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Fiona’s Aftermath: P.E.I. National Park Struggles to Reopen

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Visitors to Prince Edward Island National Park in Canada this summer will find some changes in the aftermath of post-tropical storm Fiona. 

The storm caused widespread damage throughout the park, leaving staff members with a daunting task of surveying the damage and figuring out a plan for the 2023 tourism season. 

Despite the challenges, most areas of the park will be open or partially open this year, according to a report by Yahoo! News.

Two beach access points, Covehead Harbour beach and North Rustico beach, are currently open. More will reopen as repairs are completed, allowing visitors to enjoy the beautiful coastline that PEI is known for. 

However, the park’s staff members are very concerned about the dune system, which was severely impacted by the storm. In an effort to preserve the dunes and allow them to rebuild, staff members are asking visitors to stay off of them.

One major change that visitors will see is the removal of the asphalt road to Robinson’s Island, which sustained significant damage and erosion from waves and storm surges. 

Parks Canada plans to replace the road with an unpaved multi-use trail, but visitors will have to park at the Brackley Beach complex and hike or cycle to the island, a distance of about 3.5 kilometers.

Both Stanhope and Cavendish campgrounds will be open this summer, although Fiona impacted 16 campsites at the Cavendish site. The park’s staff members are working hard to get the site ready for visitors, but they are also urging visitors to be mindful of the sensitive coastal environment and help preserve the dunes.

As the park moves forward, Parks Canada will be looking at many options for its future, including retreating from the coastline and giving more strategic thought to how they are building and the services they are providing. 

This will be an ongoing process, but the park’s staff members are committed to protecting and preserving the natural beauty of Prince Edward Island National Park.

While the aftermath of post-tropical storm Fiona was devastating, the park’s staff members are optimistic about its future. They expect the forested areas to bounce back and the coast and dunes to slowly regrow. 

Visitors to Prince Edward Island National Park this summer can expect to see some changes, but they will also be able to enjoy the park’s stunning beauty and help contribute to its preservation.

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