Winter safety

Prince Edward Island National Park

Just because it’s cold outside, doesn’t mean the fun needs to end.  Be prepared for the elements and go play!

While Prince Edward Island National Park will remain open for Islanders and other visitors to continue to enjoy, facilities in the park will be closed between Thanksgiving Day (mid-October) and Victoria Day (mid-May).

Parks Canada will not be grooming cross-country ski trails, monitoring and removing felled trees from trails, maintaining beach accesses or maintaining Dalvay Lake for skating.

PLEASE NOTE: There will be limited emergency service provided by Parks Canada.  You agree to use the park at your own risk.

Trail users can continue to use the cross-country ski trails by breaking their own trail and visitors can continue to explore and enjoy the park, by hiking, show shoeing, viewing wildlife or doing other winter activities. Anyone exploring the national park in the winter is reminded that they are responsible for their own safety and should be sure to properly prepare and plan for their trip, taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves from inclement weather and potential natural hazards found in the park. 

Coastal ice safety tips

Coastal ice may seem to go for miles, but it can be misleading. Ice moves and doesn’t freeze evenly, creating dangerous weak spots. Coastal ice can be unstable and unpredictable. For your safety, do not walk off shore on the ice packs.

If you get into trouble on ice and you're by yourself:

  • Call for help.
  • Resist the immediate urge to climb back out where you fell in. The ice is weak in this area.
  • Use the air trapped in your clothing to get into a floating position on your stomach.
  • Reach forward onto the broken ice without pushing down. Kick your legs to push your torso on the ice.
  • When you are back on the ice, crawl on your stomach or roll away from the open area with your arms and legs spread out as far as possible to evenly distribute your body weight. Do not stand up! Look for shore and make sure you are going in the right direction.

When you are with others on ice: 

  • Rescuing another person from ice can be dangerous. The safest way to perform a rescue is from shore.
  • Call 911.
  • Check if you can reach the person using a long pole or branch from shore – if so, lie down and extend the pole to the person.
Other winter safety tips
  • Be aware of downed trees, which may be concealed by snow or other debris.
  • The weather can get cold in the park! Layer clothes for warmth, cover exposed skin and keep dry.
  • Ice thickness is not monitored and fresh water springs can lead to unexpected weak spots on pond ice. Coastal ice is unstable and unpredictable. Caution should be used when in these areas.
  • When ice is not readily available, baby seals can be found along the coast. These young seals are very vulnerable. Please do not approach the seals as it puts both them and you at risk.
  • Activities commonly known as "rappelling", "rock climbing" and “ice climbing” are prohibited within Prince Edward Island National Park until further notice, pursuant to Section 7(l) of the National Parks General Regulations. Anyone found contravening the regulation may be prosecuted under Section 7(4)(a) of the General Regulations. The minimum fine is $175.

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