Capes, Windmills and Tales
Western PEI – Summerside and back to Summerside
220 km | 11-14 days | Waypoints 4 to 14 to 4
Summerside to Wellington
As you leave Summerside, the City by the Sea, you will trade stunning ocean views for the glorious feeling of the trees hugging in on you! The walk from Summerside to Wellington is a quiet tree-lined 22 km trek on the Confederation Trail. This segment is the longest, straightest stretch on the Confederation Trail – 11 km.
A packed lunch is recommended for this section as there will be no eating establishments until you get to the Acadian community of Wellington. Once in Wellington, you’ll be able to enjoy dinner at Chez Char, La Lobster Shack, or Wellington Pizza & Seafood. You’ll also find a CO-OP in Wellington which will allow you to stock up on essential supplies if needed! If you have some extra time, Wellington is a small but sweet community to explore!
Wellington to McNeil Mills
The segment of the trail between Wellington and McNeil Mills will have you walking through some lovely tiny Island communities including Northam and Ellerslie. If you happen to see anyone out driving, be sure to give them a wave as we can almost guarantee they’ll wave back! Islanders are known for waving, no matter if they know people or not, it’s practically ingrained in us! A packed lunch is recommended for this section as there will be no eating establishments on this stretch of the Island Walk.
McNeil Mills to O’Leary
You will continue along the Confederation Trail north of McNeill’s Mills and pass through Portage on your way to O’Leary. It’s not apparent when looking at a map, but Portage is the narrowest part of the Island and is less than one kilometre wide! A packed lunch is recommended for this section as there will be no eating establishments until you get to O’Leary.
O’Leary to Miminegash
Start your walk in beautiful O’Leary, a small community in the heart of one the Island’s most productive potato farming regions. While you’re there, we recommend you ‘crop out’ some time to visit the Canadian Potato Museum located in O’Leary. At the museum take a self-guided tour and learn about the history and culture of the potato, examine the extensive collection of antique machinery and visit the potato themed gift shop!
We recommend having a packed lunch for this section of the Island Walk. There are a small number of cafes and restaurants in O’Leary to grab some food for your travels. You will then start your journey to Miminegash. The first 7 km of the route takes you north along the Confederation Trail and then switches to those famous red dirt roads. As you get closer to Miminegash, you’ll spend a short time walking along the shoulder of Route 14 and enjoy some breathtaking coastal vistas.
Once you reach Miminegash, plan to reward yourself with a freshly baked cinnamon bun from Deagles Gas Bar! Take it from us; these cinnamon buns will melt in your mouth. You can also stock up on some supplies at Tremblay’s Grocery store. Make sure to check the hours of operation so you won’t be disappointed.
Miminegash to Christopher Cross
Start your travels in Miminegash, a community known for the traditional gathering of Irish Moss. If you have some extra time to spend, explore the story of the Moss at the Interpretive Centre in Miminegash. We recommend having a packed lunch for this section of the Island Walk.
Once you start your travels, you will experience magnificent views of the Northumberland Strait which, depending on the time of year will be speckled with lobster boats. These sensational views will remind you why you decided to journey to the Island Walk in the first place.
As you continue to Christopher Cross, you will come upon a new Island gem with a lot of history. The new Stompin’ Tom Centre built to honor PEI musician Stompin’ Tom Connors in Skinner’s Pond. The centre features a Gift Shop, Food Service, and Entertainment Space and Exhibits. Check out their website as they host events, like daily entertainment and Friday evening happy hours!
Christopher Cross to Anglo Tignish
After some rootin’ tootin’ stompin’ Tom fun, you’ll head to Anglo Tignish. This segment of the walk is a short 20 km but jam-packed with spectacular views and beautiful landmarks: the windmills, Black Marsh, the North Cape lighthouse and more.
Anglo Tignish to Alberton
Unless you make a detour into the community of Tignish to visit the spectacular St. Simon & Jude Church (PEI’s tallest church) or to grab some food, you will need to plan to take a packed lunch for this segment of the Island Walk. MJ’s bakery or Our Family Traditions are great spots to grab some grub. If the community of Tignish captures your heart, book a night at the Tignish Heritage Inn to savour the community a little longer! There will be dinner options in your destination, Alberton.
From there, you’ll enjoy a peaceful walk beside the Gulf of St. Lawrence, smell the saltwater air and enjoy the expanse of deep blue ocean water if you have some extra time to make a side trip to the Kildare Capes.
It’s a must-see and if you’re looking for that ‘Instagram worthy moment’ look no further. Kildare capes and its red cliff coastline present the opportunity to get a lovely photo to admire for years to come.
Once you arrive in Alberton, you can rest and avail yourself to the tranquil views of the bays and harbours in Cascumpec. Alberton is a small community with a lot of heart. It has options for dining, a little bit of shopping and stocking up on essentials.
Alberton to Portage
Start the day in Alberton and savour those harbour views for a moment before heading towards the next waypoint, Portage! If you’d like to spend some extra time in the Alberton area, check out the Old Alberton Railway Station, it’s worth visiting. We recommend a packed lunch for this segment of the trail.
Take the road less travelled and enjoy the views of the little bays and harbours as well as many lovely looking homes overlooking the beaches in this area.
Portage to Northam
The segment of the trail from Portage to Northam is beautiful and takes you along the Confederation Trail and PEI’s iconic red dirt roads.
The community of Tyne Valley is along this segment but is not directly on the trail. However, if you have some extra time, we highly recommend planning for a short detour to explore this small but mighty community. Especially if you like a good burger. Tyne Valley is famous for its annual Oyster Festival, Rock the Boat Music Festival and the restaurant, Backwood Burgers. Check out Backwoods Burger’s website for more information. The community also has an oyster bar, a tea room and a small grocery store to stock up on essentials.
Northam to Miscouche
Country roads, take me home, to the place I call home! If you need a fitting song to play while travelling on this section of the Island Walk, we recommend John Denver’s famous hit, ‘Take me home, Country Roads’ as that’s what you’ll be walking on!
Navigate your way through the back roads, and walk alongside fields, busy with potato farmers, planting, maintaining and harvesting their crop!
You’ll end the day in Miscouche, a small Acadian community, and you’ll be able to explore the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, erected in 1892 and the Acadian Museum right next door. There is also a small grocery store with lots of options for baked goods and a hot cup of coffee!
Miscouche to Summerside
Start your journey back to Summerside, the City by the Sea. On this secluded section of the island walk, you will walk along the Confederation Trail back into Summerside. Once in Summerside, there is no shortage of things to do! We recommend visiting the Eptek Centre and take in some Island art. You can head to the world-famous College of Piping for some lively Celtic music and dancing. We suggest you treat yourself and head to Holman’s Ice Cream Parlour to enjoy a well-deserved gourmet treat while taking a trip down memory lane at one of the city’s most historic properties. No matter what you find yourself doing, we know you will be having a great time in Summerside!