Basin Head launches eco tours, cycle experiences

Steve Sharratt
Published on June 23, 2014

BASIN HEAD — Trying to catch a stickleback is just part of the fun here for students like Camdyn Burns and Nathan Lewis.

Along with their young colleagues, the Souris youngsters were part of the official tour here recently to open a special summer of fun at the beach voted the most popular in Canada by the travel website.

Basin Head is launching a pair of eco tours and cycle experiences for the whole family and it’s absolutely free. It will take locals and visitors on an exploration of the biodiversity of the aquatic life here while enjoying the only beach where the sands actually sing. And observing sticklebacks (fish) is just part of the fun.

“It’s a chance to see some ecosystems that are not known to exist anywhere else in the world,’’ says Fred Cheverie of the Souris Wildlife Federation, which led the campaign to develop the summertime excursions.

Basin Head is one of eight marine protected areas in Canada and boasts a unique strain of irish moss Chonrdorus Crispus, which exists only in the local lagoon.

Basin Head also boasts a protected ecosystem of rare lichens within its sand dune barrier network.

The eco tours are a funded partly by the P.E.I. 2014 celebrations. The provincial museum has been installed with an interactive computer kiosk, developed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, to showcase the scientific aspects of the ecosystem.

“We can learn about whales with this,’’ says Nathan Lewis, getting some help with the machine from tour guide Mary Finch.

Participants in the tour will be lead on a guided, narrative walk exploring the history of Basin Head; the inshore fishery, the Singing Sands, marine community ecology, sand dune network and local flora.

“It’s a wonderful place here that has been a place for people to live for thousands of years,’’ said Dr. David Keenlyside of the P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation during the official launch held recently.

The eco tours go Monday, Wednesday and Friday while bicycle rides at the New Harmony site (with free bikes) go Tuesday and Thursday. Check the website,, for more information.

Souris school students Camdyn Burns, front, and Nathan Lewis check out the new interactive kiosk with tour guide Mary Finch at the Basin Head Fisheries Museum. It’s all part of free eco tours being offered this summer at the beach voted the best in Canada by the travel website.

©THE GUARDIAN/Steve Sharratt