Exploring PEI via The Island Walk Trail
Island Trails has developed a new 700km walking trail called the Island Walk which loops around the perimeter of Prince Edward Island. The Island Walk is modelled after the famous long-distance walking trail, the Camino de Santiago in Spain. The trail is also accessible to cyclists.
In October 2019, some of the Island Trails members completed the 700km journey in 32-days which saw the members walk 20-25kms per day. Many Island restaurants and accommodations across PEI have partnered with Island Trails to be part of this exciting new opportunity. The Walk intertwines through PEI’s two major cities, Charlottetown and Summerside, and many small inland and coastal communities across the Island.
“PEI has stunning ocean vistas and quiet country roads that have a beauty that’s comparable to anything we have seen in France, Spain and elsewhere. This new walking route will give Islanders and visitors the opportunity to experience our Island in a way that’s really up close and personal,” said Bryson Guptill, member of the Island Trails and Island Walk committee.
The new website helps walkers easily plan their own personalized Island Walk experience. It provides resources like a comprehensive trail map, what to expect on each section of the trail and has recommended packing lists. It also highlights where to stay and eat near the trail and around the Island. Island Trails has also started a new blog series to share the personal experiences of those that took part in the inaugural Island Walk, as well other walks they’ve done on the Island and beyond.
“Visitors to Prince Edward Island want to enjoy everything that our unique landscape has to explore and discover,” says the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages. “Island Trails offers more than 700 kilometers in trail systems, and provides visitors and Islanders alike with opportunities for physical activity and views of our rolling hills, sandstone cliffs and agricultural backdrops. Our government is pleased to support the Island Trails group with its efforts to provide quality outdoor experiences for visitors across PEI.”
The Island Walk, which is best to be completed from May to October, was designed not to be technically challenging and is easy to moderate in comparison to other long-distance walking trails around the world. The group has developed seven itineraries to allow walkers to complete the trail in shorter sections so not all walkers will have to plan to walk 20-25 km per day.
The Island Walk route will take walkers along the ocean, much of the Confederation Trail, red dirt roads, beaches and through quiet secondary roads throughout PEI. The group believes the Island Walk has the perfect landscape, both in terrain and scenery, for those who are looking for a memorable long-distance walking adventure.
“The Island Walk is a very exciting new recreational and tourism opportunity for Prince Edward Island,” said Minister of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture Matthew MacKay. “This trail is a fantastic way for both Islanders and visitors alike to explore and enjoy all that our Island has to offer.”
The signage plan for the Island Walk is currently under development. This means walkers will need to use the digital map to navigate the Island Walk trail for the foreseeable future. For more information and to start planning for an Island Walk experience today, visit theislandwalk.ca and follow the Island Walk on social media at @IslandWalk.
The Island Walk was conceptualized by members of the non-for-profit organization Prince Edward Island Trails Inc. (Island Trails) and is an initiative of this volunteer-based organization. These members have completed other long-distance walks such as the Camino de Santiago in Spain. The Island Walk is modelled after the Camino and similar long-distance walking trails.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.