When Prince Edward Island's railway was abandoned in 1989 Islanders were quick to notice a unique opportunity. The idea of a tip-to-tip shared use walking and cycling trail in the summer and a snowmobile trail in the winter was born. With beautiful rolling hill scenery, quaint villages and broad bay seascapes, the Confederation Trail is Prince Edward Island's portion of the Trans Canada Trail.
The 435 kilometers of rolled stone dust trail has gentle gradients which never exceed 2% (up or down). This Island wide exploration corridor is ideal for visitors of all fitness levels. The Main Trail starts in Tignish at kilometer 0 and ends in Elmira at kilometer 273. Branch trails extend into the heart of Charlottetown and to the waterside communities of Souris, Georgetown, Montague, Wood Islands, Murray River and Murray Harbour, plus the link to the Confederation Bridge in Borden-Carleton. Without any real wilderness in PEI, frequent villages along the Trail offer cyclist and hiker's a convenient selection of accommodations, food and services.
The Confederation Trail is a geocaching hotspot with over 1600 geocache sites along the route. Also, PEI's 110 kilometer portion of the International Appalachian Trail begins in Borden-Carleton, after hiker's are shuttled across the Confederation Bridge they mainly hike on the Confederation Trail until its exit point at the Wood Islands ferry terminal. Prince Edward Island is rich in picturesque scenery, cultural and musical talent, culinary delights and Canadian heritage. This wonderful piece of Canada has countless adventures to offer and is best explored by bicycle or foot along the Confederation Trail.
Confederation Trail Map
For a more detailed map of the Confederation Trail, download our PDF.
Day 1 - Tignish to O'Leary (45 km easy to moderate)
Day 2 - O'Leary to Wellington (45 km easy to moderate)
Day 3 - Wellington to Hunter River (65 km moderate to hard)
Branch Trail - Emerald to Borden-Carleton (18 km easy)
Day 4 - Hunter River to Morell (65 km moderate to hard)
Branch Trail - Royalty Junction to Charlottetown (9 km easy)
Branch Trail - Mt. Stewart to Georgetown (40 km moderate)
Branch Trail - Cardigan Junction to Montague (10 km easy)
Day 5 - Morell to Elmira (54 km moderate)
Branch Trail - New Harmony Junction to Souris (9 km easy)
Branch Trail - Charlottetown to Murray Harbour (80 km moderate)
How distances are marked along the Trail
The total length of the Confederation Trail is 435 km. The tip-to-tip Trail distances are marked from West to East, with Tignish being 0 km and Elmira 273 km. A number of Branch Trails off the main route lead to the coast and they are numbered from 0 km at the Junctions, increasing to the end of the Branch.
There are six Junctions: Emerald, Royalty, Mt. Stewart, New Harmony, Cardigan and Wood Islands North. The Murray Harbour Branch starts at 0 km at Joseph A. Ghiz Memorial Park in Charlottetown and terminates in Murray Harbour at 80 km.
Cycling Guide to PEI
The Confederation Trail Cycling Guide will help you plan your cycling vacation on the Confederation Trail. The guide includes accommodations which are part of the Cyclists Welcome Program. Participants of this program take the needs of cyclists into consideration and make their properties welcoming and easy for cyclists.
The first long section of trail completed runs between Tignish and Kensington. This 125-km stretch takes you from a beautifully restored stone railway station in Kensington to the Harbourfront Theatre in Summerside and onward to Wellington and the heart of PEI's Acadian community. From there the off-road route travels through farmlands and forests, and allows you to experience the warmth and history of communities such as Tyne Valley, O'Leary and Tignish.
Activity on the Confederation Trail is limited to walkers and hikers, wheelchairs, cyclists and runners in the summertime, and snowmobiles in the winter.