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Confederation Path and Nationwide Parks Biking Tour


Earlier than we even received 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 with the ability to eat lobster day-after-day 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, situated on the Atlantic coast. It might be small in measurement, nevertheless it’s massive in character. Greatest recognized for its pleasant locals, pink sand seashores, potato farms, lobster dinners, and Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Inexperienced Gables, PEI can be a bicycle owner’s dream.

Where is PEI
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This wasn’t my first time in PEI. I visited a couple of years in the past to do a highway journey across the island. That’s once I realized of the wonderful biking alternatives that the island had. And it’s been on my radar ever since to come back again and see the island at a slower tempo.

Pedaling for Lobster

If you happen to didn’t know – I really like lobster. And particularly, I’m kind of obsessive about Canadian Maritimes lobster. My plan was to cycle PEI on a collection of trails that crisscross the island and see one of the best of the fishing villages, farms, and communities whereas consuming as a lot seafood/lobster as I presumably may! I took a 7-day self-guided PEI biking tour with Nice Canadian Trails which specializes within the bucket checklist outside adventures of Canada!

lobster love pei

On the lookout for extra Canada bucket checklist journey concepts – take a look at my expertise on the self-guided East Coast Path hike with Nice Canadian Trails in Newfoundland.

PEI Biking – The entire Necessities

cycling PEI
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The fantastic thing about self-guided holidays is that Nice Canadian trails maintain all the time-consuming logistics, and also you get the liberty of biking your approach. There are in fact urged stops – nevertheless it’s finally as much as you so long as you make it to the resort on the finish of the day! In addition they maintain bike leases and supply an app to simply comply with the route and particulars of the journey.

Bike Rental

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 equipment that I’ve seen in the course of the pandemic. There’s been a motorbike scarcity ever for the reason that pandemic, however you wouldn’t comprehend it right here; they’d every part! Not solely did we choose up our bikes, however I used to be additionally ready to decide on our pannier baggage, water bottles, helmets, and different last-minute gear I wanted.

bike rental PEI
My hybrid bike for the week

Most individuals get a hybrid bike for the journey, nonetheless, with the shop’s giant stock of bikes and equipment, 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 desires to journey 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. Total, the paths are medium relating to hills. The paths are usually fairly flat, however you’ll come throughout a couple of rolling hills on the backcountry roads sometimes – that’s when the ebike turns out to be useful for newbies!

Confederation Path

The ‘Confederation Path’ is an outdated rail line reaching from the far west to the far east coast of the island – it’s recognized domestically because the ‘tip-to-tip’ path. We didn’t do all the factor – nonetheless, we began and ended on the Confederation Path. This completely groomed biking path fabricated 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 strategy to traverse the island away from automobiles.

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 gorgeous 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 somewhat 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 one of the best and it’s possible you’ll find yourself in between – which is strictly what occurred for my week biking on the island.

See the video of our 5 days of biking PEI

The self-guided journey is 7 days in complete – nonetheless, 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 in some way…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 have been in a position to 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 in regards to 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 one of the 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!

pei oysters
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Carr’s was situated 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 this time on my quest for seafood, health, and mind-blowing views, we arrived on the coast. Wow oh wow these views right now have been wonderful! We began the day at Parks Canada Cavendish Nationwide Park the place we found sand dunes, boardwalks, and nice seashores. Individuals have been already selecting their seashore spots and the entire space was buzzing with an important summer season vibe.

We additionally biked into the ‘house city’ of Anne of Inexperienced Gables – and the fictional city Avonlea based mostly 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 motorbike!) and wildflowers dotting the countryside. We stopped on the put up workplace the place you may study 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 all the journey. The journey alongside the coast was magical and we had loads of alternatives to cease for views of the pink 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 consider that the resort has been within the household for therefore many generations – and every continues to maintain it thriving within the altering world of tourism. We parked our bikes outdoors of our cottages and soaked up the environment of this lovable property close to the coast!

cycling pei cottages
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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 a very good 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 a very good 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 favor your complete lobster sizzling or chilly?” the younger waitress requested.
Huh? I had by no means been requested this query earlier than in all of my in depth 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 approach…and so they transformed me to being a chilly lobster lover! Try my tales right now 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 Seaside to Saint Peters Bay

This was the longest day of driving (37 miles) nevertheless it included coastal bikeways, backcountry roads, and the famed Confederation Rail Path. The primary leg alongside the coast was certainly one of my favorites, and I even stopped for somewhat 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 journey was full of lovely bridges all the way in which to Saint Peters Bay. Our app instructed 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 have been handled to some small-town island appeal. We stopped on the cutest little native bakery run by two sisters. And sure…they’d 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. In fact, 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 day-after-day…however then that by no means occurred – the forecasts would change every day to sunny. I used to be beginning to assume that we have been so particular that Mom Nature modified the climate for us and our journey…till right now.

However that didn’t cease us! We rode within the rain (a number of the mentally hardest driving I’ve finished) 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 gorgeous with floating walkways that go over a giant 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 journey! We walked in a pack of dripping-wet bikers in search of a spot to dry off and reset mentally. As a testomony to the kindness of PEI locals, the espresso store proprietor supplied us towels, and heat drinks, and even supplied us a journey to our B&B if we needed to get out of the rain.

Take Away Lobster – Sure Please!

After our very moist journey (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 drawback…since we have 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.’

cold lobster pei

Every little PEI city has a neighborhood fish market, that sells recent native lobster and seafood. We stopped at Julio’s Seafood Market in St. Peters to take a look at the recent 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 instructed 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 stunning seashore park with little retailers and naturally a lobster shack. Our closing resort had essentially the most lovely views of the coast, making the ending a bit bittersweet. That evening we sat on the resort porch consuming 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 components 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 ladies working on the ice cream store. It was a number of the finest 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 trying ahead to recent oysters all day as I pedaled alongside. The Fiddling Fisherman restaurant had good water views and loads of recent oysters for a begin to our final lobster dinner. In addition they supplied some new variations on lobster – resembling lobster flatbread!

Native Kindness

The islanders appear to like bikers on the island. Very like the theme of Anne of Inexperienced Gables – all the island group was welcoming to us. All of them went out of their strategy to make us really feel like we have 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 choose us up on the finish – in any case, this was a self-guided tour. Nevertheless he constantly went above and past taking the time to share the historical past of the world, cease at chocolate retailers, and checked in on us each day. He cared for us like we have been his ducklings.

The Greatest Time to Bike PEI

I cycled PEI of their shoulder season – June! I assumed June could be busy because it’s the start of summer season journey season for many People. Nevertheless, the excessive season in PEI is June and July – that alerts when children are out of college within the space.

June is a good time to bike PEI since there aren’t massive crowds, busy roads, and the seashores are fairly empty. Plus, that is the time of yr when the lupines bloom which brings all the countryside to life with coloration!

The one draw back to doing all of 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 individual 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 consists of many of the important gear – however there have been a few issues that I introduced further for the biking journey.

  • Sun shades – I take advantage of 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 to your water bottles – when you’ve got a favourite it’s nice to convey your individual.
  • Helmet – they do present a helmet – however when you’ve got your individual that you simply love that’s at all times most well-liked.
  • If you happen to use clipless pedals usually, then you may request these pedals from the bike retailer, and presto…you’re arrange identical to at house! Simply convey your sneakers!
  • Bike helmet mirror for these sections you’re on the highway.
  • Biking rain gear. Sadly I wanted that I had introduced higher rain gear after that day biking Greenwich Nationwide Park in a downpour. After this journey, I truly invested in some good biking rain gear from Gore.
  • Plastic baggage or dry baggage for retaining issues dry. The biking packing baggage you get from the bike retailer are waterproof – however if you wish to be further cautious or wish to defend one thing that isn’t packed in a pannier, then convey a few of your individual waterproof baggage too.

Lobster Overload?

I coated 115 miles biking PEI in 5 days and had lobster in some kind day-after-day! Did I ever get my fill of lobster? No! In reality, in an try and go full circle, as I drove off PEI again to Nova Scotia I ended again at Victoria By the Sea, the place we began our journey, to have one closing scrumptious, buttery, candy lobster roll.

5 days biking pei
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Biking PEI is the right strategy to expertise the island at a sluggish tempo. It jogged my memory how necessary it’s to search out pleasure within the little issues in life; such because the church steeple within the distance that alerts there’s a village close by, the odor 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 – Nice Canadian Trails Prince Edward Island By Bike

Disclosure:

I used to be a visitor of Nice Canadian Trails on this journey, nonetheless all opinions expressed listed here are my very own.



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