Confederation Path and Nationwide Parks Biking Tour
Earlier than we even obtained to the beginning of the famed Confederation Path biking route, I had my eye on the lobster shack at Victoria By the Sea. I really like biking; this new-to-me exercise has received me over and I’m excited to discover new locations by bike. Nevertheless, I REALLY love lobster, and the considered spending 6 days biking PEI and having the ability to eat lobster on daily basis had me over the moon. Prince Edward Island is made for seafood lovers and bikers…and I’m each.
The place is PEI?
Welcome to Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province, positioned on the Atlantic coast. It might be small in measurement, but it surely’s massive in character. Finest identified for its pleasant locals, purple sand seashores, potato farms, lobster dinners, and Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Inexperienced Gables, PEI can also be a bike owner’s dream.
This wasn’t my first time in PEI. I visited a number of years in the past to do a highway journey across the island. That’s once I realized of the superb biking alternatives that the island had. And it’s been on my radar ever since to return again and see the island at a slower tempo.
Pedaling for Lobster
For those who didn’t know – I really like lobster. And particularly, I’m form of obsessive about Canadian Maritimes lobster. My plan was to cycle PEI on a sequence of trails that crisscross the island and see the very best of the fishing villages, farms, and communities whereas consuming as a lot seafood/lobster as I probably may! I took a 7-day self-guided PEI cycling tour with Great Canadian Trails which specializes within the bucket record out of doors adventures of Canada!
Searching for extra Canada bucket record journey concepts – try my expertise on the self-guided East Coast Path hike with Nice Canadian Trails in Newfoundland.
PEI Biking – All the Necessities
The fantastic thing about self-guided holidays is that Nice Canadian trails deal with the entire time-consuming logistics, and also you get the liberty of biking your method. There are after all recommended stops – but it surely’s in the end as much as you so long as you make it to the lodge on the finish of the day! In addition they deal with bike leases and supply an app to simply comply with the route and particulars of the journey.
It begins with the bike – fortunately Nice Canadian Trails organizes this for you! On the primary day in Charlottetown, I picked up my rental bike for the week. Once I walked into the bike store to get fitted for my tour bike, my eyes almost popped out of my head like a cartoon character. It had the most important stock of bikes and kit that I’ve seen throughout the pandemic. There’s been a motorcycle scarcity ever for the reason that pandemic, however you wouldn’t realize it right here; that they had all the things! Not solely did we decide up our bikes, however I used to be additionally in a position to decide on our pannier baggage, water bottles, helmets, and different last-minute gear I wanted.
Most individuals get a hybrid bike for the journey, nevertheless, with the shop’s giant stock of bikes and kit, you too can simply hire an electrical pedal help bike for the 5-day biking journey. That is nice if somebody in your group is new to biking and needs to trip with extra skilled riders. It means everybody can keep collectively and have a good time!
PEI Bike Trails
There are greater than 310 miles of motorbike trails on this picturesque little island. For my 5 day PEI biking tour, we primarily used the 2 most well-known biking trails in PEI; the Confederation Path and Gulf Shore Parkway. The remainder of the time (which was minimal) we biked alongside quiet nation roads. General, the paths are medium in relation to hills. The paths are usually fairly flat, however you’ll come throughout a number of rolling hills on the backcountry roads often – that’s when the ebike turns out to be useful for novices!
The ‘Confederation Path’ is an previous rail line reaching from the far west to the far east coast of the island – it’s identified domestically because the ‘tip-to-tip’ path. We didn’t do the whole factor – nevertheless, we began and ended on the Confederation Path. This completely groomed biking path made from crushed limestone had a slight gradient and plenty of tremendous shade alongside the way in which! It connects a bunch of little cities and is a pleasant method to traverse the island away from automobiles.
Biking down the Gotthard Go within the Swiss Alps: taking the Tremola Street much less traveled
Gulf Shore Parkway Biking Path
This cycle path traverses Prince Edward Island Nationwide Park and delivers you proper to essentially the most lovely stretches of shoreline in a car-free lane…perfection! It’s additionally good as a result of you may safely cease alongside the path and take within the beautiful views and lupine flowers! The Gulf Shore Parkway connects the seashores of Cavendish to North Rustico to Brackley to Covehead to Stanhope.
5 Days Biking PEI with Nice Canadian Trails
As I packed for this journey, I checked the climate and was greeted with 6 strong days of forecasted rain – a dire outlook. Nevertheless, two days earlier than we began, the forecast began to vary. I noticed just a little solar poking out of clouds on my climate app. There was hope! Slowly every day there was extra solar within the forecast.
Lesson realized – plan for the worst, hope for the very best and you might find yourself in between – which is strictly what occurred for my week biking on the island.
The self-guided journey is 7 days in complete – nevertheless, it’s 5 days of biking. And naturally, for me this wasn’t nearly biking, it was additionally about consuming. So every day I ‘lobster-fied’ my day by some means…and it made me so completely happy!
Day 1 – Biking Borden Carleton to Stanley Bridge
We rode from Borden Carleton (the place the bridge to New Brunswick is) to the tiny fishing village of Stanley Bridge. It was about 33 miles in complete. We spent the morning on the Confederation Path and the afternoon on the backroads. The Confederation Path took us by way of potato and corn fields, and we had been capable of see the agricultural lifetime of PEI. After lunch, we hit the gently rolling hills of the north of the island the place the solar confirmed up, and we had lovely blue skies, colourful lupines, and so many bucolic views!
Lobster Rolls and Oysters
As I mentioned – as a lot as this was concerning the biking, it was additionally about consuming seafood, and it began on our first cease in Kensington the place we loved lobster rolls and native beer. However the very best seafood cease was pedaling proper into Carr’s Oyster Bar on the finish of the day in Stanley Bridge. Right here I launched my pal Caroline to the enjoyment of plump scrumptious uncooked oysters. She was a uncooked oyster virgin, so we gave her our greatest recommendation (at all times chew them and benefit from the style) and she or he is now an oyster eater!
Carr’s was positioned proper on the water and had some unimaginable fish and chips with PEI potato salad…a staple to any meal on the island!
The place to search out ocean to desk lobster within the Canadian Maritimes
Day 2 -Stanley Bridge to North Rustico
At present on my quest for seafood, health, and mind-blowing views, we arrived on the coast. Wow oh wow these views at the moment had been wonderful! We began the day at Parks Canada Cavendish Nationwide Park the place we found sand dunes, boardwalks, and nice seashores. Individuals had been already selecting their seashore spots and the entire space was buzzing with an awesome summer season vibe.
We additionally biked into the ‘house city’ of Anne of Inexperienced Gables – and the fictional city Avonlea primarily based on the PEI city of Cavendish. Only a bit inland from Cavendish Nationwide Park you discover rolling hills of inexperienced (a little bit of a problem on a motorcycle!) and wildflowers dotting the countryside. We stopped on the publish workplace the place you may be taught extra about AoGG writer and her life rising up…in addition to get a particular postage stamp!
The stretch from Cavendish Nationwide Park to North Rustico was my favourite of the whole journey. The trip alongside the coast was magical and we had loads of alternatives to cease for views of the purple cliffs and Lupines.
That night we stayed in my favourite lodging – little cottages close to the water. This charming resort was a household enterprise that had been working 157 years! I can’t imagine that the resort has been within the household for thus many generations – and every continues to maintain it thriving within the altering world of tourism. We parked our bikes exterior of our cottages and soaked up the environment of this lovable property close to the coast!
Native Tip – Lobster Served Chilly
We continued on the Gulf Shores Path for the afternoon to North Rustico…in any other case often called my lobster paradise. The lovable city had a colourful energetic fishing wharf lined with lobster traps (at all times an excellent signal). We highway on the wharf straight to the island’s most well-known lobster restaurant – Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Supper.
I wasn’t ready for the enormity of this place; it seated tons of of individuals and apparently is house to the longest all-you-can-eat salad bar on the island. I at all times get excited by an excellent superlative journey cease. I took a seat, placed on my lobster bib, and was able to put again on all of these energy I had burned on the bike.
What number of methods are you able to eat lobster?
“Do you like your entire lobster sizzling or chilly?” the younger waitress requested.
Huh? I had by no means been requested this query earlier than in all of my intensive lobster consuming. After an in depth dialog on the professionals and cons of every – I settled on chilly – the way in which the locals eat it apparently.
It seems chilly PEI lobster is as scrumptious – reminding me that the locals are at all times proper. This iconic lobster restaurant delivered in each method…they usually transformed me to being a chilly lobster lover! Try my tales at the moment to see my disappearing lobster dinner!
Plus – the longest salad bar additionally included all-you-can-eat desserts. Can I come right here each evening?
Day 3 – Brackley Seashore to Saint Peters Bay
This was the longest day of using (37 miles) but it surely included coastal bikeways, backcountry roads, and the famed Confederation Rail Path. The primary leg alongside the coast was considered one of my favorites, and I even stopped for just a little refreshing dip on Cable Head seashore which was abandoned at the moment within the morning! Then we joined up with the Confederation Path once more biking by way of boggy wetlands till we reached the tiny city of Saint Andrews for a lunch break.
The second half of our trip was crammed with lovely bridges all the way in which to Saint Peters Bay. Our app advised us that this was thought of essentially the most lovely part of the Confederation Path and I’ve to confess – it was correct. We rode by way of blueberry nation, previous church buildings, and over lovely inlets into Saint Peters Bay proper to our B&B!
Lobster Rolls and Poutine
Within the little city of Saint Andrews, we had been handled to some small-town island attraction. We stopped on the cutest little native bakery run by two sisters. And sure…that they had lobster sandwiches and allowed me to ‘poutine-ize’ my fries! Their lobster sandwich got here served on home made white bread which aligned with the entire nostalgic really feel of this little café. After all, we additionally took some baked items to go…that’s what the panniers are for – proper?
Day 4 – Biking Greenwich Dunes
After which the rains got here…torrential rains. Once I arrived in PEI for this journey the forecast was for rain all day on daily basis…however then that by no means occurred – the forecasts would change every day to sunny. I used to be beginning to suppose that we had been so particular that Mom Nature modified the climate for us and our journey…till at the moment.
However that didn’t cease us! We rode within the rain (a few of the mentally hardest using I’ve performed) to go to Greenwich Nationwide Park and the well-known Greenwich Dunes and seashore. We rode so far as we may into the park, locked up our bikes, and took off on foot. This park is beautiful with floating walkways that go over an enormous inlet and dunes out to the seashore.
No shock – the seashore was fairly empty on a wet day, however that didn’t cease Caroline from having a swim! We had the place to ourselves!
We biked again into St. Peters Bay and located the native espresso store, Black and White Bakery, to cease in and heat up with some candy treats…as a result of we deserved it after that trip! We walked in a pack of dripping-wet bikers on the lookout for a spot to dry off and reset mentally. As a testomony to the kindness of PEI locals, the espresso store proprietor provided us towels, and heat drinks, and even provided us a trip to our B&B if we needed to get out of the rain.
Take Away Lobster – Sure Please!
After our very moist trip (actually – each a part of me was drenched) – all we needed to do was get house and dry off and keep inside for the evening. No downside…since we had been staying at a B&B close to St. Peters Bay, it had a kitchen we may entry permitting us to get meals take-away and have an evening ‘in.’
Every little PEI city has a neighborhood fish market, that sells contemporary native lobster and seafood. We stopped at Julio’s Seafood Market in St. Peters to take a look at the contemporary seafood. We grabbed 3 absolutely cooked lobsters, threw them in our backpacks and pedaled again to our B&B, and ate them that evening chilly! I advised you I used to be now a chilly lobster convert!
Day 5 – St. Peters Bay to Souris
The ultimate day of biking alongside the Confederation Path was good climate! We spent the morning biking alongside the Confederation Path traversing by way of farmland and forests. We arrived within the cute city of Souris. This pleasant city of 1300 individuals has a beautiful seashore park with little retailers and naturally a lobster shack. Our closing lodge had essentially the most lovely views of the coast, making the ending a bit bittersweet. That evening we sat on the lodge porch ingesting beer watching the sky evolve to pink because the solar went down. An ideal ending. However wait…is it actually good till you’ve had lobster dinner?
Lobster + Colville Oysters
This final day was equal elements biking and consuming! Not solely did we cease and have lobster rolls for lunch, however we additionally discovered a incredible ice cream store – Cherry on Prime. We had simply completed 5 days of biking PEI –I wasn’t passing up ice cream. Plus, it was unattainable to refuse the 2 extraordinarily passionate girls working on the ice cream store. It was a few of the greatest ice cream flavors I’ve had – all home made…even all the way down to the sprinkles!
Souris is house to the Colville Oyster Firm, so I had been wanting ahead to contemporary oysters all day as I pedaled alongside. The Fiddling Fisherman restaurant had good water views and loads of contemporary oysters for a begin to our final lobster dinner. In addition they provided some new variations on lobster – akin to lobster flatbread!
The islanders appear to like bikers on the island. Very similar to the theme of Anne of Inexperienced Gables – the whole island neighborhood was welcoming to us. All of them went out of their method to make us really feel like we had been welcome and belonged.
Nobody exemplified this greater than George our driver. His solely actual accountability was to drive us to our drop-off factors and decide us up on the finish – in spite of everything, this was a self-guided tour. Nevertheless he repeatedly went above and past taking the time to share the historical past of the realm, cease at chocolate retailers, and checked in on us every day. He cared for us like we had been his ducklings.
The Finest Time to Bike PEI
I cycled PEI of their shoulder season – June! I assumed June can be busy because it’s the start of summer season journey season for many Individuals. Nevertheless, the excessive season in PEI is June and July – that indicators when children are out of college within the space.
June is a superb time to bike PEI since there aren’t massive crowds, busy roads, and the seashores are fairly empty. Plus, that is the time of 12 months when the lupines bloom which brings the whole countryside to life with coloration!
The one draw back to doing all your PEI biking shoulder season is that implies that not all of the eating places are open in small cities. That is simply solved although by speaking to your transportation particular person about what’s open within the city that you simply’re staying in that evening and pondering forward one or two days. George at all times stored good observe of us and was updated on openings.
What to Pack For Your PEI Biking Tour
Nice Canadian Trails contains a lot of the important gear – however there have been a few issues that I introduced further for the biking journey.
- Sun shades – I exploit Tifosi glasses for biking. They make bike glasses for individuals with prescription lenses! In addition they make common wrap-around biking glasses which are nice for providing you with solar safety from each angle.
- Electrolyte combine on your water bottles – you probably have a favourite it’s nice to carry your individual.
- Helmet – they do present a helmet – however you probably have your individual that you simply love that’s at all times most well-liked.
- For those who use clipless pedals usually, then you may request these pedals from the bike retailer, and presto…you’re arrange identical to at house! Simply carry your sneakers!
- Bike helmet mirror for these sections you’re on the highway.
- Biking rain gear. Sadly I needed that I had introduced higher rain gear after that day biking Greenwich Nationwide Park in a downpour. After this journey, I really invested in some good biking rain gear from Gore.
- Plastic baggage or dry baggage for holding issues dry. The biking packing baggage you get from the bike retailer are waterproof – however if you wish to be further cautious or need to shield one thing that isn’t packed in a pannier, then carry a few of your individual waterproof baggage too.
I coated 115 miles biking PEI in 5 days and had lobster in some type on daily basis! Did I ever get my fill of lobster? No! Actually, in an try and go full circle, as I drove off PEI again to Nova Scotia I finished again at Victoria By the Sea, the place we began our journey, to have one closing scrumptious, buttery, candy lobster roll.
Biking PEI is the right method to expertise the island at a sluggish tempo. It jogged my memory how essential it’s to search out pleasure within the little issues in life; such because the church steeple within the distance that indicators there’s a village close by, the scent of the ocean, the dancing lupines within the wind that fill the roadsides, and naturally, the primary crack of the lobster claw.
How one can Bike Throughout PEI – Great Canadian Trails Prince Edward Island By Bike
I used to be a visitor of Nice Canadian Trails on this journey, nevertheless all opinions expressed listed below are my very own.