Tag Archives: Maritimes

North Cape Trail, PEI

North Cape Trail map, from Bed & Breakfast Canada websiteWe went to Prince Edward Island in November for “oh, a day or so.” Just off the bridge, in Gateway Village, an “olde towne” of new buildings with tourist services and shops, we get a map. We decide to turn left to Summerside and the North Cape Trail around the west coast. “Then we can do the centre Green Gables Trail then go to Charlottetown. That’s probably all we’ve got time for,” I said confidently.

Three days later, we emerge back at the bridge from the northwest. We never got to Charlottetown or anywhere remotely Anne of Green Gables-ish. We didn’t even fully circumnavigate the west coast. But, oh, what we did see!

dogs running on beach, Union Corner PEIAt Union Corner, an old school turned antique store, closed and for sale. We can see the end of the side road, at the coast. There is a provincial park, closed for winter, and a lovely shoreline for dogs to run on. Leo got his first mouthful of salt water – didn’t like it, but loved the beach and the grassy meadows.

Sunset in Mont Carmel, a tiny Acadian village with a huge church. Jim experimented with a 360º camera setting and I perused the map for motel chances. Didn’t seem likely but drive on, I thought. After dark, we stopped at a gas station. The guys inside got a good laugh when gate Notre Dame du Mont Carmel, PEIasked about places to stay. Not outside tourist season, they said, only in Summerside.

Retracing our path next day. More Notre Dame du Mont Carmel photography and a walk through the graveyard. Driving west, past a lighthouse made out of bottles. Later, in the tourist guide, I saw it was part of The Bottle House, chosen by AMEX as a “world destination.” It was closed for the season anyway.

house, barn and boat, west coast PEIWest and north-west, photography and dog stops, feeling like long-distance travelers and a look at the map – we’ve gone barely any distance. Inland to the four-laner, heading north. We miss the coast furthest west doing this, but go back to it before Skinner’s Pond.

Schoolhouse at Skinner's Pond PEISkinner’s Pond, stomping grounds of Stompin’ Tom Connors. The school house has been restored as a museum with his help. Closed. In a field kitty-corner, two young horses play with a dog. Dog darts toward them, stops, horses jump back then dance forward toward the dog. Over and over.

From Stompin’ Tom to the North Cape

On up to the North Cape. A lighthouse and wind farm on a spit of land, it is spectacular. Probably crawling with people in summer, but dogs at North Cape, wind turbineswe were alone to explore, feel the wind, watch the sea.

South on the other side: a gentler beauty than the windblown glory only a few kilometers west. Malpeque Bay gives shelter. Overnight in Alberton, a beautiful town with a choice of four restaurants and several local shops. Another full day brings us back to Confederation Bridge.

Alberton PEI, view from motel“Closed for season” signs are a clue to how busy PEI is in summer. I liked it when we were there. Places to stay and eat may be scarce but it’s not far back to Summerside, at least on the main highway. The places and scenery are breathtakingly beautiful, I think, any time of year.

Sussex NB Dog Park

In Sussex, New Brunswick, when the first snow of the season hit. trail to Sussex dog parkBeautiful weather the past few days, then bam – rain, snow and high winds. Not as bad as New England got it, where we had just been, but still very cold. Not a day for the dog park.

But, having been told by my brother that there was one, I wanted to see it. So off Leo, Charlie and I went. We found it at the edge of the industrial section, at the end of a road with a hiking trail alongside it. Snow covered the sign so I couldn’t see what it said.

dog park Sussex New BrunswickIt was wet and windy on the top of that hill. Nobody else was there this Sunday afternoon. If I’d asked Charlie his opinion, he’d have said “and you’re surprised?” He and Leo ran around for about 10 minutes then Charlie stood at the entrance. Clearly, it was time to go.

It’s maybe an acre, about the size of a small ball diamond, enclosed two dogs going through entrance Sussex NB dog parkwith orange plastic snowfencing. The gate is a chute which turns at a right angle, then there’s a flap of fencing you can fasten to block it off. Quite ingenious and easy to do. A dog determined to get out could, by jumping the fence or pawing at the gate  But it’s not like you’re putting your dog out to pasture at the dog park so the fencing would be fine.

Part of Sussex hiking trails

The hiking trail that passes the dog park hooks into a main trail that goes along the river right through town. Apparently it too is lovely. Wet dogs back in carToday was not the day for us to find out. But I’m glad we went to the dog park. I’d like to see it on a nice day.  The view is superb.

And it was clean! Snow or no snow, my Leo can sniff out dog poop. And he only found one lot (sniffed it and ran on). That’s impressive in any field, I think.

The Sussex “Bark Park” is at the end of McLeod Dr., off Leonard Dr., in Sussex.