PRINCE ED­WARD IS­LAND FIVE BIG AD­VEN­TURES

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - NOTES FROM THE GRUPPETTO -

Prince Ed­ward Is­land isn’t the big­gest prov­ince in Canada (it’s ac­tu­ally the small­est) but that doesn’t mean there isn’t big ad­ven­ture to be had here. You can ex­plore the Is­land on two wheels and cy­cle across the en­tire prov­ince tip-to-tip on the Con­fed­er­a­tion Trail which is our sec­tion of

The Great Trail. The Con­fed­er­a­tion Trail is 435 km of rolled stone dust built on an aban­doned rail­way. Tak­ing this trail will lead you into small towns, by the shore­line, past farm­land and through the woods. It’s one of my favourite ways to get around this Is­land that I call home, but it’s not the only kind of cy­cling we have up our sleeves. We have very pop­u­lar fat­bik­ing trails and de­spite a lack of moun­tains-great moun­tain bik­ing! Here are 5 big ad­ven­tures you should have next time you visit!

1 NORTH CAPE TO TIGNISH 13 KM

Start­ing a cy­cling trip on the North Cape Trail is pretty spe­cial. Not only are the views of the col­lid­ing tides spec­tac­u­lar, it is home to the long­est nat­u­ral reef in North Amer­ica; a 2 km stretch into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. If you choose to ex­plore the North Cape Trail (3.5 km re­turn walk­ing trail) you will re­ally get to ex­pe­ri­ence PEI’S coast. It’s on a ‘raised bog’ with a board­walk and has some of the most amaz­ing cliff views in the prov­ince. Also in this area are many large wind­mills that are truly im­pres­sive. Start the 13 km road cy­cle along the shore on Route 12, not far from here is Sea Cow Pond, take a left onto Doyle’s Road and go to the end and you will find the most lovely lit­tle beach with some very smooth sand­stone rocks. Please note that many roads do not have paved shoul­ders and cau­tion should be used in th­ese ar­eas. Hel­mets are manda­tory while cy­cling on Prince Ed­ward Is­land.

The real beauty in cy­cling Prince Ed­ward Is­land is found when tak­ing the time to ex­plore side roads or trails. The ride from North Cape to Tignish is mostly flat but can be windy and the salty fresh air is very in­vig­o­rat­ing. IN­SIDER TIP: If you’re a mu­sic lover, be sure to stop into the Stompin’ Tom Cen­tre in Skin­ners Pond! This is lo­cated on Route 14 which is the on the op­po­site side of Route 12.

2 TIGNISH TO O’LEARY 45 KM

Upon ar­riv­ing in Tignish I sug­gest you check out the Tignish Cul­tural Cen­tre be­fore set­ting off on your Con­fed­er­a­tion Trail ride.

Cen­ten­nial Park is kilo­me­tre 0 for the Con­fed­er­a­tion Trail. This sec­tion of trail is flat and runs through woods, beau­ti­ful bogs and some farm­land. Take the time to go into Al­ber­ton at 21 km. You will dis­cover one of the two stone sta­tions on the Is­land, which has since been con­verted to a li­brary. Head into the town and take Route 152 along Main Street to a side trip of 2 km to North­port Wharf. Check out the North­port Sea Res­cue Sta­tion In­ter­pre­tive Cen­tre.

When back on the Trail start head­ing to O’leary and en­joy the quiet­ness and the many shades of green. If you come in the fall, the maple trees are stun­ning with fall fo­liage of reds, yel­lows and browns.

Just be­fore you reach O’leary, turn left onto the Howlan Road Route 143 which will take you to the Mill River Re­sort. In­sider Tip: Mill River Re­sort is the per­fect place to re­lax and un­wind over a de­li­cious meal, a round of golf or a day spent at the spa.

3 O’LEARY TO SUMMERSIDE 64 KM

If you love pota­toes like I do, the Cana­dian Potato Mu­seum in O’leary is worth the stop and it’s less than a km from the Trail. The Mu­seum has a lot of in­ter­est­ing tid­bits about pota­toes and you can even re­fuel your body with some PEI potato fudge. Make sure to stop into Tyne Val­ley around the 80 km mark. The vil­lage is only 2 km from the Trail; fol­low the red dirt road when you see the signs for the vil­lage and Back­woods Burger. En­joy some oys­ters from Val­ley

Pearl and a great spe­cialty burger at Back­woods Burger.

Go off the Trail into Welling­ton where there is a small in­ter­pre­tive cen­tre for Barlow’s Mill and across the road you can see one of the few ca­booses left in the prov­ince. In­sider Tip: If you loved the oys­ters at Val­ley Pearl, make your way to Moth Lane Brew­ing in Eller­slie and try the oys­ter stout.

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