The Winter River Trail is located only five km from Charlottetown. The Trailhead of this trail provides a jumping off point for two quite independent trails. They are both loop trails like a balloon with a string, or a letter P. Moving westward from the sign, a forest road heads down to the Winter River, to a long established trail, built and maintained by the Queens County Wildlife Federation. This is a short trail, (about an hour walk), through a mature pine and hardwood stand. Three short loops converge at the Winter River, which at this point will satisfy anyone’s conception of a “babbling brook”.
Back at the trailhead, the Winter River Trail heads off northerly, through the white spruce thicket, emerging shortly onto a woods road. There is a family of rabbits just north of the parking lot, dining on the colorful mushrooms in the vicinity. The road soon plunges again into white spruce over gently rolling terrain, except where it approaches the Winter River ravine via spurs, to catch the view. Small feeder streams are bridged and wet spots have boardwalks. A few mature white pine are found, including one patriarch 70 feet to 80 feet tall and 24 inches diameter at shoulder height.
At the river lookouts you should look for great blue herons and bitterns among the shore reeds and grasses. As the river opens up toward Winter Bay, you may see various waterfowl offshore. In the woods you will see many songbirds, squirrels, and rabbits, maybe a fox, and evidence of coyotes.
This is an easy walk, of under seven km, and well protected snowshoeing terrain.