Cycle PEI’s Confederation Trail and take the slow route across the island. Visit the larger cities such as Charlottetown and Summerside, before stopping to relax on the quiet ocean beaches, view heritage sites, and pitch a tent in a provincial campground. PEI bike rentals make this cycling trip an easy-to-plan and lost-cost summer vacation idea.
Best of all, Prince Edward Island terrain features rolling hills that gain a little altitude. Therefore, even for beginner cyclists, the Confederation Trail is manageable, while a long-distance journey will provide a satisfying challenge for keener bicyclists.
PEI Confederation Trail
With 400 km of graded surface, the Confederation Trail makes a top destination for bicycling in PEI. No vehicle traffic, plenty of en-route services, and a variety of routes all add appeal to this section of the Trans Canada Trail.
The main route of the Confederation Trail journeys from the Tignish, near the western tip of North Cape, through the center of the island to Elmira, near East Point. The trail follows old railway beds that were abandoned in 1989. From tip-to-tip, the trail is 273 km, but various branches of the trail add distance and options for shorter routes:
- The main Confederation Trail passes through Summerside
- A branch leads to historic downtown Charlottetown
- A spur of the trails connects with the Confederation Bridge
- In the east, trail branches head to Souris, Montague, and Georgetown
- An unconnected section runs through Murray Harbour and Wood Islands
Things to Do Along the Confederation Trail, PEI
Services – be it campgrounds, supply stores, picnic areas, or entertainment – are all close to the trail. A relatively small island, most of Prince Edward Island is covered in farmlands and narrow county roads. This means that a local bed-and-breakfast or friendly diner is usually nearby. Even a long cycling journey such as biking the island from tip-to-tip doesn’t require isolation or intensive planning.
Tourism PEI prints a trail guide with a comprehensive Confederation Trail map. Not only does the guide mark sections of the route by difficulty (easy to hard) and distance, it also marks the many places to stop and things to do on the trail:
- Bike along heritage and coastal roads
- Visit beaches, lighthouses, and scenic viewpoints
- Enjoy museums, theater performances, craft galleries, and heritage sites
- Rest at picnic areas and provincial or national park campgrounds
PEI Bike Rentals and Tours for Cycling the Confederation Trail
A PEI cycling vacation is easy to plan with many bicycle rentals and bike tours available. Inquire about PEI bike rentals and guided tours with:
- MacQueen’s, Charlottetown, 902-368-2453 (bike rentals, bike tours, and shuttle service)
- Plover Bike Rental, St. Peter’s Bay, 902-961-3223 (bicycle rentals)
- Smooth Cycle, Charlottetown, 902-566-5530 (bike rentals)
Confederation Trail bike rentals come with a helmet (mandatory on the trail) and most with basic supplies such as a bicycle lock, water bottle, and Confederation trail map and information. Be sure to also take note of an emergency contact number in case of a flat tire or mechanical trouble, and carry extra supplies of food, water, and warm, rainproof clothing.