Whenever people ask me for a place to visit because they want to get away, have a change of pace, and recharge, I’ve often recommended Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. It’s always been one of my favorite destinations. A large part of that is the natural beauty of the area. The hiking is fantastic. And now there’s an even more exciting reason to visit. The Island Walk, a 435-mile walking route that loops around Prince Edward Island opened in 2021.
It’s called The Island Walk. It was conceptualized by members of the non-for-profit organization Prince Edward Island Trails Inc. (Island Trails) and is an initiative of this volunteer-based organization. The 435-mile trail loops around the perimeter of Canada’s smallest province. The trail includes plenty of stops at sandy beaches, scenic viewpoints, and small towns. It has something for everyone.
When I read about The Island Walk it seemed perfect for hikers and walkers of all ages and all levels of fitness. With grades no steeper than 2%, the entire loop takes about 32 days to complete (when walking 12 to 15 miles per day), but travelers can start or stop anywhere along the way.
A slower pace of travel, coupled with enjoying connecting with nature, makes this new trail an amazing option. Walking pilgrimages have been popular for a long time. For instance, maybe you’re familiar with the Camino de Santiago.
“Just like the Camino de Santiago, The Island Walk will give you the time to slow down and be present in your thoughts and daily journey, while experiencing the simple beauty of the island around you,” said Island Walk creator Bryson Guptill in a press release.
Though getting to Prince Edward Island may seem inconvenient, the trail conveniently passes through P.E.I.’s two major cities, Charlottetown (where you’ll find the international airport) and Summerside. Or you can get to P.E.I. by first going to Nova Scotia and then taking a ferry from there.
Nova Scotia and P.E.I. do have what people in other parts of North America call “real weather”. So it’s best to consider the time of year when planning this kind of holiday adventure.
Mid-May to late October is the best time of year to visit, with July and August being peak tourism months. In October you’ll get the special treat of seeing P.E.I.’s fall colors in their full glory.
I could go on and on about the food in Nova Scotia and P.E.I. Lobster rolls, oysters, and the freshest seafood you can imagine. Let’s just say you won’t go hungry and for sure you’ll be well-fueled for such an adventure.
There are many reasons I keep going back to this area of Canada. These two provinces, which are the smallest in Canada, have so much to offer. I enjoy the cities, the amazing nature, the food, and it all starts with the people. And if you know anything about me, you know I walk and walk and walk wherever I travel because I feel that’s the best way to get to know a place. Now P.E.I. has given everyone a wonderful way to get to know her better, and I can’t wait to enjoy The Island Walk!
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