Sunday, September 3, 2017

the Greenwich Dunes Trail on Prince Edward Island

We've been going to Prince Edward Island for years now, as we try to make it an annual trip to visit family there. However, this year was the first time that we tried out the Greenwich Dunes Trail, and it has turned into one of the coolest sights I've experienced - not just on Prince Edward Island, but, like ever. And I like to think that's saying something for my travel blog.

When we first were trying to figure out whether we wanted to try out the Greenwich Dunes Trail, we watched a few Youtube videos where other hikers exclaimed how they had never seen anything like this in their life. I thought at first they were exaggerating or maybe they hadn't traveled very much before. But they were right - it was really cool!

Even if you're not a science eco-system fan and don't know what parabolic sand dunes mean, this place will totally blow your mind. Picture this: You've got the Atlantic Ocean. You've got beaches surrounded by sand dunes. So far, cool but nothing too unusual - there's a lot of ocean shoreline on Prince Edward Island.

But, just on the other side of those sand dunes, you've got freshwater wetlands. What, really? I mean there are lots of wetlands in Canada, including in Ontario, but it's rather unusual to see it pretty much in the same place as an ocean beach. And on top of it all, the tall cat tails and grass growing out of the marshes have spread to grow over the sand dunes, which is for me the most original site. I've seen my fair share of sand dunes, after all - a large chunk of this travel blog is dedicated to my time living in Namibia, which has one of the most popularly photographed Subsaharan sand dunes in the world. But I've never seen sand dunes covered in grass, forming around both the ocean and wetlands. It's such a unique landscape, right here in Canada.

The most fun way to get to Greenwich sand dunes is by taking the Greenwich Dunes Trail, a relatively easy trail that's about 4.4 kilometres as a loop. It's also mostly accessible by wheelchair and stroller up until the very last part where you trek over the sand dunes, but thanks to the convenient board walk they've laid down right through the marshes, you still can go pretty far and get pretty close to the grass-covered dunes without getting your shoes filled with sand climbing through the dunes at the end.

There are plenty of other lovely sights along the trail, including the windswept trees in the small forest that the trail cuts through.



My friends sometimes ask me what they should check out when they visit Prince Edward Island for a vacation. It's already so hard to figure out how to filter the many lovely things that the Island has to offer, from the delicious culinary scene in Charlottetown to the various local art studios in the most random tiny town, but the Greenwich Dunes Trail has now made the top of my list.  Ocean, sand dunes, marshes, all in one place - definitely check it out!