Islanders urged to stay off Confederation Trail due to storm damage

As P.E.I. Provincial Parks officials continue to assess the scope of Dorian's damage to sites across the Island, the Confederation Trail is shaping up to be one of the hardest hit by the storm. 

'There's hundreds of trees down across the trail'

Tree damage has been extensive on the Island's trails. (Supplied/Teresa Pinyon)

As P.E.I. Provincial Parks officials continue to assess the scope of damage by post-tropical storm Dorian, the Confederation Trail is shaping up to be one of the hardest hit by the storm.

While no one has been injured, Islanders are being warned to stay off the Confederation Trail to ensure their safety, said Shane Arbing, manager with the agency. 

"The Confederation Trail is a complete mess. There's hundreds of trees down across the trail," Arbing said. 

Maintenance crews are out on the trail attempting to clear it of fallen trees and debris, he said. 

"That's a huge, huge job." 

Sites in western P.E.I. hit hard

As of now, the agency has not been able to determine the costs associated with restoration efforts to its sites, Arbing said. 

Park sites across western P.E.I., he said, have suffered the brunt of the storm's impact. 

For now, the agency's priority, Arbing said, is to make day-use areas safe and to reopen a number of campgrounds as quickly as possible before season's end. 

Damage has extended even beyond trees, Arbing said, with several recently-installed accessibility ramps on sites also lost to the storm as well. 

In addition to the Confederation Trail, he said, Cabot Beach Provincial Park has seen significant tree damage. The day-use area is expected to be closed to vehicle traffic for the remainder of the season. 

'Tidy-up mode'

Work is underway at the campground area and it could reopen on Thursday, Arbing said. The campground is expected to close for the season on Sept. 22. 

Islanders should also keep in mind day-use areas at Argyle Shore, Basin Head, Bloomfield and Chelton Beach, Red Point, and Brudenell Provincial Parks are open.

Panmure Island has closed a week early. 

"Right now we're in the tidy-up mode to try and get things operational. After that gets done, we'll sit down ... and see what we'll have to do next year. What we've lost, what has to be done. That's in the weeks to come," Arbing said.   

More P.E.I. news

With files from Angela Walker


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