Trip OverviewCourtin Island is a small flat island in the middle of the Malpeque Bay on the north side of Prince Edward Island. It is about 1.5 miles across and about 4 miles around. A relatively easy tour of 2-3 hours; being careful of the poison ivy. It is wooded however to the southern shore are flat grassed areas about 50-75 feet wide above the high water mark where camping is possible. There is plenty of driftwood for fires and the bugs are virtually non existent.
The real virtue of the Island is it is the home to large flocks of migratory Blue Herons, Commorants and dozens of Bald Eagles and Osprey. Plus the sunsets across the bay are spectacular.
Courtin Island is about a 2.5 to 3 mile paddle across open water from either the eastern or western shore of the bay. The water depth, while shallow, as you paddle over some of the best oyster beds in the world can become fairly rough when the wind picks up as the bay is open to the Gulf of St. Lawerence to the north. While the oysters are within arms reach, these are private leases, so respect for the oyster fisherman is the name of the game.
To the north of Courtin Island are Ram Island and the southern tip of Hog Island. Both of these are 6-8 mile round trip daytrips, but as you are heading out of the bay into the gulf, a keen eye to the weather is mandatory.
As Courtin Island is uninhabited, bring food, water, and plenty of film for your camera!
Accommodations:The City of Summerside, has all of the amenities of hotels/motels/food/gas, etc. that you could expect from a population of 15-20,000 people. It is about 20 minutes drive from Summerside to the entry point of Malpeque Bay.
Fees:No permits or fees required
Directions:From the Confederation Bridge, follow Route 1 then Route 1A toward Summerside. Outside of Summerside, turn East onto Route 2 toward Kensington. In Kensington, turn north on Route 20 until you come to Route 234. Turn West and follow Route 234 until you hit the Beech Point road. Turn West again and follow this down to the edge of the bay.
Resources:Fully interactive map of the highways and byways of Prince Edward Island.
- Skill Level: Intermediate
- Water Type: Open Water/Ocean