Lighthouses fascinate us. There is romance in these coastal beacons, manned by solitary keepers, that light the way for ships at sea though starless nights and winter gales. Travel to PEI was only possible by boat, from the earliest years of European settlement. Right up to the building of the Confederation Bridge in 1997 PEI was visited by ferries running to Woods Island in eastern PEI, and Borden Carleton in western PEI. Lighthouses were vital along the coasts.
Many lighthouse keepers were colourful characters. Sometimes generation after generation followed in the family tradition, as a son and then grandson took over the job. What must life have been like for those who guarded our shores. Such a heavy burden and lonely lifestyle for those responsible for the lives of the sailors navigating the waters around our crinkled capes and shores.
Prince Edward Island’s lighthouses played a vital role in the life and economy of the newly settled land. As Islanders, we were dependent on the gifts the sea gave us. Fishing and shipbuilding were two of the most important industries in the early days of colonization. The only means of transportation to and from the Island were by boat and ferry. The sea is changeable and as it gives life, it takes it away too. The waters all around the Island are testament to sunken ships.
Our lighthouses also tell a story with their architecture. You will notice two distinctive architectural styles: the colonial or “first-generation” structures were built before 1873. They were wooden, octagonal structures constructed when timber was abundant in this province. Our second-generation lighthouses tend to be gable-roofed structures with the addition of keepers’ houses.
Are you are a budding enthusiast or a self proclaimed “lighthouse lover” ? The fifteen lighthouses located on the North Cape Coastal Drive are sure to invite, educate, and take you to places otherwise unseen. Follow the links below and plan your trip of discovery to see just how enchanting these towering lights can be!
Follow Route 11 west of Summerside, and follow it down past Union Corner Provincial Park, Mont Carmel until you reach Cape Egmont. At the turn-off to Cape Egmont Fishermen’s Cove, turn left off the main road unto Phare du Cap-Egmont Road – The Cape Egmont Lighthouse Road. It is located at the end of this short, clay road.
Just east of the lighthouse alongside Route 11 are the Bottle Houses, some of which were built by a former keeper.
From Route 12 (Church Street) in Alberton, turn south on Main Street and continue for 3 km (2 miles) on Highway 152 to Northport. The Cascumpec Lighthouse is visible on an island just offshore from the marina in Northport. If you want to take a trip aboard a pontoon boat to get a closer look at the lighthouse, contact Blair Matthews (902) 853-7943.
The lighthouse is privately owned. Grounds/dwelling/tower closed.
Take Route 14 on the western shore. You will enter a community called Cape Wolfe. Howard’s Cove is between Routes 146 and 147. Look for a road called Wharf Road. There is a clay road that takes you to the lighthouse.
From Route 2 on the Central Coastal Drive (south shore) just east of Summerside, turn south onto Route 1A and drive for 10 km (6.3 miles). Turn right onto Route 171 (Callbeck Street), and then after 1.9 km (1.2 miles) turn right on Route 112 towards Lower Bedeque. Follow Route 112 to its end where you will see the Indian Head Lighthouse at the end of the breakwater. At low tide it is sometimes possible to walk out to the lighthouse.
From Route 2 turn onto Water Street at Reads Corner. Turn left at the intersection with lights at MacEwen Road and Glover Shore Road. Turn onto Glover Shore Road and you will see it a short distance away on your right.
Take Highway 2 to its end at Tignish, near the northwest tip of the island. When Highway 2 ends in Tignish, turn left onto Church Street (Route 14), and then make an immediate right onto Dalton Avenue. When Dalton Avenue ends, turn right onto Route 12, and then after 1.6 km (1 mile) turn left onto Tignish Shore Road. Continue until Tignish Shore Road ends, and you will see the Tignish Run Lighthouse on the corner of Tignish Shore Road and Harbour Road.
Take Route 2 west to Route 14. Turn left on Route 14 at Coleman Corner. Once you pass the “Welcome to West Point” sign, it is less than 1 km to where you turn left onto Harbour Road.
At the West Point Harbourside Centre, turn right onto Cedar Dunes Park Road, which leads to West Point Lighthouse.
Continue on Route 2 past Coleman Corner until you reach the round-about. Turn left to O’Leary. Follow Route 142 until you reach a T intersection. Turn left and follow Route 14 until you reach Cedar Dunes Provincial Park, or Harbour Road..
Make the most of your visit with our itineraries! GO!