PEI

Couple hiking along P.E.I.'s section of Great Trail in epic cross-country journey

Sonya Richmond and Sean Morton are walking along the Great Trail, formerly known as the Trans Canada Trail, which is touted as the longest recreational trail in the world at more than 24,000 kilometres of multi-use paths in Canada.

'You have time to just think about the things you don't normally consider in your daily life'

Sean Morton and Sonya Richmond are walking from coast to coast to coast along the Trans Canada Trail. (Come Walk With Us)

A pair of Canadian hikers who are travelling from coast to coast to coast along the Great Trail, formerly known as Trans Canada Trail, are working their way through P.E.I.

Sonya Richmond and Sean Morton, from Simcoe, Ont., arrived on the Island on Sept. 10.

They have been hiking along the Confederation Trail, which is P.E.I.'s portion of the Great Trail.

It is all part of their epic three-year journey to walk across the country to all three coasts.

The Great Trail, touted as the longest recreational trail in the world, is comprised of multi-use trails that span more than 24,000 kilometres throughout Canada.

Sonya Richmond walking along part of the Confederation trail, which is P.E.I.'s portion of the Trans Canada Trail. (Come Walk With Us)

"Well, we sold our house. I quit my job and we donated most of our possessions to do this," Richmond said. 

"So it took about a year to do the preparation to get out here and start hiking."

They started at the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland and then crossed onto Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia.

After hiking along the Great Trail there, they arrived at Wood Island, P.E.I. last Tuesday.

On September 13, they spotted a garter snake sunning itself on a concrete support along the trail. (Come Walk With Us)

Richmond said that they are very happy as they walk along the trails.

"When we're on these beautiful trails, like the Confederation Trail, it's great," Richmond said.

"You have time to just think about the things you don't normally consider in your daily life."

"You have a bit of breathing space. You can reflect. Think about where you want to go, where you are, what you want to do with the time you have left. It's a fantastic way to connect with yourself and with other people."

Sonya Richmond says they passed more than 100 trees down on the first 12 km of trail. The trees were knocked down due to post-tropical storm Dorian. (Come Walk With Us)

The pair are also documenting their journey and posting photos and updates on their blog Come Walk With Us.

They are inviting other to join them on sections of the walk as a chance to get out and enjoy the trials with company.

They are also speaking at the Island Nature Trust's Annual General Meeting on Thursday. They will be speaking about connecting people to nature through birding.  

Richmond says they are also spreading awareness and strategies to get more people involved in conservation. (Come Walk With Us)

The biggest challenge they faced on P.E.I. was the number of trees down on the trails as they arrived just a few short days after post-tropical storm Dorian.

"There was quite a few trees down," said Richmond.

"In the first 12 kilometres of trail we encountered, I think it was 109 downed trees, that we had to crawl over and under."

Richmond says they have seen amazing views along the trail so far. (Come Walk With Us)

Richmond said after hearing from locals, they ended up changing plans and travelling east along the trail. She said that the work that has gone into clearing the trails has been amazing.

The province says the main section off the Confederation Trail is now clear.

Some areas are closed or restricted due to downed debris. Officials say they will be working to clean those up over the coming weeks.

They first entered the Confederation Trail from Wood Island. (Come Walk With Us)

Richmond says they will continue on their cross-Canada journey, even as the weather begins to turn away from the warm and sunny.

"We plan to hike until the weather gets too bad and we're no longer enjoying it and we're freezing," she said.

She is hopeful that they can reach the Quebec border before having to stop for the winter.

They are planning to complete the Great Trail in 2021.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Island Morning

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