New trail could open ocean views for P.E.I. hikers
'On the Confederation Trail you don't see much of the seacoast'
Island Trails is exploring a new hiking route that circumnavigates the Island along the coast.
Bryson Guptill, a former president of Island Trails, has been working a couple of years on drafting a 700-km trail that uses existing trails and secondary roads. Guptill said the new trail could have two advantages over the Confederation Trail, which runs through the middle of the province on old rail lines.
"When you walk on the Confederation Trail you don't see much of the seacoast, which is really why people come to the Island, for the scenery and to be able to get vistas you can see from the shoreline," he said.
"I started to get my head around the idea of maybe walking around the island, instead of down the middle of the Island."
The draft route also includes more communities along the way. The idea is to create something like the Camino Trail in Spain, which would allow visitors and locals to drop in on smaller rural towns.
"There's at least a dozen," said Guptill.
"If you're looking for a place to stay each night, as you would be because I don't imagine people camping, I imagine them staying in bed and breakfast mostly along the way. That's a lot of traffic into bed and breakfasts in fairly small places."
Communities on the route include Alberton, Tignish, Montague, Cardigan and Wood Islands.
The aim is to create a trail that several hundred people would hike each year. That would require putting up signs to guide people and publishing a map.
Island Trails hopes to finalize a few more details before asking for a meeting with the province to get its support for the idea.
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With files from Island Morning