Hiking is a popular recreational pastimes, as a get-away from the hustle and bustle of urban living, while enjoying the beauty and wildlife of nature. Hiking season runs mid-May until October, thorough the snow-free season. Of course, with unpredictable weather, trails may be closed anytime during the season. The provincial or national park wardens will inform you of any closures or cautions.
Day hike, where you expect to return home before evening, doesn't require as much equipment as an overnight hike. You should wear a good pair of hiking boots (sturdy running shoes will do), and clothing that is appropriate for the weather conditions. Because weather conditions can change quickly in the outdoors, it is safer to overdress, in layers, than to be under-dressed. For a day hike bring water, food, sunscreen, a map, a compass, a rain coat, knife, matches, and of a hiking buddy.
For an overnight hike, you'll also need a tent, food bags, a change of underwear and socks, and standard camping supplies. Check with your hiking partner to prevent packing duplicate gear, to minimize gear weight.
Hiking can be done almost anywhere, but the best scenery and terrain is in the provincial and national parks.
These parks provide marked and mapped trails to avoid getting lost.
Here are some good areas right around Charlottetown itself in any of the larger Regional Parks. The most interesting trails are Part of the Trans Canada Trail / Confedearation Trail (see the web site for the Trans Canada Trail. PEI Visitors Centre, 800-565-0297). Reaching from island tip to island tip, the Condfederation Trail covers the backbone of the island. A number of spurs let you reach the sea in between. The trail bed is crushed stone with many points of access This trail is rated: Beginner and is open year round. A variety of trails are also available 25 km north of Charlottetown, in Prince Edward Island National Park (902-566-7050 / Fax: 902-566-7226 / E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org):
- Balsam Hollow Trail This 1 km self-guided interpretive trail travels through the forest and along a gently flowing brook where there is a platform overlooking it. The trail is rated Easy and should take about 30 min. to complete. Mid May to mid October
- Bubbling Springs Trail This 2 km loop trail passes through spruce forest and goes along "Long Pond", with lookout platforms to view the pond and waterfowl. There is a natural spring bubbling out of the ground along the trail. This trail is rated Easy and should take about 1 hour to complete.Open Mid May to mid October. 902-566-7050, Fax: 902-566-7226, E-mail : email@example.com
- Farmlands Trail This is 2 km loop trail that goes through a spruce forest, open meadows, past old farmhouse sites and to an old Stanhope Cemetery. The trail is rated Easy should take about 1 hour to complete.
- Haunted Wood Trail This 1.6 km self-guided interpretive trail travels through the woodland areas that inspired part of the setting for Lucy Maud Montgomery's "Anne of Green Gables". The trail is rated Easy and should take about 45 min. to complete.
- Homestead Trail This ouble loop trail of either 5.5 or 8 km in length is a dual hike/bike trail that meanders through the countryside, passing old homesteads along the way. The trail is rated Easy and should take about 2 to 3 hours to complete. Open Mid May to mid October
- Reeds and Rushes Trail This 0.5 km trail takes you to an elevated lookout tower from a short sidepath on the trail where you might encounter a great variety of birds. You will pass through woodlands, across a pond and over a floating boardwalk. The trail is rated Easy and should take about 30 min. to complete.
There are a number of community trails around the province, worth investigating. Also check out Island Trails(902-894-7535) which is a non-profit trail advocacy group, which promotes trail development on the abandoned rail lines and has expanded to include all trails.