Prince Edward Island National Park in Canada – Best Things to Do

Red Earth Prince Edward Island 2010

Prince Edward Island National Park is a true reflection of what makes Atlantic Canada so special. In this park, red cliffs shimmer in a kaleidoscope of colors as they bathe in the rays of the setting sun. Rare birds call out to their mates in mysterious marshlands as elated campers sing merrily around a campfire. This is a place that you must experience for yourself, so here are some things to do when you get there


Things to Do in Prince Edward Island National Park

Go lighthouse spotting

You can’t get a more classic Maritime Canada view than a white and red lighthouse set among the sand dunes, and PEI has 63 lighthouses to choose from. Whether round or square, plain or striped, tall or short, wood or brick, they were all built around the island’s coastline from the mid-19th century to protect passing ships from the treacherous seas. Not many of them are used for navigation now, but they’re still looked after by local conservation groups.

Prince Edward Island National Park in Canada
Each lighthouse has its own story to tell. Point Prim is PEI’s first and oldest lighthouse, and is one of only a few round brick lighthouses on the island. Cape Bear had a Marconi wireless station where the first distress signal from the Titanic was heard. East Point has been moved twice after the coast eroded. And you can stay the night in the West Point lighthouse.

Discover the story of confederation

Prince Edward Island might be small, but it played a major role in the history of Canada. It was in the island’s capital Charlottetown that the Fathers of Confederation – representatives from the British colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario – met in Province House in September 1864 for the Charlottetown Conference, which led to the formation of Canada.

confederation chamber

You can find out more in a replica of the original Confederation Chamber (which is currently temporarily relocated to the Confederation Arts Center while Province House is being renovated) and you’ll also see the Confederation Players out and about in Charlottetown during the summer, costumed guides who can tell you all about what life was like in 1860s PEI.

See red sandstone cliffs

As you travel around Prince Edward Island you’ll see flashes of its unusual bright red soil. It gets its colour from the high amounts of iron in the island’s sandstone which oxidises and rusts when it comes in contact with the air. As well as being great for farming the sandstone makes for some gorgeous views, especially when it contrasts with the island’s green fields or blue waters.

Prince Edward Island National Park in Canada
Prince Edward Island National Park in Canada

Along the north shore of the island you can see red sandstone cliffs in Prince Edward Island National Park, with weird and wonderful rock formations which glow at sunset. You’ll also find more stunning sandstone scenery in Argyle Shore Provincial Park and at Cape Tryon.

Visit some Small Towns

Prince Edward Island National Park in Canada
Prince Edward Island National Park in Canada

There’s something so charming about PEI’s rolling fields and lighthouses and farms. Be sure to stop in a few small towns and wander through, meeting kind locals and sampling treats. You will love the historic fishing village of Victoria by the Sea – it’s darling and tiny and has a stunning lighthouse. These small and hospitable towns are perfect when visiting Prince Edward Island with kids!

How to Get There

A number of airlines fly into Charlottetown, the island’s capital. Direct service is available from Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa, with seasonal direct service from Boston, Detroit, and New York. Connecting service is available every day from Halifax International Airport.

If you are driving, there are two ways to approach the island. One is to take the eight-mile bridge—the longest bridge over ice-covered water in the world—from Cape Jourimain in New Brunswick to Borden-Carleton on Prince Edward Island. The other is to board Northumberland Ferries ( for a 75-minute sail from Caribou, Nova Scotia, over to Wood Islands.

How to Visit

There are three distinct segments of the park: Cavendish, Brackley-Dalvay, and Greenwich, each with its own unique characteristics. You’ll need a vehicle to get from one to another. Once you have arrived, however, the best way to enjoy the park is by foot or bike.

Visitors to the Cavendish and Brackley-Dalvay sectors of the park will find supervised beaches, campgrounds, and a number of trails of easy to moderate difficulty adapted to both hiking and cycling.