A Visit to Greenwich

Greenwich National Park

My husband's family arrived from the States and I was brainstorming places that  we could take them. I had "lived away" for most of my life (only returning last summer) so although there are places near and dear to me, there are still places that I haven't seen. One such place was Greenwich National Park. I had seen photos of the most popular trail over the water and dunes (there are three trails) and it was on my wish list.

We headed out from Charlottetown along St. Peters Road (Veteran's Memorial/All Weather Hwy) and about 35 minutes later found ourselves in St. Peters - a small, picturesque village right on the water. The Confederation Bike Trail runs right through the village.

A hop and a skip from there and we arrived at the interpretation centre of Greenwich National Park. The centre, which features more than 20 exhibits, is worth going through prior to setting out.  For those of you interested in the Park's beginnings and its heritage/ecological history, TVO has an interesting 23 minute video: Great Canadian Parks - Greenwich National Park. If you prefer to read about it, the Legion Magazine has a very good article: The Dunes of Greenwich

We decided to follow the Greenwich Dunes Trail which has the floating boardwalk over Bowley Pond. Wild roses greet you as you pass a couple of picnic benches nestled in the woods away from the path. Following the trail, you have a nice view of St. Peters as you pass the grounds where the old homestead stood. A couple of birch trees mark the spot. A hum of busy, contented bees rise from a haven's nest of purple fireweed just prior to the entrance of the woods. Don't mind the bumblebees and they won't mind you - they are much too busy! I learned this from my Grammie Stewart when we'd be picking blueberries together out in the fields down Montague way.

The woods are lovely. One minute you will be craining your head skyward to take in the treetops and then stooping low to examine an unusual berry or flower. There are two trees with knotted bottoms standing nonchalantly by a park bench - you can't help but notice them!

One of the things that really made it interesting is the amount of information you receive about the wildlife and plants just from reading the numerous information displays set along the trail. Don't miss out by rushing past them!

The boardwalk starts in the woods near the Reindeer Moss. When you emerge from the trees, it truly takes your breathe away. Your eyes travel along the floating boardwalk and over the pond to beautiful dunes.

Strolling along the boardwalk we saw a beaver house (we believe he was out visiting his neighbours), a frog, ducks and geese. On your left, the dunes rise out of the water while on your right your eyes are dazzled by low hills of various shades of green. Benches along the way provide a place to rest and enjoy the view.

At the end of the boardwalk you will climb up a path over the dunes and be on a lovely, sandy beach. There is a lookout point down the beach a ways on your left. You may be tuckered but you really should check it out.

We had a wonderful day - you will too!
(Tip: On the way back, stop in at the Morell Bakery for some really good oatmeal cookies ;)

Here are a couple of more links for you to enjoy:

Greenwich National Park map
Greenwich National Park's website


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