In Scots Gaelic Strath Gartney means "a valley in the hills." This description aptly fits Strathgartney Provincial Park (established 1959, 53 ha) located in the central hills of Prince Edward Island, 25 km west of CHARLOTTETOWN.
The hills and resulting vistas toward Charlottetown Harbour are the main features of the park, which reaches from one of the highest points in the province to the lowest on the banks of the Eliot River. The river, which winds through deep wooded ravines and farmlands, forms the park's southern boundary. It is easily the most dramatic waterway in the province and has been approved as a potential candidate for CANADIAN HERITAGE RIVER status. The southern end of the park remains in a natural state consisting predominately of a stand of large sugar maple and beech. While not old growth, the park preserves one of the oldest hardwood stands in the province.
The history of Strathgartney goes back to the early 19th century, when David Stewart and his son Robert began to acquire title to 27 000 ha in the colony under the absentee landlord system that was to occupy the colonial and provincial political agenda for over a century. Strathgartney became the country estate of Robert Stewart, and Stewart descendants retained it as the family home well into the 20th century. The house he built about 1850 still graces the horizon above the park. Strathgartney was one of the first 3 provincial PARKS created from land donated by Charlottetown philanthropist Robert L. Cotton.
The northern end of the park contains a small campground. Nature trails permit visitors in the park to enjoy the leafy canopy and to try the fishing.