Our walk along the coastal portion of the Black Marsh Trail of North Cape gives a view of the cliffs in the shadow of the wind turbines.
The cliffs are ten to fifteen meters above sea level and red due to the coating of hematite, iron oxide, on the granules in the stone.
The erosion of Appalachian Mountains is the source of this sandstone. Water carried the sand, silt and rocks from the Appalachians into the Maritime Basin three hundred million years ago where it accumulated, hardened and became Prince Edward Island and parts of the other Atlantic provinces of Canada. The cliffs have a conglomerate of pebbles held together by natural cement, siltstone and the sandstone.
This redbed, as it is known locally, is very susceptible to erosion. It is curious that erosion was part of the process which formed PEI and erosion is wearing it away again.
Sea stacks are common around the island and there is one visible along the trail.
Called Elephant Rock, we see it in the distance as we walk along the coastline. Erosion has changed it too.
After the winter, fencing along the top of the cliffs is hanging over the edge in two locations.
The trail has been redirected in several places already.
Work will have to be done on the trail before tourist season begins, so we are careful where we step today.
At the end of the boardwalk, by Elephant Rock,
a road goes down to the shoreline. Irish moss harvesters will access the shoreline to collect the red algae for carrageenan, used commercially for its gelling and thickening properties. The road needs some repairs as well. We do not venture there today.
It is cold today, unlike our visit to the Cape two days previously. We dressed for the weather however and even had a picnic, warming ourselves with the hot tea. We planned our next adventure as we watched the birds gliding on the breeze.