International Appalachian Trail (IAT)
The Confederation Trail is the connector trail for North America's section of the International Appalachian Trail (IAT). The IAT is a hiking trail that runs from the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail at Mount Katahdin, Maine, into New Brunswick, parts of Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and then extends to the north-eastern most point of the Appalachian Mountains in Belle Isle, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Prince Edward Island's part of the IAT may be hiked from Cape Jourimain, New Brunswick to the Confederation Bridge. After being shuttled over the Northumberland Strait on the 13 kilometre Confederation Bridge, the longest bridge in the world that spans water which freezes in the winter, hikers arrive in Gateway Village in Borden Carleton.
From Borden Carleton travel east via the Confederation Trail, a former rail line, which has been converted into a world class hiking and cycling trail. The trail passes through many small communities, close to a few single-track woodland trails, and onto PEI's capital city of Charlottetown.
Hikers have two options when arriving at Royalty Junction, just outside of Charlottetown:
- stay on the Confederation Trail main trail to Mt. Stewart and then turn southeast on a branch trail to the Dromore Woodland Trails, Prince Edward Island's official designated section of the IAT, and then onward to Wood Islands. Several back-roads return the hiker to an adjoining branch trail that leads to Wood Islands where you would catch the ferry to Nova Scotia.
- hike the 9 kilometre trail spur line section of trail into and around Charlottetown. The Charlottetown Confederation Trail route leaves the city via the Hillsborough Bridge which crosses the designated Heritage Hillsborough River to Stratford heading east to Wood Islands and the Northumberland Ferry.