East Coast Heritage Vignette – PEI’s Confederation Trail
Cycling and hiking season is in full swing! The Confederation Trail in Prince Edward Island is a place for all cycling and hiking enthusiasts to experience. It’s surely one of our East Coast gems.
The Confederation Trail stretches for 470 km from one end of the island to the other. Originally this trail was the CN rail; built in the 1870’s, and serviced all points on the Island up until 1994. At this point in time; CN opted to close down the railroad service on the Island. The PEI Government then purchased the entire right of way from CN and turned into a Provincial Park. It’s one of the longest ones; that we know of, but it’s a cyclist’s or hikers’ dream.
PEI’s Provincial Park
The trail is a Provincial Park and is very well maintained all along the way. The ballast was changed from rock to stone dust and there are no grades either; so it makes the trail easy to travel on. There are plenty of rest stops with benches, measured km posts, lookouts and you are never any farther than about 5 km from civilization. The landscape is breathtaking and you can be going through a forest one minute and the coastline the next. Pretty spectacular I say! The whole trail can be done in approximately 3 to 4 days depending on your mode and pace of travel. For your adventure there are camping sights set up at various points. You can also easily access the trail from most anywhere along the trail and make it a day trip.
In days gone by, communities were conveniently developed all along the railway lines. This Confederation Trail allows for many pit stops to these communities where you can explore the local history, enjoy some fine cuisine, experience the culture, numerous attractions for your pleasure and Island living . Yes; Habitat and Heritage are all rolled into one, in this adventure! If you ever get a chance to go, you will be happy you did! Happy cycling/hiking to y’all!