Submitted by Alasdair Veitch
I got the idea of coming to PEI to do the Island Walk after hearing an interview on CBC radio. I checked out the web page after the interview, joined the Facebook group, and ordered the guide. I have done many long-distance expedition hikes (up to 53 days and nights) and this one intrigued me. Plus, is handy as I live in northern Nova Scotia not far from ferry terminal to Wood Island.
However, the more I looked at the Island Walk route – the more convinced I became that it would be better on bicycle than walking. I am more of a hiker than walker – walking the Confederation Trail and roads does not appeal to me. I also carry tent and camping gear, so my idea was to just camp out wherever I found myself. I know there are many Inns, B&Bs, and hotels that are available to folk doing the Island Walk, but that wasn’t gonna be my accommodation option…
I covered pretty much the entire route of the Island Walk on my 1300 km bike trip around PEI, including much of the Confederation Trail. I mostly stuck to perimeter roads and went out to all the points, capes, and lighthouses. I used commercial accommodation 2x – one Inn and one campground. I had an absoluteIy amazing time! A much-loved expedition trip!
Met a few folk walking the Island Walk in sections, but nobody that was doing entire route. The trails and roads were generally quiet giving lots of time to enjoy and think! I like that about extended trips – you get into a rhythm. The scenery was amazing, especially along the southwest and up to North Cape. People were friendly and helpful!
Signage for the trail is really good already, and is being improved. The Confederation Trail is meant to be barred to dirt bikes and ATVs, but I still met and heard many. They were all relatively courteous!
I highly recommend the Island Walk for walkers with day packs going from accommodation to accommodation. Or for folk just wanting to do sections of it as a part of a trip to PEI. It is not recommended for folk looking for an expedition hike, mainly because of all the roads and that the Confederation Trail is much more suited to leisurely walking than it is to hiking with a full expedition backpack with camping gear. The Island Walk is currently about half on Confederation Trail and half on roads.
I think the idea and vision for the Island Walk is superb and I think it will garner a lot of attention within Canada and among folk living outside Canada looking for a unique experience! It sure should -:all the elements are in place, and will only get better!