Canada, Prince Edward Island: Confederation Trail Bike Tour
Five nights; six days of easy bicycle touring along the traffic-free Confederation Trail, and bike paths of the National Park.
“Met us along the route with snacks and fruit – really loved the Freewheeling granola bars!” – Veronica and Len T.
WHY THIS TRIP?
- Follow a re-surfaced former railbed from one end of PEI to the other.
- Traffic-free, easy cycling for 95% of the route
- Paved bike paths along the red sand beaches of PEI National Park.
- Island hospitality at small, family-run inns.
- East Point Lighthouse. Yes, you can climb up!
- Exceptional cuisine and seafood, including farm to fork.
- Charming cafés, restaurants, and galleries along some sections.
Easy terrain and moderate distances. The “hills” are gradual with very low pitche. PEI’s highest point is only 130m above sea level! Most of this tour follows the unpaved but smooth surfaced car-free Confederation Trail, which runs through the interior of the island offering limited views of the sea and coast. Alternate routes on quiet roadways somewhat parallel to the trail are available. Coastal cycling is included following the paved bike paths of PEI National Park on days four and five. Short sections of shared use roadways are used to connect with these, the inns and other diversions. Transfers over these sections are available if you prefer.
- DAY 1: Introductions, ~61 km
- DAY 2: ~72 km
- DAY 3: ~65 km
- DAY 4: Short ~36 km; Long ~51 km
- DAY 5: Short ~70 km; Long ~94 km
- DAY 6: ~54 km, farewells
(Click image to enlarge)
Start: Charlottetown, PEI, The Great George09:00, day one. Please contact us to arrange alternate pickup location. Optional transfers from Nova Scotia are $85 per person and depart the day before the tour begins from downtown Halifax at 18:00 or Halifax Airport at 18:30, arriving in Charlottetown at ~22:00.
Finish: Charlottetown, PEI, The Great George16:00, day six. Optional transfers to Nova Scotia at $85 pp and depart PEI at 17:00, arriving in Halifax at ~21:00.
Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.
Arrivals, introductions, and cycling 61 km
09:00 meeting in Charlottetown for a transfer to North Cape by 11:00. Following bicycle introductions and familiarization you will cycle ~13 km along a quiet road to the beginning of the Confederation Trail at Tignish. You may wish to extend the mileage today with a scenic coastal road ride to Kildare Cape where the island’s first European visitor Jacques Cartier remarked “the fairest land ’tis possible to see!” LD (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips only. Self-guided trips include breakfasts only)
Mill River Resort, Mill River, or Northport Pier Inn, Northport
Mill River to Summerside 72 km
Ride south toward Tyne Valley, making time along the way for side trips to the MacAusland’s Woollen Mill in Bloomfield (in operation since 1870!) and the Potato Museum in O’Leary, which depicts the vital role this vegetable has played in the region’s economy over the years. Finish your day in Summerside with a boardwalk stroll at Spinnakers Landing, then explore nearby independent dining options. BL
Driftwood Heights Inn, or Lakeview Loyalist Inn, Summerside
Summerside to Kinkora, or Victoria-by-the-Sea 65 km
Start with a morning bike ride through Summerside where you can visit local shops and the waterfront boardwalk before continuing along the trail toward Kensington and Kinkora. From Kinkora you will continue pedaling down the spur line to see the Confederation Bridge – the world’s longest bridge over ice-covered water. Further afternoon jaunts will lead you to Victoria-by-the-Sea, one of PEI’s most charming fishing villages, featuring the Victoria Playhouse live theatre and Island Chocolates Company. BD
Chez Shea Inn, Kinkora; or The Orient Hotel B&B, Victoria-by-the-Sea
Kinkora to Cavendish Short: 36 km; Long: 51 km
Retrace your tracks rejoin the trail at Emerald Junction. Follow the Dunk River valley to its confluence with Hunter River. After a 15-minute vehicle transfer to North Rustico, you will cycle the coastline pathway of PEI National Park to your inn at Cavendish where you can visit the Green Gables Heritage Site. Be sure to pack your swimsuit as the afternoon foray provides ample opportunity to sample some of PEI’s finest beaches. BLD
Kindred Spirits Country Inn, Cavendish
Brackley Beach to St. Peters Bay 55 km
The day’s first destination is Brackley Beach, where you can begin riding the paved bike parkway east through PEI National Park. For a shorter ride today, transfer directly to Tracadie to resume riding on the Confederation Trail. Either way, you will ride the most spectacular stretch of the Trail near St. Peter’s where it hugs the edge of the bay and crosses three rivers on old steel railway trestles. Reserve enough energy for a diversion from St. Peters to Greenwich to see the floating boardwalk and magnificent sand dune beach. The sunsets here are spectacular! BLD
Points East Coastal Inn, or Gateway to Greenwich Suites, St. Peters Bay
St. Peters Bay to East Point 54 km
Pedal through Harmony Junction and onward to Elmira finishing at the railway museum marking the end of the Confederation Trail. The afternoon will start with a picnic lunch followed by a group ride to the East Point Lighthouse 9km away. After photos and celebrations, you will transfer back to Charlottetown arriving by 16:00. BL
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
- Jul 9-14
- Jul 23-28
- Aug 6-11
- Aug 20-25
- Jun 23-28
- Jul 14-19
- Aug 4-9
- Aug 18-23
Self-Guided available any dates, except for those listed above and for any start dates between July 1-8. New dates are also welcomed for guided or private departures.
Guided: C 3645 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 6 days, 5 nights, 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners, maps, route instructions, van and guide support, luggage handling, 15% sales tax
Small groups or private tours, fully supported with drivers/guides and vehicles, all lodging and most meals included. Choose from existing dates or request new departures. Read more on our “What to Expect” page.
Self-Guided: C 3095 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 6 days, 5 nights, 5 breakfasts, maps, route instructions, inn to inn luggage transfers, vehicle transfers as outlined in the itinerary, on-call support, 15% sales tax
Semi-supported, independent tours including welcome briefing, lodging, luggage transfers and necessary vehicle transfers. Choose from existing dates or request new departures. Read more on our “What to Expect” page.
Single Occupancy: 685
Flat bars. Trek FX3 or similar, with rear rack/trunk bag. Lowstep frames available by request.
Drop bars. Trek Domane AL5 or similar, with rear rack/trunk bag.
Flat bars. Trek Verve+ 2 or similar, with rear rack/trunk bag. Lowstep frames available by request.
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
Please see above for accurate pricing and inclusions, unless we have proposed a customized trip for you and those details are provided in your custom proposal.
1. Choose an advertised date to join a small group, or see our Join a Group page to see where groups are already forming.
2. Pick your own dates. We will confirm quickly, and are happy to talk with you as you make your choice. If you would like a private guided date, this usually comes at a surcharge depending on the details, please get in touch for more information. If you prefer self-guided, we usually only require two participants to initiate a new date at the advertised price, and can sometimes reduce prices for you if you have four or more.
Prince Edward Island’s Confederation Trail follows the abandoned rail bed through fabulous pastoral landscapes. Originally constructed by a contractor who was paid by the mile, it follows an unusually circuitous route for 280km (174 miles) through many communities whose existence is mainly due to the old railroad. The cycling is relatively easy on flat and smooth, well-maintained crushed stone surfaces, and the distances are moderate. You will have many opportunities to leave the trail and explore surrounding towns and villages and will be delighted by the abundance of charming cafés, restaurants, and galleries along some sections of this idyllic ride.
You will bike PEI from one end to the other along The Confederation Trail, stopping to enjoy the beaches of PEI National Park before heading through rolling farmland to the picturesque East coast. The East Point lighthouse, superb dining, fabulous inns, blueberry farms, and some of the nicest long, deserted beaches you’ll ever see, are the highlights of this trip. Come and discover the magic with us!
Trip history: A summer destination for generations of Atlantic Canadians, PEI’s beaches and warm waters make it a family favourite. Most FA staff are familiar with its secrets and charms. Until 1997 it could only be reached by ferry or air, which gave it an exotic, island cachet. There is now an 8-mile bridge connecting it to the mainland – good for farmers, and still of debatable merit to residents and summer visitors.