Natural Areas

While most of Prince Edward Island has been heavily impacted by human activities, there are scattered areas across the province that still contain special ecological features. Many of these special areas have been designated as Natural Areas under the Natural Areas Protection Act (NAPA). 

What are Natural Areas?

Natural Areas include both public and private lands and may cover an entire property or just a specific area within a property. Sites designated as Natural Areas may include those with rare or uncommon plant species, unique geological features, special habitats or habitats that are ecologically fragile and therefore, require additional protection.

Natural Areas Signage

Natural Area property sign with ladyslipper emblem

The Natural Areas sign incorporates the Lady's Slipper -  PEI's floral emblem. While the Lady's Slipper is a forest plant, natural areas include forests, wetlands, sand dunes and other special and unique ecological treasures.  

How much of PEI is classified as Natural Areas?

Currently, PEI has some 8,509 ha classified as Natural Protected Areas of which 2291 ha is privately owned. The remaining Natural Areas are on publicly owned land. 

Are these areas protected from all future development?

Yes. The NAPA process registers a restricted covenant on the property. 

When a Public Land property is proposed for designation under NAPA, the Province will hold a public information and consultation session to provide information and gain public input.

For information on upcoming NAPA consultations, visit NAPA Consultations.

Can I Visit Natural Areas?

Natural Areas on public lands are open to the public but visitors are reminded to respect the sensitive nature of these sites. However, some Natural Areas have walking trails that allow visitors to enjoy the natural setting without impacting the sensitive nature of the site.
These properties include:

Natural Areas With Walking Trails
Natural Area Community Special Features
Boughton River Riparian Zone Dundas Forested riparian zone along the Boughton River in eastern PEI
Royalty Oaks Charlottetown Remnant stand of Mature Red Oak
Beach Grove Memorial Forest Charlottetown Acadian Forest upland Maple/Birch forest type
Strathgartney Woodlands Strathgartney Acadian Forest upland type with Beech/Maple 
Trout River Riparian Zone Coleman Forested riparian zone along the Trout River in western PEI
Natural Areas with Lookout Locations
Natural Area Community Special Features
Basin Head Sand Dunes Basin Head off Rte #16 Coastal dune system featuring unique white sands and nearby protected marine area
Docs Marsh/Forest Hills Forest Hills off Rte #327 Freshwater Pond ecosystem
Fullertons Marsh Stratford use walking trails at Reeves Estates Freshwater Empoundment 
Indian River Wetlands Indian River off Rte #106 Major staging area for migratory birds 
Ellerslie Bog Ellerslie off Confederation Trail Freshwater bog ecosystem
Acadian Marshes - Percival River Portage off Confederation Trail Unique salt Marsh estuary system in western PEI
Natural Areas that can be canoed or kayaked
Docs Marsh Forest Hills off Rte #327 Freshwater pond ecosystem
Larkins Pond Selkirk off Rte #357 Freshwater impoundment
Desroches Pond Blooming Pt off Rte #218 Coastal pond ecosystem
Indian River Wetlands Indian River off Rte #106 Freshwater impoundment
     

 

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Published date: 
July 22, 2015
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General Inquiries

Forests, Fish and Wildlife Division
J. Frank Gaudet Tree Nursery
183 Upton Road
Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: (902) 368-6450
Fax: (902) 368-4713

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khmayhew@gov.pe.ca