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 90% 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.
- DAY 1: ~61 km
- DAY 2: ~72 km
- DAY 3: ~65 km
- DAY 4: ~51 km
- DAY 5: ~62 km
- DAY 6: ~54 km
(Click image to enlarge)
Start: Charlottetown, PEI, The Great George 09:00, 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 George 16:00, 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.
Introductions, and cycling ~61 km
Morning meeting in Charlottetown for a transfer to North Cape. 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 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
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
Kinkora to Cavendish ~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 ~62 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
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, finishing up with a transfer back to Charlottetown. BL
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
- 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 3795 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 6 days, 5 nights, 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners, maps, route instructions, van and guide support, luggage handling, hybrid bicycle rental, 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 3265 (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, hybrid bicycle rental, 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.
Upgrade to Road: 150
Drop bars. Trek Domane AL5 or similar, with rear rack/trunk bag.
Upgrade to E-bike: 300
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.
The best time to enjoy this tour is mid-June to mid-September.
Spring daytimes warm up to 10 to 20 °C (50 to 70 °F) by mid June. Note that seasonal businesses may still be closed, or on off-season hours, until late June.
Summer, mid June to mid September, is normally 20 to 25 °C (70 to 80 °F). Freshwater and saltwater swimming is encouraged.
Autumn, mid September to mid October, daytimes 10 to 20 °C range (50 to 70 °F). Nights can be chilly, but rarely down to freezing.
GET TO THE START
Meet in Charlottetown at the Rodd Charlottetown, 09:00 day one.
If you fly: Fly to Charlottetown (YYG). Charlottetown is a small city, and taxi trips from the airport to downtown are short (~$30).
Second option: Fly to Halifax (YHZ) and meet us the day before your tour begins at the airport or your inn for a transfer (four hours) to Charlottetown with the Freewheeling shuttle. Halifax’s downtown core is located about half an hour from its airport. Taxis are readily available; Maritime Bus offers an airport express shuttle ($40 roundtrip or $22 one way); and Halifax Transit provides hourly departures on its MetroX bus service ($4.25 fare). You will need lodging in Charlottetown the night before the tour. Call us if you need help with this.
If you drive: You can drive across Confederation Bridge from New Brunswick, or take the ferry from Nova Scotia to PEI, and can park in Charlottetown. It is 330km from Halifax, 1300km from New York, and 1700km from Toronto. Please ask if you would like suggestions for parking.
Cycling finishes late afternoon on day six, after which you will be transferred back to Charlottetown by 17:00. If you have booked the Freewheeling shuttle, you will arrive back in Halifax by 22:00. Contact us for hotel recommendations if you plan to fly out the following morning.
BEFORE AND AFTER
If you have one day:
Explore Charlottetown on foot, with a walking tour. Attend the famous play, Anne of Green Gables. Rent a boat to explore Charlottetown Harbour.
If you’re shuttling back to Halifax with us, rent a car (we can drop you at Halifax airport on day 6), and visit Wolfville, from where you can experience the highest tides in the world by car or on a 4-hour hike, visit wineries in the Gaspereau Valley, or just enjoy the rural university town. You could also join us for a day trip kayaking on the South Shore, or rent a bike from our HQ and ride the Aspotogan loop.
If you have several days:
Extend your trip! Join one of our rides in Nova Scotia.
We recommend the following accommodations for before or after your tour; please ask if you would like our help with reservations:
Small and Boutique accommodations:
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.