Prince Edward Island may be known as the 'gentle island' but that doesn't mean it's without heart pumping adventure. As with exploring any island the question is not, "What's there to do?" But rather, "Where to start?" Prince Edward Island's 1,100 kilometre shoreline is an adventure traveller's siren call to paddle cragged coastline, dive sunken wrecks, or harness the power of the wind. Landlubbers can take the challenge of completing Confederation Trail (which spans PEI's entire length) under foot or by bike. Alternatively there are 300 kilometres of groomed trails begging to be explored. So tell us - will your adventure be on water or land?
Tourism PEI/Paul Baglole
Considered a section of the TransCanada Trail (in fact the first section to completed), Confederation Trail stretches Prince Edward Island's length. Its total 410 kilometres were developed on abandoned railway lines and it accommodates both foot traffic and cyclists. Cycling the trail end-to-end typically takes between five and seven days. With gradients that only fluctuate by 2%, Confederation Trail is an easy ride that presents low risk of injury and can be completed without dedicated training. To up the adventure, sacrifice the comfort of a bed-and-breakfast and opt to camp. Click here for a list of campsites.
Gairloch Road Trail
This hilly trail naturally attracts mountain bikers and it's considered to be moderately difficult. Seven kilometres in length and taking the form of a square loop, the 1,500 acres that make up the site represent some of the most remote terrain on Prince Edward Island. To reach Gairloch Road Trail, program the trailhead coordinates into your GPS: 46.038283, -62.821633.
Brookvale Nordic Mountain Bike Park
A web of 9 kilometres in Brookvale Provincial Park, this is Prince Edward Island's mountain biking mecca. Often the site of races, the park appeals to both intermediate and beginners. Trails have charming names, some being named after local riders (such as Luke's Lunge). The Park has obstacles, structures and see-saws to keep riders challenged and entertained.
Prince Edward Island might be Canada's smallest province but it's packed to the brim with geocaches - well over 7,500 of them! That's roughly 1.3 hidden caches per square kilometre. If you're traveling the Confederation Trail we challenge you to find just 1% of the 1,600 along its length. Download the official app to your smartphone and let the fun seeking begin.
Woodland hiking samplerTourism PEI / Stephen Harris
Dromore Woodland Trails
Total length: 14 km
Location: multiple entry points. South Loop: 46.283822, -62.818115
Notes: made up of four sections, trails are well marked with signage. Shade provided by overhead canopy and affords many opportunities for bird watching.
Forest Hill Trail
Total length: 15 km
Location: 46.352017, -62.522817
Notes: gentle rolling terrain characterized by wetlands. Trail shared with equestrian riders and plenty of waterfowl, bird and small mammal sighting.
Breadalbane Nature Trail
Total length: 6.5 km
Location: 46.35625, -63.50225
Notes: diverse terrain with ravines, rim walks, flood plains and two foot bridges.
Boughton River Trail
Total length: 8.9 km
Location: 46.310517, -62.517383
Notes: four connected loop trails which wind through a "drowned estuary," river flats, thickets and over boardwalk. Foot traffic only.
©Tourism PEI / Stephen DesRochesThe most popular way to enjoy the water any time of year is by kayak. Not only can visitors explore Prince Edward Island's many rivers and coastlines, but from June through September, sea kayakers can get up close and personal with the migratory pilot whales that call the waters off the island home. And of course, stand up paddle boarding has become increasingly popular and you can find them most places you see kayakers.
A long coastline always presents opportunity for diving. Prince Edward Island favorites: shipwreck diving the S.S. Tunstal that sits just off Covehead or spotting marine life at Stanley Bridge near Cavendish.
Prevailing winds and warm waters make Prince Edward Island a haven for wind sports. The province offers it all, so it's up to you to pick your sail.
Windsurfing hot spots
Rustico Bay - suits all skill levels and sees gusts to 18 knots
Robinson Island - located within Prince Edward Island National Park, it has a sheltered lagoon suited to beginners.
Covehead - scenic views of the dunes along the coastline and exciting swells. Best when a northerly wind is blowing.
Souris Beach - perfect for days seeing south blowing winds.
Tourism PEI / Stephen Harris
Out of all the activities on both land and sea, there is one that stands out above all others in both popularity and entertainment - kiteboarding. Kiteboarding combines the best aspects of parasailing and windsurfing into one wholly unique water sport. The parachute-style kite uses the power of the wind to allow the board rider to shred the open ocean no matter what the surf is like. Previously, this sport was only popular in the warmer regions of the world such as South America, the Caribbean and New Zealand. However, Prince Edward Island has become lauded as one of the world's finest kiteboarding destinations. Due to its unique geographical location, Prince Edward Island experiences a number of temperature swings that has made it one of the windiest locations in Canada. This allows for kiteboarders to not only enjoy more prime kiteboarding days, but to travel at top speeds. Visitors will be hard pressed to walk along the Green Gables Shore on the Gulf of St. Lawrence and not see the bright kites in the air and the tiny dots of kiteboarders in the distance living life to the fullest.
Tourism PEI / Stephen Harris
Less sport and more thrill, parasailing in PEI affords a bird's eye view of the coast with some added adventure. The activity has no age requirements, it is simply based on weight minimums and maximums. If you care to, a tip in the ocean water is a fan favorite, just make the special request.
Ready to plan your Prince Edward Island adventure?
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