi’kmaq history and culture. For a flavor of Mi’kmaq cuisine, take home a delicious souvenir called “lusgnign” (Indian bannock) from the craft shop. Guaranteed you’ll come back for more!
Next stop is Bideford, where author Lucy Maud Montgomery lived during 1894-95, when she was a schoolteacher at the local one-room school. The house she lived in has been restored as the Bideford Parsonage Museum. It chronicles this phase of her life and affords you a glimpse into her world.
The area around Tyne Valley, sometimes referred to as West Country because of its historic connection to the community of the same name in England, is home to a number of museums, parks and attractions. Make time to visit the historic little Village of Tyne Valley. It abounds with a variety of significant architectural styles from another era. The friendly community is full of surprises, from live entertainment at the local pub to a totally organic market garden. Not to be missed is the PEI Oyster Festival featuring the Canadian Oyster Shucking Championship in early August.
Before you return to Summerside make time for a visit to Green Park. Here the Shipbuilding Museum brings the story of the wooden sailing ships to life, while
Yeo House demonstrates just how glorious the grand life of the ship makers could be.
Linkletter Provincial Park, on the southeastern edge of Summerside, is the closest campground to Summerside. The campsites are unserviced and advance reservations are recommended.
Day 9 – Summerside to Charlottetown (Route 225) – 72km / 45miAs you continue along the coast, the views to the west slowly overwhelm you. Steep, brick-red cliffs that look like they have been ripped from the side of Mother Earth give way to gentle sand beaches, and then rise again to form spectacular new rises. Here and there you will see the white flecks of fishing boats on the water, sometimes bobbing, other times cutting through the surf and leaving a foamy wake behind. full details
With an eclectic mix of restaurants, pubs, and cafes, there is something for every tastebud. Community and city-wide festivals fill the streets nearly every week of the year, offering exhilarating options from world class music, theatre, comedy, gaming and sport. The next two days are yours to explore Charlottetown and surrounds. Some suggestions for sightseeing include:
- The Charlottetown Festival at the Confederation Centre of the Arts - runs between mid June and late September. Be sure to attend a performance of Canada's longest running musical, Anne of Green Gables - The Musical.
- Founders Hall - Canada's Birthplace Pavillion where visitors are transported back in time through the "Time Travel Tunnel" and walk through the pages of Canadian history; starting with the Charlottetown Conference in 1864 and concluding with the joining of Nunavut in 1999. Founders' Hall makes learning history fun and entertaining.
- Take a guided walking tour in the Historic District with the Fathers and Ladies of Confederation. Walking tours depart daily between June and September from the Charlottetown Visitor Centre at Founders' Hall.
- Historic Great George Street. where every building and street corner tells a story. Stop at St Dunstan's Cathedral Basilica, one of many great churches located throughout the city.
- Visit Province House National Historic Site of Canada, the official Birthplace of Confederation and a Charlottetown landmark.
- Beaconsfield Historic House, the former home of shipping entrepreneur James Peake Jr. Built in 1877, Beaconsfield is a symbol of VIctorian elegance. Just up the street from Beaconsfield House is Government House, known as Fanningbank.
- Stroll through Victoria Park or take in a panoramic view of Charlottetown's waterfront.
- Discover Charlottetown by land then "splash" into the water with Harbour Hippo Tours for a relaxing harbour cruise or take a seaplane air tour with Tartan Air.
Day 10 – Charlottetown
Today we suggest you complete your circle of Prince Edward Island by heading south-east on Highway 1 through Cherry Valley to Point Prim and Wood Islands. At Wood Islands, where you began your Prince Edward Island circumnavigation, take time to re-explore before heading back to Charlottetown via Mt Stewart, Frenchfort and Marshfield. full details
A recommended first stop would be at Orwell Corner Historic Village, where a rural crossroads community invites visitors to step back into the 1800s. The village is open from late May til early October. Between late May and the end of June and early September to early October, the village is closed on Saturdays and Sundays. A small admission fee is payable. Be sure to leave time to visit the McPhail Homestead, right next door. This 140 acre estate includes a museum reflecting the period between 1864 and 1938, a nature centre and walking trails.
Just south of Eldon is the Croft House Selkirk Cultrual and Interpretative Centre featuring a replica of a croft house, the story of the 1803 Selkirk settlers and, nearby, the Church of Scotland (1876) and the Pioneer Cemetery of St Paul.
If you're into interesting golf courses, check out the Belfast Highland Greens, a 3,209 yard 9-hole course placed along the side of one of the largest cliff systems in P.E.I.
Lork Selkirk Provincial Park was the arrival location of the Island's Scottish settlers. Here you will find gardens, a swimming pool, miniature golf and camping. The park hosts the PEI annual Highland Games & Festival each year in early August. The park is open from early June until late August.
Look for the turn-off to Point Prim between Belfast and Pinette. At the end of the road turn left in through the woods to the Point Prim light. The lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse on PEI, built in 1846, and the only round one. Its walls are 18" thick and are made of brick. Years after its original construction, it was sheathed with wooden strapping and shingles. The lighthouse stands 18.3 metres high and is sometimes open to the public.
Stop for a picnic at Pinette Provincial Park. Open from mid-June to Thanksgiving, Pinette is a day use park featuring picnic facilities, flush toilets, playground equipment, fishing and a riverside beach.
Continue along the Trans Canada towards Wood Islands. If you feel like a small side diversion, look for the turn-off to Simon's Beach at Flat Creek. Here you will find a beautiful sandy beach in an extremely scenic location. If you didn't visit Wood Islands Provincial Park at the start of your PEI tour, spend time here before continuing your drive. Visit the park, lighthouse and stop at the Plough the Waves Centre. This centre houses tourism information, email and internet access and is an entry point to cycle and walk the Confederation Trail. Here we leave the Points East Coastal Drive and will rejoin it just out of Mount Stewart, where the Hillsborough Canadian Heritage River almost splits Prince Edward Island in two. Designated in 1997, this 45km waterway flows east to west and is a rich breeding area for birds and other creatures of land and sea. The Hillsborough River Eco-Centre, based in Mount Stewart, offers guided tours and interpretive displays about the river's importance in terms of its history, the variety of bird species and plant life it supports and its use as a transportation route.
Head south again on highway 2, making a stop at the Scotchfort Scenic Look Off. This First Nations site is beside a monument to the Hillsborough Canadian Heritage River. From here, it's a short drive back into Charlottetown.
Day 11 – Charlottetown to PEI to Sackville, New Brunswick (via Confederation Bridge) – 193km / 120mi
Today we head out on the Trans Canada Highway towards Cornwall to explore Red Sands Shore – situated on the southern shores of Queens County. At the Cornwall Shopping Centre, turn left and head south along route 19. Here you’ll find farming country with houses and cottages scattered along the road and shore. full details
The West River Causeway is a good place to stop and stretch your legs. Many local boat owners moor their boats here in the summer and the kids in the area love to jump off the two bridges which make up the crossing here.
At New Dominion, the road takes a left turn and heads east. New Dominion was probably a name for the Dominion of Canada but may have been named after a ship called the New Dominion, which visited Charlottetown in 1868. Travel through Fairview to Rocky Point, directly across from Charlottetown. The Point forms one of the shores of the entrance to the harbour. Before the West River causeway was built, there used to be a ferry here which made the short crossing to Charlottetown.
Fort Amherst and Port La Joie are now protected as a National Historic Site. Port La Joie was the site of the first French settlement on the Island about 1720. The French called the Island, Isle St. Jean. The Island changed hands a number of times and, in 1758, the British took control of the Island for good. The British called the Island, St John’s Island, and built Fort Amherst on the point of land overlooking the entrance to the harbour. In 1798 the Island legislature voted to change the name to Prince Edward Island and the change was made official by the British government in 1799.
As you continue along, the road rounds the point and heads west along the south shore of the Island. The top of the point is quite high (by Island standards) and you can look back across the point toward the West River. Or you can pretend you're flying and see this aerial view of the Cumberland shore, Fairview, the West River and Meadowbank.
This area is called Cumberland, and was probably named for Bentinck Harry Cumberland, proprietor of that part of Lot 65 who lived at Rocky Point from c1833-c1840. The Cumberland shore offers a great view of St. Peter's Island and you can see across the strait to Nova Scotia.
At Nine Mile Creek you get a closer look at St. Peter's Island across ripening fields of grain and you can look southward toward Rice Point. At low tide you can walk from Rice Point out to St. Peter's Island on the mudflats. At high tide you would have to swim so don't stay too long. Rice Point was named in 1765 for George Rice, Lord Commissioner of Trade and Plantations. The MicMac called it Segunakadech, "little ground nut place".
At the Canoe Cove Junction turn left. If you drive along another 0.6 km (0.4 miles) you can turn left at the corner and go down to Canoe Cove Park. At low tide the beach is about a kilometre long and several hundred metres wide. It is a great place to play in the sand. There is a nice picnic shelter with an old-fashioned pump for nice clean water. Look for the old Canoe Cove school, which was established in 1820.
The Argyle shore is locally known as an area of secluded cottages and great views of Nova Scotia. It is also known as the site where the vessel Argyle brought 150 Scots to settle in 1791. The Scots cleared farms, which stretch from the gentle shores up the slopes almost to the sky. Many of their descendants continue to live in the area and well-kept farmhouses attest to their hardworking nature. Continue westward towards Hampton and Victoria.
Just before Victoria is Victoria Park, where you can stop and have a picnic overlooking the strait. If you turn around, you can admire the view of the farmland on the other side of the inlet.
Victoria is a small fishing village named after Queen Victoria and a storybook village if ever there was one. The soul of this historic fishing village has been revitalized by the many artists and other creative people who call it home. Galleries, studios, a theatre, restaurants and, perhaps most tempting, a chocolate factory, line the cozy treed streets where you will quickly abandon your RV in favour of slow-paced meandering. Say hello to the community cat, and settle in for a beverage on a terrace.
At Tryon, turn left off the highway onto route 10. Be careful, the turn is on a curve to the right and, as you go left, you go over the crest of the road onto the side road. Go down the hill, turn left, then go a short distance and turn right onto the small bridge spanning the Tryon River. The Tryon River marsh is a great place to watch birds. During the fall, many hundreds of geese rest here on their way south and from high in the sky you can see why it looks attractive. You are now entering the heart of potato country. The potato fields here seem to go on forever.
Near Cape Traverse is the first good place to view the Confederation Bridge. Continuing on route 10 you pass by Borden which is where the bridge begins. You can leave the Island here or you can explore a little further before returning to cross the bridge into New Brunswick. If you decide to continue, stop in at St Peters’ Chrurch in North Carleton. They have a little picnic area to the side of the church and it is one of the best places to view the bridge. From here you get a good idea of its scale as it reaches across the strait.
At Searltown, you can take route 112 to Seacow Head. Then return and follow the road until you turn right onto route 171 at Bedeque. On the edge of the Bedeque Bay, the locales of Lower Bedeque, Bedeque, Central Bedeque and North Bedeque overlook the Dunk River which flows into the bay. Take Highway 1A east back to Albany Corner then head towards Borden to cross the Confederation Bridge into New Brunswick.
The 12.9 km (8 mile) long Confederation Bridge is the longest in the world crossing ice-covered water. It is a toll bridge – the toll being payable when leaving Prince Edward Island at the toll plaza in Borden – Carleton. The bridge operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The toll is approximately $45.00
Day 12 – Sackville to Halifax – 213km / 133mi
For those with little time to spare before the end of your RV vacation, today marks your return to Halifax where we suggest you take time to visit Halifax’s many attractions before returning your RV to CanaDream. full details
If your plans are to be on the road a little longer, we suggest that you consider traveling today to Amherst, Pugwash and Tatamagouche to follow our Grand Nova Scotia Tour from Day 6. This will take you around Cape Breton National Park and back through Sydney and Liscome before returning you to Halifax on Day 18. Also check out our 12 day tour from Halifax along the Lighthouse Route and Evangeline Trail.
CanaDream wishes to acknowledge the assistance of peisland.com and Tourism PEI for their help with parts of this itinerary. full details
For tour planning ideas in other parts of Canada please check our sample tours for the following areas:
- The Great North
- West Coast
- Rocky Mountains
- Central Canada
- East Coast