Originally established by the French in 1720, Skmaqn-Port-la-Joye-Fort Amherst commemorates the first permanent European settlement on Île Saint-Jean (today Prince Edward Island). After falling to British forces in 1758 it became the site of a major deportation of French and Acadian settlers. A Grand Alliance was forged here between the Mi’kmaq and French – one of only two locations in North America where this was celebrated annually with speeches, gifting and feasting. The fort’s grassy ruins are still visible, and interpretive panels explore its rich history. The grounds also offer superb views of the surrounding countryside and Charlottetown Harbour.
A small parking area with a network of beautiful woodland trails, with interpretive signs and trail markers. Part of the land is replanted farmland, part is maturing hardwood with a great mix of Acadian trees and shrubs. There is a native plant garden run by Trout River Environmental Committee. The trails have some steps, bridges, and steep slopes. The Devil’s Punchbowl itself is a unique steep gorge where illicit alcohol was stored during the years of prohibition, although the sign at the site tells a different story.
Trout River Park, located at 1895 Trout River Rd – Rte 239 Millvale is a quite park and trail, connecting to the popular fishing location, Gunns Bridge. The park is maintained by Trout River Environmental Committee and contains 2 small trails on either side of the parking lot, a grassed area perfect for picnicking with the family, equipped with picnic tables and a shelter. The park also has several educational features such as bird and bat boxes along with interpretive signage. You can visit the lookout over Trout River estuary and regularly spot eagles, heron, king fishers and other wildlife, as well as walk across a covered bridge over a small tributary.
If you notice anything amiss at the park please contact Trout River Environmental Committee, you can find out contact at troutriverec.ca and we will address the issue.
Located off Route #131 near Richmond, Camp Tamawaby Demonstration Woodlot is one of six forest management properties established by the P.E.I. Department of Environment, Energy, and Forestry. These woodlots are designed to provide woodlot owners, forest contractors and members of the general public with visible evidence of the results of proper forest management and help to increase public awareness of Island forests. Open to the public, they exhibit many interesting aspects of current forestry techniques, as well as information on natural history, Island history, wildlife management and forest ecology. The location of each woodlot is marked by a small conifer tree on the P.E.I. Visitor’s Guide Map and with prominent signs along well travelled roads.
The nordic/x-country site features 24.5 km of groomed recreational trails, 7.5 km of competitive trails and biathlon trails, a complete rental shop with classic, skate ski, fatbike, snowshoe and tube rentals, a lodge, waxing huts, biathlon range, and sliding hill. The latest trail grooming equipment makes the Park the destination of choice for x-country skiing in the Maritimes.
The nordic ski lodge is a 2 level building that is approximately 36′ x 45′ located at 1800 route 13 in Brookvale.
The nordic rental shop is located on the lower level of the lodge.
The upper level of the lodge has a seating area, washrooms and small kitchen available for use.
Courtesy Parks PEI.
Designed to provide woodlot owners, forest contractors, and members of the public with tangible examples of the results of proper forest management, this demonstration woodlot also help to increase public awareness of forestry issues on the Island. The woodlot is open to the public and exhibits current forestry techniques while providing valuable information on the Island’s natural history, cultural history, wildlife management, and forest ecology. It has trails that are popular for hikers and mountain bikers in summer and bikers and snowshoers in winter. Year-round, it provides an excellent opportunity to observe Island birds.
More information can be found on the Beck Trail Website at http://www.becktrail.ca
This 3.2 km long interpretive trail winds its way through young plantations, regenerating old fields mixed woodland and a black spruce bog. The trail features interpretive signage and a brochure. In the summer, colourful meadow and woodland flowers abound. In season, you can often see or hear Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Northern Flickers, White-throated Sparrows, Hermit Thrush, Ruffed Grouse, and a variety of warblers. On cool sunny days, you might see a garter snake basking in the sun. Later in the season you can often see wonderful flushes of colourful fungi.
The Confederation Trail was developed on abandoned railway beds, and takes you across the Island, past wetlands and through hardwood groves, through quaint villages, and along sparkling rivers.
The Confederation Trail was completed in August 2000, and was designated Prince Edward Island’s portion of the Trans Canada Trail; the first province to complete its section. Since then, Island communities have been working to add spur connections and to provide upgraded amenities to the trail.
In the summer season, activity on the Confederation Trail is limited to walking, hiking, running, cycling, and is accessible to wheelchairs. In the snow months it is turned over exclusively to snowmobile use. Alternative trails for equestrian use are provided in both the western and eastern areas of the Island.
The Confederation Trail Cycling Guide will help you plan your cycling vacation on the Confederation Trail. Included in the guide are accommodations which participate in the “Cyclists Welcome Program”, which take the needs of cyclists into consideration and make their properties welcoming and easy for cyclists.
More information can be found on the Confederation Trail Website.
The Forest Hill Hiking and Equestrian Trails lie in north central Kings County, 8 km north of Bridgetown, and south of St. Peters. It loops through a very extensive woodland area, over gently rolling terrain. Much of the area is wetland, with deep swales, and including two sizeable ponds. On Whitlock’s Pond at the southwest corner is a look out tower, and uphill at the opposite corner of the property is a 40 foot tower overlooking the entire watershed. This tower is no longer connected to the main trail system.
The trail can be accessed by two trailheads. The Corral trailhead has parking for horse trailers on the Rte 339 side, and the Main trailhead is on Rte 339 at the Whitlock Pond corner.
The treadways are wide and well cleared, especially where hikers and equestrian users might meet. The total length available is 7.8 km.
Ownership of the site is mixed, with several private landowners and the provincial Foresty division. Island Trails uses this site with specific permissions, and under a license agreement with the provincial government.
In an area as extensive and varied as Forest Hill, a hiker or rider can expect to find almost every kind of tree, shrub, and forest plant; insect, reptilian and bird life; and fur bearers including predators and prey that you will find in any other part of the island. You won’t be disappointed at Forest Hill, by the trail or by the surroundings.
The Boughton River Nature Trail is located in Kings County on Highway 4 at Bridgetown. It begins at a roadside parking lot beside the fire hall. The trail is built in four interconnected loops, plus a short spur to a lookout, to view the typical drowned estuary of the Boughton River. From here you may also see kayakers and canoeist coming upriver on a paddling trail. The total hiking length available is 8.9 km, but with the loop system there are opportunities to do an early return and an easier, shorter hike.
The Boughton River Nature Trail is an expansion and improvement of a previously existing community trail. It lies entirely on government lands. It is built for foot traffic only, and is not accessible to motorized vehicles.
The trail winds through white spruce thickets, open hardwoods, river flats, steep ravines and grassy meadows. Narrow steep ravines and small rivulets are bridged, and wet spots have boardwalks across them.
In shady areas along the trail you will step over ground pines and other club mosses, and skirting the many wet spots there will be ferns. There are also Trilliums and Indian Pipe in the deep shade of the mixed woods.
Here you will also see songbirds, woodpeckers, and owls. Fur bearing inhabitants include squirrels and rabbits and there may be evidence of foxes and coyotes.
From lookouts to the drowned estuary you will see marsh plants such as cattails, bulrushes, and horse tail as well as other grasses and reeds. Perched on them there may be redwing blackbirds, with bitterns hidden below them, and great blue herons just a bit further offshore. Further out, you can find a variety of waterfowl, and up, you may see an osprey or a bald eagle.
The Gairloch Road Trail is located in Lot 60, in the southeast corner of the province. The name Gairloch likely comes from a village of the same name on the Loch of Gair, in County Ross and Cromarty in Scotland. From the start of settlement in the early 19th century Lot 60 had only 780 inhabitants by 1861. The area remains as close to “wilderness” as a person can get in Prince Edward Island.
This is primarily a loop trail of about seven km including spurs and connectors. There is potential to make a quick through cut, turning it into two loops in a figure 8. The trail is of moderate difficulty, running through hilly terrain, with several stream crossings. Since it is built for shared use by cyclists and hikers, the treadway and water crossings are wide. The steep ravine sides have switchbacks.
The trailhead entrance is also very convenient for mountain biking use, since it is located at the juncture of Gairloch Road (Rte 204), and the Confederation Trail. The site is also excellent for snowshoeing in winter.
The Gairloch Road site presents approximately 1500 acres of the full range of typical woodland cover. It is under the management of the provincial forestry division and the MacPhail Woods Ecological Forestry Project. These groups are making efforts to not only maintain and protect the forest, but to “retro-develop” it to the original Acadian forest state. The trail runs through and skirts dense white spruce thickets, as well as more open pine and hardwood copses, where ground pine and other club mosses abound.
Native and imported wildflower species teemin open meadows. On this and neighbouring sites “birders” have noted up to 15 species of warblers, gray jays, hermit thrush, and rose breasted grosbeaks. Northern goshawks and the barred owl have also been sighted.
The area and the trail are also home to typical fur bearers, including squirrels, hares, skunks, foxes and coyotes. You need to be alone or just a few walkers and very still to spot these and other inhabitants.
The Dromore Woodland Trails consist of four sections totalling roughly 14 km (including loops and connectors). It provides numerous route choices for short, half-day or full-day hiking experiences. An attractive wooden sign identifies each trail head, and trail markers guide hikers at intersections.
As you walk along the trail, pause often to catch the busy burbling of the stream, the annoyed chattering of a squirrel, the warbler’s trill or the woodpecker’s drill. As the ever-present Island breeze soughs through the trees, feel its cooling breath on your face. Follow the sunlight filtering through the canopy, stippling the tree trunks. Find the tunnel entrances of small creatures in banks and under tree roots. Look carefully at the deadfall littering the forest floor that provides wildlife cover, a nursery for seedlings, and a source of compost for the living trees.
If you tread lightly in this special wilderness, you will reap its generous rewards.
This trail forms part of the International Appalachian trail on PEI.
This loop encompasses a diverse forest structure, including an extensive open hardwood stand extending half its length. The trail is easy to negotiate, a pleasant half-day’s hike. Two stream crossings make the walk interesting. Also some nice boardwalk over some wet spots on the south connector.
This is the largest loop with the greatest diversity of forest and landscape types. It includes dry upland terrain, early-succession forests, mixed-age softwood, stream-edge and steep ravine slopes, and occasional stands of large mature trees. Two stream crossings add an interesting dimension – the ridge walk along the Pisquid River is especially beautiful. This trail offers a half-day hike of easy to moderate difficulty.
Moderate with Difficult Sections
This loop lies entirely within the riparian zone of the Pisquid River’s east and west tributaries. It includes impressive stands of mature pine, especially at the north end, and extensive stands of previously thinned spruce. As a short loop on its own or an extension to the Centre Loop, this trail offers excellent qualities for walking and hiking.
This old trail offers excellent late spring and early summer birding opportunities. The trail follows along the stream, then circles inland through the woods. The terrain is similar to the North Loop.