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Prince Edward Island National Park Sees Expansion to Boost Overnight Visits

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Prince Edward Island National Park (Canada) hopes that its expanded Bunkie offerings will attract more people from the city to stay overnight this summer.

The single-room cabins come with a queen bed and double sleeping lofts, a table, propane heat, and a deck. It can accommodate two to four people and is designed for young couples.

“It’s unique to us,” says Joel McKinnon, visitor services team lead for the park. “It’s trying to make it easy for people to come and make use of the park.”

The park introduced two Bunkies at Cavendish campground last year. There will be four Bunkies in Cavendish this year and two at the Stanhope campsite.

The park considered other roofed accommodation/comfort camping options, like Parks Canada’s MicrOcube cabins and teardrop-shaped Oasis pods.

The park already has 14 oTENTiks that are family-friendly, a hybrid of a tent and cabin that can accommodate up to six.

The park decided to develop something unique for its customers that was inspired by the sea shanties used by fishermen.

“Ultimately, it just kind of provided that quaintness,” says McKinnon.

Four Bunkies, two in each campground, are equipped with electricity and water. They cost CA$128 ($100) per night. Two unserviced Bunkies in Cavendish campground cost CA$106.50 Canadian ($84) a night. The Bunkies can be booked from June through September.

The park did not expand its campground footprint to accommodate the Bunkies. Instead, it occupied existing campsites for tents and RVs. “We didn’t use prime campsites because people are particular about their campsites,” McKinnon says.

This park has become a popular tourist attraction on the island. It is known for its wide white beaches with red cliffs and dunes sculpted by the wind. There are boardwalks, walking trails, and paved, multi-use trails through coastal wetlands, saltwater marshes, and Acadian forest.

It is home to piping plovers, a threatened shorebird that nests on sandy beaches. A seasonal ban on domestic animals helps protect the birds. And the park is one of five spots where Parks Canada has launched the Coastie Initiative, asking citizens to take photos of the coast at specific locations to monitor erosion.

Established in 1937, the Prince Edward Island National Park is one of Canada’s smallest national parks, with 23.84 square kilometers (9.3 acres) of land following an expansion in 2021.

This story originally appeared on National Parks Traveler.

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