Stretching 140 miles along the eastern coast of Canada, the province of Prince Edward Island is small but mighty—and profoundly beautiful. Tourism PEI’s Grant MacRae shares his top three suggested itinerary stops for visitors seeking to experience the immaculate outdoors and the island’s culture.
The nearly 170-mile trail is ideal for adventurists of all fitness levels, as it’s mostly flat. It runs tip to tip—from Tignish in the west to Elmira in the east. “The hiking, cycling, and walking trail boasts beautiful rolling hills, quaint villages, and broad bay seascapes,” MacRae says. “The trail is also known as a geocaching hotspot, with over 1,900 geocache sites along the route.”
Branch trails add about another 100 miles, and they take travelers into the capital city of Charlottetown as well as other small communities and to Confederation Bridge. Confederation Trail is PEI’s portion of The Great Trail of Canada, the world’s longest recreational trail, which covers more than 16,000 miles across the country.
With the island’s largest selection of cultural and culinary tours, Experience PEI’s escapades can be customized for small groups and those traveling by motorcoach. MacRae says visitors should consider Taters, Tractors & Tales, which digs deep (pun intended) into the background of the province’s prominent spuds.
Groups explore a multi-generational potato farm in Kinkora and, at the end of the tour, enjoy some farm-fresh French fries. MacRae also recommends Fun with Falcons, in which participants join Jamie Stride in Albany, meet his trained falcons and hawks, then put on the handler’s glove and hold a falcon themselves; and the Taste the Town Food + Fact Tour in Charlottetown, where they learn why PEI has been named “Canada’s Food Island” and taste blue mussels, lobster rolls, and YOLO sticks (very, very fancy bacon).
Orwell Corner Historic Village
With daily programming available, the village, which provides looks into a small agricultural crossroads community founded in the early 19th century, is set to be open late May through early November in 2021. “This authentic island village set in the 1890s has an agricultural museum, general store, working farm, live animals, blacksmith, costumed guides, and a Victorian garden,” MacRae says. And for a picturesque picnic, visitors can gather just outside the old schoolhouse or near a scenic overlook with views of Orwell Bay.
MacRae also noted that depending on the status of COVID-19, some tours may be altered or limited in size.
Top photo: Fun with Falcons tour
Photo by experiencepei.ca