Kings Byway Drive (about 238 miles/380 km) travels around eastern Prince Edward Island and passes through several villages who haven’t changed much in a century. It also passes wildlife sanctuaries, several provincial parks and PEI National Park. The beaches in the area are known for their “singing sands” (sand that emits a sharp sound when stepped on). Untouched and uncrowded, there are many places for nature lovers. The many beaches in the area include: Basin Head, Fortune Back Beach, Fortune Front Beach, Little Harbour, Naufrage Beach, Red Point, Sheep Pond Beach, and Souris Beach. This area has many farm houses that double as beds and breakfasts that accept paying guests for a week or two. Here is a quick counter-clockwise tour:
Kings County Map
Km 33: In Orwell, visit Orwell Historic Village, dating back to the late 19th century., operated by the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation. See crops and livestock raised as they were a century ago, and the village’s shingled buildings, dating between 1864 and 1896 which stand on their original sites. Orwell is best known for its festivals and lively ceilidhs, the Scottish folk music fests scheduled weekly over the summer
Km 42: Further along the southeast coast past Eldon is Lord Selkirk Provincial Park, just past Eldon, marking the spot where three ships carrying 800 Scottish Highlanders from the Isle of Skye in 1803. St. John’s Presbyterian Church in the nearby village of Belfast was built by these Scottish settlers in 1823. A short detour west down a side road leads to the island’s oldest lighthouse at Point Prim, which has guided ships into Charlottetown Harbour since 1846.
KM 65: A few miles along the tranquil Northumberland Strait gets you to Woods Islands, which is the Northumberland Ferry docks to continue you on the /Transportation-Canada in Nova Scotia
Km 90: Heading toward the south-eastern tip of the island, you’ll pass by two lighthouses at the Murray Harbour inlet. The Log Cabin Museum in the port town of Murray Harbour contains 200-year-old antiques and relics that provides further insight into the 19th-century lifestyle on PEI.
Km 103: The Northumberland Mill and Museum near Murray River has an authentic water-powered grist mill. The town’s Handcraft Co Op Association shop has a fine selection of island crafts
Km 115: Murray Harbour North has a large seal colony visible from the Seal Cove Campground and the Log Cabin Museum with 200 year old antiques..
Km 123: After winding past St Mary’s Bay, you pass Panmure island (which you can access via a causeway) which has 6 metre high sand dunes on a narrow spit of land. You end up in the port town of Montague.
Km 164: The road takes you past Brudenell River Provincial Park, and past a breathtaking loop onto Cardigan Point through Georgetown, with its fish processing factory, shipbuilding plant, and cemetery honouring 1750s Scottish immigrants. Then head back west to Cardigan.
Km 234: Souris is the center for commercial fishing and is the terminal for the ferry service to the Magdalen Islands. A little beyond Souris is a fisheries museum in Basin Head illustrating the tools and lifestyle of the local industry. Walk along the beaches here because the white sands “sings” when walked on. The Black Pond Bird Sanctuary 8 km east of town features great blue herons, black ducks, blue-winged teals, and American goldeneye in its ponds and lagoon.
Km 240: Red Point Provincial Park hosts first class four and five star county inns. You will also find various quaint tea rooms and café’s throughout this region.
Km 260: Then you can head up to East Point, the most early part of the island, and passing by Elmira on the way back westward.
Km 270: Elmira was the eastern terminus of the PEI railway, and is now the official endpoint of the Confederation bike path (many will continue to East Point anyway.
Km 280: The Interpretation Center at Greenwich, just off the road from St Peters Bay, which explain the ecology of rare sand dunes at the eastern portion of PEI National Park. Eastern Kings has spectacular white sand beaches that stretch beneath a backdrop of Marram grass dunes. Ambitious golfers will want to try Crowbush, one of North America’s top courses according to Golf Digest. Other festivities in this area include summer-long series of fine Celtic ceilidhs.