The western tip of Greenwich, a peninsula that separates St. Peters Bay from the Gulf of St. Lawrence, became part of Prince Edward Island National Park in 1998 to protect and preserve the natural and cultural resources found in the area.
Parabolic Dunes © Parks Canada/ J. Sylvester
The site contains an extensive and fragile coastal dune system, wetlands and various natural habitats in which numerous rare plant species are found. Among the most spectacular natural characteristics to be protected at Greenwich are the unusually large and mobile parabolic dunes with their associated counter ridges or Gegenwälle . This phenomenon is very rare in North America.
Greenwich is also noted for its cultural and historic richness. Research at the site is ongoing, and evidence found thus far indicates a landscape that has changed drastically over time. Several archaeological digs conducted between 1983 and 2002 by the Canadian Museum of Civilization and Parks Canada have found traces left by the major cultures that have existed on Prince Edward Island over the past 10,000 years. These include early Aboriginal peoples, the Mi'kmaq, French and Acadian settlers, and Scottish, Irish, and English immigrants.
There are three components to a visitor experience in Greenwich...
Greenwich Interpretation Centre
Greenwich Interpretation Centre
© Parks Canada / J. Pleau
The Centre features over 20 exhibits to help people learn and appreciate the amazing natural and cultural history of this special place. The Time Line exhibit depicts a story of 10,000 years of inhabitation, including artifact which have been found on-site. Visitors can test their own naturalist skills with the Shell Game, Shorebird Challenge, and Dune Plant quiz. The 3D in-floor model displays the Greenwich Peninsula, St. Peters Bay, and surrounding areas. A major component of the exhibit is the 12-minute multimedia presentation entitled “Wind, Sea and Sand, the story of Greenwich.” The Interpretation Centre is fully wheelchair accessible and also includes a gift shop and multipurpose room.
Hiking Trails © Parks Canada / J. Sylvester
Greenwich features three hiking trails varying in length from 1.25 km to 4.5 kms. The landscape varies from secluded wooded areas to open abandoned agricultural fields to spectacular vistas over Bowley Pond. All trails are equipped with interpretive signs, which explain the unique ecosystem and rich history of the area. Trails are open from late spring until late fall.
Beach Facility © Parks Canada / J. Sylvester
This facility has been constructed using a sustainable design concept. Energy is provided by means of wind and solar power energy. Composting toilets replace the need for a traditional sewage system. Services available include washrooms, change rooms, exterior showers, a large picnic shelter, a wooden boardwalk to the beach, and observation tower.
Parking lots, trails, boardwalks, and stairs in Greenwich, PEI National Park are not maintained between Thanksgiving and Victoria Day each year. During this period there is no Parks Canada emergency response. Natural hazards are present in the area. There is, therefore, an increased risk of serious injury or death. By choosing to use unmaintained trails, you assume all actual and legal risks. Parks Canada disclaims any and all liability to you and relies on the Occupiers' Liability Act, RSPEI 1988, c. O-2.
Geocaching at Greenwich
Visit geocaching.com to get the coordinates for the first cache at Greenwich, and find all three to earn a Parks Canada GeoCoin! Visit The Turret Bell in St. Peters for GPS rentals or help learning the ropes.