Home Button
Culture Button
Commerce Button
Islanders Button
Transportation Button
Environment Button
Services Button
Perspective Button
Site Map Button
Gallery Button
Bibliography Button
Credits Button

National Parks Header

For well over one hundred years, the national parks system in Canada has played a vital role in preserving our country’s natural and cultural heritage. Prince Edward Island boasts one national park and several national historic sites. The national park’s mandate is as follows:

To commemorate and present places which are significant examples of Canada’s cultural and natural heritage in ways that encourage public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment so as to leave it unimpaired for future generations.

Sand DunesIn 1937, the 40-kilometre strip of sand dunes, ponds, marshes, red sandstone cliffs, and Acadian forest on the Island’s north shore was set aside to create the Prince Edward Island National Park. The park is involved in protecting many ecosystems and the indigenous flora and fauna found within its boundaries. A prominent example of this is the fragile dunes which rely on the marram grass root system to hold them in place and protect the dunes from erosion. Without the marram grass, the strong north shore winds would carve the dunes, causing them to shift constantly and rendering them unable to support vegetation or wildlife.Great Blue Heron

The park is also fostering the regeneration of abandoned fields and meadows by establishing red pine plantations and implementing an overall vegetation management plan. The diverse wetland and woodland habitats are home to a variety of wildlife, including deer mice, red fox, mink, muskrat, and snowshoe hare. A symbol of the Prince Edward Island National Park, the Great Blue Heron can be seen in shallow ponds, bays, and marshes waiting for fish to swim their way. The heron comes to the park and other Island estuaries in the early spring after spending the winter season in South America and the southern United States.

Piping PloverSince 1982, the Prince Edward Island National Park has devoted considerable energy to the preservation of the endangered piping plover, a small shorebird that nests in flat sandy areas. Scattered gravel and seashells provide so perfect a camouflage that their nests are often unwittingly disturbed by sunbathers and beachcombers. The 25 nesting pairs in the Prince Edward Island National Park represent approximately two percent of the world’s dwindling piping plover population. For 16 years, the park’s Plover Guardian Program has contributed to a noticeable increase in chick survival.

A Prince Edward Island National Park experience can take several forms. A wide range of interpretive activities are scheduled throughout the summer months. Visitors can also beach comb, sunbathe on the white sand shore, swim in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, or walk one of eight hiking trails, which feature interpretive signs, rest stops and shelters along their winding paths through woodlands, barachois, old farmhouses, a pioneer cemetery, sandy dunes, red sandstone cliffs, and cultivated farmlands.

The Rustico Island area of the Park is a site of great historical significance. Here, archaeologists have discovered artifacts which date back to A.D.1400. Two of the province’s oldest churches are also located there. In addition, the national park incorporates Green Gables House, a recreation of the farm that inspired Lucy Maud Montgomery’s famous novel, Anne of Green Gables. The grounds and farm outbuildings, complemented by interpretive programs, portray rural Island life of the nineteenth century.

Heritage Sites Icon
National Historic Sites | Scenic Heritage Roads | Museums and Historic Villages
Historic Buildings and Churches | Monuments to Our Past