The Dunk River flows into the Summerside Harbour and a hike along the Dunk had long been on our To Do list. On the last good weather day last week, my husband and I ventured along the return walk of 7km, etched along the shoreline of the river, the fast flowing water a rushing soundtrack for the distance. You can hear the river here.
The area is home to one hundred year old trees, hemlock and yellow birch primarily. With trees that old, the wind can cause immense damage.
In addition, early spring in the forests of the island is primarily grey since the leaves aren’t prepared to greet the cold. Yet, the trail was starkly beautiful.
Undergrowth in some areas of this trail consists of Ground Hemlock, a type of yew which is harvested for taxanes used in cancer treatment. This yew provides an uncommon green for this time of year.
Two sections of this trail give hikers the option to walk along the water’s edge or a few meters inland.
We tried both, switching to the other when the going was rough. The sound of the running water fills the river valley.
We spoke to a number of anglers along the river.
The Dunk River is one of the great fishing rivers on the island and anglers were enjoying time on the river during one of the first few days of the season. It was a long winter and time outside is precious now.
Water striders on the river in a few locations were the only insects we saw. They were close to the river bank which made them easy to spot. For striders, walking on water is a reality.
We will walk the Dunk River Trail again when spring has a firmer hold and the leaves are beginning to grow this time next month.