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Tessi and I explored Prince Edward Island at the dawn of the fall season last year. The weather was still warm and pleasant. Since it was off-season, we found plenty of spots scarce of people, so I let Tessi roam freely. In general, I was pleased to find the locals welcoming of her presence.

  • In looking over the visitor’s guide in the travel package I had ordered from PEI Tourism, I noted many entries with dog-friendly icons attached. (Though our off-season visit meant that some of these places would already be closed up.) I still either emailed my intended destinations before our trip or called beforehand while on the island to confirm. The highlights were:
    • The Harbour Hippo tour in Charlottetown. They are fine with dogs provided the surrounding passengers are okay with it; the tour group has never encountered problems.
    • The grounds and surrounding trails, but not in any buildings at Anne of Green Gables Heritage Place in Cavendish. Don’t confuse this with Anne of Green Gables Museum, where dogs, even small ones being carried, are not permitted whatsoever—the resident horses are afraid of them. 
    • Posing for a fun photo at Grandpa’s Antique Studio. Each dog is charged, as any extra person would be. 
    • A lighthouse tour in Souris and a visit to the accompanying Souris by the Sea Treasures Gift Shop. Some of the island’s lighthouses are dog friendly; others, such as the East Point Lighthouse, are not. We still enjoyed a wander on the grounds and along the bluff while watching the opposing waves crash together.
  • Most of our wayfaring took place on several of the abundance of gorgeous shorelines rich in the red tones the island is known for. Some were:
    • The private beach fronting our cabin at Adam’s Beach Cottages.
    • The perambulation from our cottage to Thunder Cove. The shoreline follows sand dunes and sandstone cliffs that grow more magnificent along the way. Eventually, a gap on outcropping between sandstone formations reveals Thunder Cove’s isolated sea stack
    • The Singing Sands at Basin Head Provincial Park. The blush-coloured sand supposedly sings, well actually squeaks, when walked on, though I heard nothing. 
    • Argyle Shore Provincial Park, which is a day-use park that provides stairs down a sharp cliff to a shoreline, where a small waterfall adorns a mix of rocks and sand. 
    • Cabot Beach Provincial Park with more sand, outcropping and stunning sandstone formations. 
  • Tessi, who is used to and prefers drinking water out of the lake, regularly wandered out into the ocean in search of refreshment only to find salty disappointment over and over again. I always ensured I had fresh water on hand. 
  • The only wooded walk we took was on the Balsam Hollow Trail at Anne of Green Gables Heritage Site. I found the woodland reminiscent of those of northern Ontario.
  • No bears or moose inhabit the island, which awarded me a safer feeling while out and about. Coyotes, however, do live there. I’ve read so many differing stories on their temperament in general, that I always remain conscious of their existence wherever I am.
  • Bridge or ferry? The fastest, easiest route to the island is on the 13 km (8 mi) Confederation Bridge. Ferries still operate and are pet friendly: “Pets are allowed on outside passenger decks as long as they are leashed.”

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© Cheryl Smyth, 2017