Summertime on the Island

Charlottetown, Summerside, Rocky Point & Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island (Map)

Summer 2015


Leaving the Annapolis Valley, the only stop we made on the way to Prince Edward Island was for one last bit of Taco Bell (obviously). Not knowing whether we'd get to Sydney early enough for chili cheese burritos on Sunday, I decided to take some precautions and also give thanks to the Truro location – even if it has been open for something like 3 years now.

Also, I used my cargo shorts to hold extra burritos. I mention this for all of those people out there talking ish about cargo shorts nowadays, saying no one actually uses them to carry things. (Yes, I'm also aware I look out of touch in them. I wasn't going to a fashion show.)

Soon enough we found ourselves at Christian & Tasha's in Charlottetown, at their lovely little bungalow at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac in a neighbourhood I've come to love.

This afternoon would be spent in the backyard relaxing by the hammock, not doing much of anything but catching up and enjoying the sweet summer's day.


The next day, we went for a brief excursion in search of lighthouses and swimming beaches. I knew of a cluster of lighthouses on the western side of the entrance to the Charlottetown Harbour, but considering the small size of this harbour, it still took a 1/2 hour to get over here.

Regardless, if you have a rental car in Charlottetown and enjoy lighthouses, I'd recommend the trip. Where I had grown used to a certain type of P.E.I. lighthouse from that trip just a month ago, this was a throwback to the substantial lighthouses upon peaceful settings that I found on my first trip to Prince Edward Island. There's a lot of lighthouses in this update & none after would come close to this one at Blockhouse Point.

I loved the unique and sizable keeper's house attached to the lighthouse. This house in addition to the setting, cemented Blockhouse Point as one of my favourite P.E.I. lighthouses.


Constructed in 1876, Blockhouse Point is the 2nd-oldest PEI lighthouse after Point Prim (yes, I've been there too). It stands 42 feet tall and with 18-foot cliffs off of Blockhouse Point, the focal plane of the light is 60 feet.

Recently, a local group created a business plan to renovate the attached keeper's home into tourist accommodations, but after waiting & waiting to hear back from the federal government, they weren't chosen as one of the heritage lighthouses to be transferred over to private ownership.

I can't find more recent news than this 'delays frustrate community group' article from January 2015. I also can't find any type of website/fb page for the Blockhouse Lighthouse Committee.

The Port-la-Joye—Fort Amherst National Historic Site was along the road out to the Blockhouse Point Lighthouse. While it was interesting enough to check out the depressions where the first French settlers built a settlement and fort in the 1700s, we had other reasons for walking the trail into the historic site.

The Warren Cove Range Lighthouses (there are two different lighthouses in the above pictures) were built in 1907.

After checking out the Warren Cove lights, we continued along the southern shore of PEI to Argyle Shore Provincial Park, where they had a funny little swimming beach at the base of a small cliff. There were tons of people out here, but the beach couldn't have been more than 15 feet wide.

The next day we went for a spin out to Summerside (about an hour from Charlottetown). It's here in a neighbourhood before town that the unique Summerside Back Range Lighthouse has stood since 1895. It was originally an open wooden structure of supports with a lantern atop, until being encased in boards and shingles in 1904. In 1916, vertical walls were built atop the flat top pyramid to raise the overall height of the lantern.

This lighthouse is right on a suburban street just like it seems. A man was working in his garage 20 feet away as I pulled up in front of his house; the man giving us a cursory glance before returning to his work.

Shelloo's photo

Shelloo had researched and was excited for a coffee shop in Summerside that had adaptively reused an old bank. I have to admit it was pretty neat & there was even a table in the old bank vault (we sat in the main, more open area though).

On the way out of town we passed the Summerside Back Range Lighthouses, built in 1991. These two lighthouses didn't replace an older lighthouse, meaning they would be some of the most newly-established lighthouses in Canada1 (they're certainly the newest I've ever stood before).

The next stop was nearby Linkletter Provincial Park, home to a much better beach than Argyle Shore. I can't remember even swimming at Argyle Shore, but I at least waded in at Linkletter. After that I sat under a tree and read, while the others enjoyed the fine, sunny day.

1 - From my experience. I've stood before QC/ON/NB/NS/PE/NL lights,
but maybe BC has built some new lighthouses I don't know about (doubtful)

We continued even further east, passing the Eglise de Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel that I've passed a few times & always thought about stopping to check out. Such a monumental church set upon rolling, gentle PEI farmland has a way of grabbing your attention.

Seeing the front doors open, I finally stopped here on this the fourth or fifth time I've driven this coastal road. The interior space was one of those deals where there's now a caretaker/guide who stands there and welcomes you to check out the inside when the priest isn't around.

I used one of my favourite moves by utilizing body position so that the teenage guide kept talking to the others while I snapped pictures. The only problem was that it wasn't a quick talk or a welcome, the guide then followed Christian and Shelloo around; while also occasionally taking time to check on Tasha. This quickly flushed them out of the building.

It was still a beautiful church, even if I didn't take as much time as I would have liked.


We were going to stop at The Bottle House that I've now seen on a thousand blogs, but the admission cost made us decide against it.

Therefore the last stop was Cap Egmont, where I've parked on this short road to check out an abandoned church but never took the time to continue down here to the lighthouse.

Even considering that it was summer on the gentle island, there was much more commotion here than what would make any amount of sense.

Parking our car at the end of the line, and after turning off the radio, we could actually hear the priest talking and officiating a wedding. The bridesmaids smiled and seated relatives kept their attention up ahead. My group was apprehensive about me going over to take pictures during the wedding, so after all of these years thinking about how I parked on this exact road, the above picture is as far as I went.

A lighthouse wedding thwarting me, this was a new one.

(We didn't wait around for the ceremony to end because I have other lighthouses to eventually get in eastern PEI. In addition, we were tired and growing hungry.)

I forget what we ate, but we then took advantage of Charlottetown's rooftop patio, which wasn't too bad on this delightful evening.

Prince Edward Island's capital is a little small for it to rank in my top cities, but Christian's neighbourhood, the dense part of downtown & the fancy mansion district (Brighton) are all great. I truly enjoy those parts & have come to enjoy them more with time spent in Charlottetown.

We stayed up until God knows what hour this last night, eventually waking up groggy and without enough sleep. I was really proud of myself here though, as there was something I wanted to film and I didn't allow myself to simply say 'fuck it.'

Grabbing my filmer to head back to the skatepark, Shelloo didn't give me many tries as we had to get going, but for once in my life I fired a clip out on the third or fourth try.

Upon returning to the house, Christian was blown away with the footage knowing how much we got on the sauce and how bleary-eyed I still stood before him. I laughed at the observation.

After quickly packing our stuff and saying our goodbyes, it was over to the southeast of the island since we'd be taking the ferry instead of the Confederation Bridge today. We ended up having to go on a later ferry crossing, so for all the times I've taken this ferry, it was finally time to check out the Wood Islands Lighthouse that stands within view of the ferry lineup.

The highlight of the lighthouse park is the main Wood Islands Lighthouse, built in 1875. It's now an interesting museum and stair climb.

Wood Islands Range Rear

In addition to the Wood Islands Lighthouse, there were also a pair of range lighthouses that used to stand on the southern slab of land on the other side of the harbour. Now that these range lighthouses have been replaced, they were moved into this lighthouse park in 2013. This was 3 PEI lighthouses for the price of one.

Wood Islands Range Front

As I was standing around and moving two feet this way, two feet that way while taking pictures of the Wood Islands Lighthouse, there was a group of girls nearby. The one girl asked if Shelloo and I wanted our picture taken behind one of those comical painted boards with holes for our faces. Before I could even shoo the girl away, I was suddenly crouching down...

And so, the trip ended with me as a lobster being held up by its tail.

(Not actually me in the linked picture.)


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< Older Update:
Staying At The Old St. Alban's Anglican


Newer Update:
Northern Peninsula:
Croque & Grandois (NF)

1 - Warren Cove Back Range Light - Lighthouses of Prince Edward Island
2 - Blockhouse Point Lighthouse - Government of Prince Edward Island
3 - Blockhouse Point Lighthouse - Lighthouses of Prince Edward Island
4 - Lighthouse Delays Frustrate Community Group - CBC PEI, Jan 12 2015
5 - Wood Islands Lighthouse - Lighthouses of Prince Edward Island
6 - Wood Islands Back Range Light - Lighthouses of Prince Edward Island
7 - Cape Egmont Lighthouse - Lighthouses of Prince Edward Island
8 - Summerside Outer Back Range Light - Lighthouses of Prince Edward Island
9 -Summerside Back Range Light - Lighthouses of Prince Edward Island

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