The Confederation Trail - Riding & Hiking the Rail Trail in PEI
The Confederation Trail on PEI is one of the longest rail trails in Canada. Over 275 kilometers (172 miles) of flat, well-groomed paths winds through the pastoral landscape. If you're looking for a long distance adventure that shows the grandeur of PEI, this is the trip for you.
As you ride, hike and even snow-mobile on this long-distance rail-trail, it’s easy to see history unfold along this scenic maritime island.
Winding through the backcountry of Prince Edward Island, the Confederation Trail passes forests and farms, lakes and streams. The historical route mainly sticks to the interior communities and avoids the shoreline vistas.
View PEI Rail Trail - The Confederation Trail in a larger map
In the summer, this quiet rail trail in PEI is reserved for hikers and cyclists; in the winter, the snow covered path is open to snowmobilers & cross-country skiers. Rail trails are linear pathways that are great for discovering the backcountry.
This rail trail is 275 kilometers and can be broken up into several day trips. Hikers can walk a modest 5 kilometers one way and return to their starting point. You can hop on and off the path at one of the many towns along its length.
Cyclists can create a two-wheel, multi-day trip of its entire distance, stopping at accommodations along the way. Suggested day trips along the pathway are between 40 - 65 kilometers with options for side trips off of branch lines. It takes about 5-7 days to get the full enjoyment out of this scenic cycle-path.
The rail trail traverses the entire island from the northern tip near Tignish, PEI to the far eastern corner near Elmira. Here are a few suggestions if you decide to hike or ride the trail:
- Cycle & walk on the the right-hand side. Alert people you’re about to pass by either announcing your intentions or ringing a bell. Slower people, allow those faster than you to pass without obstruction.
- Trails are closed at night for everyone’s safety. Obviously, this can’t be strictly enforced but these rail trails travel through remote, rural area and it gets VERY dark after sun set.
- Personal safety starts with you. Trail use is at your own risk. And don’t forget to wear a helmet.
- Dogs should be kept on leash for their safety and that of the wildlife. Note that there are no black bears on Prince Edward Island.
- Along the trail, there are plenty of communities with washroom facilities, but if nature should call, do it at least 60 meters from any waterway and, if necessary, bury it at least 15 cm. Hey, all of us long-distance cyclists & hikers have our stories.
- Park in the designated parking lots and respect private property. Treat adjoining fields as if it were your own.
- Order the Cycling Guide & Prince Edward Island Visitor's Guide to help plan your trek along this rail trail.
Discovering the Confederation Trail on PEI is best done on a bicycle so visitors can enjoy the scenic beauty of this charming and historic maritime province.
Get more insider tips on Canadian Adventures at Scenic Travel Canada.