Seasonal residents concerned about large crowds visiting Thunder Cove beach

·2 min read
The government said it's added more signage cautioning visitors in the area. (Laura Meader/CBC - image credit)
The government said it's added more signage cautioning visitors in the area. (Laura Meader/CBC - image credit)

Some seasonal residents in Lower Darnley are upset about the amount of people visiting Thunder Cove beach this summer.

Natalie Pomerleau-Dalcourt, who's been renting a cottage near the beach over the last few years, says it's not uncommon to find cars parked on both sides of the road preventing the safe flow of traffic in and out of the area.

"When we first started coming six or seven years ago ... there'd be a line up of cars, but it was still possible to drive past them to get to our cottage," she said. "But the past two or three years, and especially this year, the traffic has really increased to a point where we can't use that road anymore."

She said many of the visitors are walking along the cliff to access the beach even though there are signs saying it isn't safe to do so.

Laura Meader/CBC
Laura Meader/CBC

"If you have ever walked along the beach in that area, you see that the cliff is actively eroding," she said. "Pieces of the sandstone that form the cliff every time we go by have fallen down. So if you're walking from the top and you're sort of on the grass, you can't see the the state of the cliff below you.

"It would be quite easy to fall over."

Pomerleau-Dalcourt said posts on social media showcasing the beach and its iconic Teacup Rock formation were encouraging many people to visit the area.

"As people become aware of it, I think they're eager to come and experience it for themselves, which is understandable," she said. "But the the beach doesn't ... have the capacity to accommodate the people that are coming to visit."

Laura Meader/CBC
Laura Meader/CBC

She said there should be steps leading down to the beach and parking needs to be controlled. But the government said in a statement that there are "environmental sensitivities" preventing the expansion of the roadway or parking areas.

"The sandstone of the Teacup Rock is fragile and can cause injury," the statement said. "Therefore, we do not use the image of Teacup Rock in Tourism P.E.I. marketing as we do not want to encourage tourists to visit the rock."

It said it's added more "no parking" and dangerous cliff signs in the area.

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