A great paddle on Prince Edward Island’s north shore can be found near the Robinson’s Island – Brackley Beach area. The best put in point is from the beach at North Rustico Harbour. From here you can paddle west along 8km of sandy shoreline that makes up part of Prince Edward Island National Park.
Starting from Rustico, the first challenge is getting out of the harbour. There are several sand bars in the area and the best course of action is to paddle just outside of the navigation channel used by the numerous fishing boats in the area. Try to stay to the left side of the green markers on the way out (opposite of usual boating procedure). Once you get past the end of the breakwater point your boat west towards the wooded area of Robinson’s Island and you’ll be on your way.
You can reach Robinson’s Island in just under an hour and spend as much time as you wish exploring here. It is no longer a true island because of a man-made causeway that connects it to the mainland but very few people now visit the area. It was used as a national park campground but a few years ago it was closed in order to let it re-grow to its natural state. There are several wooded trails to explore and lots of flotsam to be found along the beach
Staying close to the shoreline there is lots to see in terms of birdlife as well as a few mammals such as raccoons and mink. Some of the coastline is made up of red sandstone but most of this route includes the famous white sandy beaches of Brackley. This coastline is characteristic of the north shore as is most of the life you will see both on land and in the water.
After exploring Robinson’s Island, a short paddle west will bring you along Brackley Beach, which offers some of the best swimming on the whole island. The scenery is very nice and the paddling is very safe and fun. When there is a north wind blowing, the area often has some very good surf which can make for some extra fun for more experienced paddlers.
This is a great day paddle that will take the average person between 3-6 hours to complete, depending on how much exploring you wish to do. I’ve added my favorite put in and take out point but there are many places to launch and land in this area. I recommend looking at a map and doing what works best for you. Just remember that conditions can change quickly so be prepared.
Guided tours of the area can be arranged through Outside Expeditions in North Rustico. www.getoutside.com
From Charlottetown take Route 6 to North Rustico. Turn right at Harbourview Drive and follow it to the beach at the end of North Rustico Harbour
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