Boardwalks are plentiful here in Prince Edward Island. We frequent the one by the bay in Summerside as do many other residents. All around the province, boardwalks attract people to the outdoors, by the ocean, over marshes or wetlands, in parks and towns. Islanders are fond of their boardwalks.
This summer my husband and I are exploring more of our island home as we can drive from east to west in several hours. Our most recent discovery is the boardwalk in North Rustico, northeast of our home. The hot summer day did not dissuade us since we had natural air conditioning again, an east coast breeze.
North Rustico is an area which was first settled by Indigenous people at least 6000 years ago. Then the European explorer, Jacques Cartier, sailed along the coast in the 1530s. Rene Rassicot fished in the area in 1729 and named it. Rassicot, with the silent t, became Rustico over the centuries. By the 1790s, the first French settlers, Acadians, built their homes in the area. Descendants of those first Acadians live in the area today.
This part of the province still is involved in the fishery. The community has less than one thousand permanent residents, but that number swells in the summer when cottagers return and visitors flock to the area. Meanwhile, life in the community continues as it has for centuries, linked to the sea. Now however, the tourist industry is also a part of that lifestyle. We shared our day in the community with many other visitors, most of whom were from other provinces and states across the border.
The boardwalk runs along by the harbour, a prime location.
The path is lined with wildflowers
and trees, where birds sing their varied melodies in the thick vegetation, unseen but not unnoticed.
In the harbour, boats go by
and share the waterway with kayakers this time of year.
Overhead an osprey is making its presence known as herons wade in the water. Along the path, various monuments mark people and events which are significant to the area.
Monument to the Acadian Settlers
At the end of the boardwalk near the entrance to the harbour, if you cross the road and follow the path, you will arrive at the beach. Sand dunes obstruct the view of the beach which opens before you on the far side of the dunes.
The beach is crowded, by island standards.
At the head of the harbour, rental places and eateries attract visitors.
This lighthouse is one of four remaining of those which housed keepers and their families for decades.
Lobster traps are for sale but don't look out of place.
We will return.