Greenwich Dune Trail, Prince Edward Island Provincial Park

When we were in Prince Edward Island, we were very into plopping down on various beaches. We were also very into moving our bodies around a bit before we hit we the beach. It mostly worked out really well, with the exception of the Bubbling Springs trail near Stanhope. It's labelled as "easy" but that fails to take into consideration the truly astonishing number of mosquitoes. We RAN, you guys. We do not go to these trails to run but run we did because that's how bad the mosquitoes were. Just thinking about it makes me itch. 

A far more successful trail walk was the Greenwich Dune Trail at Greenwich Beach in the Prince Edward Island Provincial Park. We're big fans of Greenwich Beach but this was our first time trying out the trails there. This trail is simply spectacular. 

First you start off walking through fields, that were once part of a working farm. You'll catch glimpses of the bay. 

Greenwich Dune Trail, PRince Edward Island

Greenwich Dune Trail, PRince Edward Island

You'll walk by lots of naturally growing raspberry canes. And some pretty flowers. 

A field of pretty flowers at Greenwich

A field of pretty flowers at Greenwich

Then you'll wander into the woods. 

In the woods, Greenwich Dune Trail

In the woods, Greenwich Dune Trail

They have information panels interspersed through the trail length. We'd seen these plants on other trails but didn't know what they were. Bunchberries! It was thanks to these boards we also discovered the HUGE dragonflies flitting around were blue darners. They were the biggest dragonflies I've ever seen! 

Bunchberries!

Bunchberries!

After you leave the woods you'll find yourself on a long floating boardwalk. It goes over a freshwater lake. 

Start of the boardwalk at Greenwich Dunes

Start of the boardwalk at Greenwich Dunes

While you are on the boardwalk, you'll get your first glimpse of the fabulous dunes at Greenwich. 

Back of the parabolic dune

Back of the parabolic dune

I love walking on boardwalks, but I'll confess I was scared I would accidentally trip (totally possible, have you met me?) and drop my phone in the water. I had a death grip on it. 

Boardwalk at Greenwich Dunes

Boardwalk at Greenwich Dunes

When you reach the end of the boardwalk you'll climb over a dune. It's fairly steep but they put down webbing over the sand and they have a rope that you can hold on to. Please, PLEASE, do not climb or play dunes unless it is clearly marked that you can. Dunes are fragile. 

Greenwich Beach

Greenwich Beach

And we took a selfie because we are nothing if not predictable. Plus it's just way easier than asking other people to take a picture for you. 

A selfie. BEcause Obviously. 

A selfie. BEcause Obviously. 

From the beach you can climb up a second dune. Again, it was pretty steep. From there you'll see the back of the dunes. 

Greenwich Beach dunes from back 

Greenwich Beach dunes from back 

But what people really come to see are the parabolic dunes

Parabolic Dunes, Greenwich Dune Trail, PRince Edward Island

Parabolic Dunes, Greenwich Dune Trail, PRince Edward Island

The pictures do not do it justice. It's spectacular. 

For the return trip you climb back down the dune and retrace your steps. 

Lee and I both really, really loved this trail. I think we'll likely do this trail again. 

Cavendish Beach Homestead Trail

We made a decision before we went on this vacation. Before we plopped our butts down on the beach for the day we wanted to try to walk. We needed to move a bit.  

We knew from our previous visits there was a longish trail near Cavendish Beach in the national park.  we walked a short portion of it but we knew this year we'd do the long loop. I have to say that 8.4km (or 8.7 depending on which sign you read) is longer than you think it is. Especially when you walk it during one of the hottest times of days (oops). Luckily it's a PEI trail and that went we were greated with a good breeze for most of it. 

It starts as a walk in the woods.,, 

It starts as a walk in the woods.,, 

Then field.  

Then field.  

And stream  

And stream  

And bay  

And bay  

And then more field  

And then more field  

We saw herons and gulls. Chipmunks and moles.  We smelled, but thankfully did not see, skunks. We provided nutrition for some mosquitoes and black flies.

Aside from my nose and a bit of my forehead, I did not get the sunburn I richly deserved. (I forgot to pack a hat.) 

We were thrilled there was a canteen at the main entrance to Cavendish Beach that provided cold drinks, though a bit disappointed they did not have chocolate milk.  

By the time we walked from our car the trail and the trail back to the car and then the car to the beach we walked close to 10km. A good workout for the day.  The beaches in PEI are beautiful but the water was a bit brisk. They are pretty much the perfect way to cool down after a long walk. 

I splurged on a beach tent this summer. It's worth every cent and every swear word I uttered while setting it up. (It's actually not hard to set up, especially with two people, but we had just walked close to 10km.) The tent is probably what saved me from that horrible sunburn.  

Selfie in a beach tent

Selfie in a beach tent

It was a good day. Even if that long walk made my hips very, very angry with me. 

Beaches and Food

We spent Saturday morning getting to PEI. We crossed the bridge.  

Crossing the Confederation Bridge.  

Crossing the Confederation Bridge.  

Then it was off to the Charlottetown Farmers Market to buy new potatoes and mini doughnuts. To be honest, we could buy the potatoes lots of places but the real lure is the doughnuts.

Don't ask how long it takes us to go through a bag of 20 of these... 

Don't ask how long it takes us to go through a bag of 20 of these... 

Then it was time to check into the cottage and hit up the local stores for the rest of our supplies. We had our now traditional first night in PEI dinner of steak, potatoes, and green beans.  

It's a tradition!  

It's a tradition!  

On our way into town we missed that there was a new dairy bar so obviously we had to check that out. I doubt it will be the only time we stop there this trip. 

Yay for ice cream!  

Yay for ice cream!  

Sunday did not bring the sun but we don't let that stop us from hitting the beach. Instead of sunning ourselves we walked most of the length of Panmure Island beach. We were there in time to catch the end of low tide, so Lee got to spend a bit of time on sand bars.  

There's nothing like a good sand bar!  

There's nothing like a good sand bar!  

I had some good luck finding sea glass. I hadn't found much the last couple of years but I found a few pieces this time, including this really large piece.  

Sea glass = treasure!  

Sea glass = treasure!  

After all that walking we were kind of hungry so we hopped in the car and headed for Murray Harbour and Brehaut's. There was a bit of a wait but soon enough we were digging into our cup of chowder. 

Mmm a cup of chowder and a biscuit. Best way to start a meal!  

Mmm a cup of chowder and a biscuit. Best way to start a meal!  

We surprised ourselves when neither of us had dessert. No pie for us! Though it must be said that Lee had a banana milkshake with his meal. 

We walked off a bit of our meal by stopping at King's Castle where the large cement figures are every bit as creepy as I remember.  

Dorothy, why are you so PINK?  

Dorothy, why are you so PINK?  

And some things were even creepier than I recalled.  

I suppose jack-o-lanterns are supposed to be scary... 

I suppose jack-o-lanterns are supposed to be scary... 

But not everything is scary. The wooden fort was awesome and Lee was sad he was too big to play in it. And the play structures are fabulous with a mix of new ones and old school metal ones that would never be constructed today.  

We wandered a bit on the way back to town. We stopped to say hello to the buffalo at Buffaloland.

Hello buffalo! 

Hello buffalo! 

Shortly after that it started to rain and we headed back to the cottage. Now we're sitting around, waiting to get hungry again so we can make dinner.  

It's not a bad way to spend a Sunday. Not at all.