Upcoming book lists P.E.I. Confederation Trail among world's top 100 cycling treks

·3 min read

The Island's largest trail network will be featured alongside Colombia's 3,000-meter-high Alto de Letras trail, Japan's multi-isle Shimanami Kaido trail and more this spring.

The Confederation Trail will be one of 100 trails listed in Ride: Cycle the World – a book on some of the world's top cycling treks that's set to be released in April. Elspeth Beidas, a project editor with the book's publisher, DK, said P.E.I.'s trail was selected for being among the more accessible.

"It's definitely at the easier end of the scale," she wrote in an email to The Guardian. "We wanted to include rides that were suitable for beginners, as well as more experienced cyclists."

DK, which is based out of England, has offices around the world. Its Eyewitness series specializes in books about discovery, which includes world travel. Ride will highlight a variety of trails that cycling tourists would enjoy based on their geography, their difficulty, their natural features and their region's culture.

Compiling the list of road and off-road trails was a collaborative effort, and the Confederation Trail immediately made the list once it was discovered, Beidas said.

"(It) offered an appealing combination of both scenery and cultural attractions."

Christina Palassio, a Montreal freelance writer, was the cyclist tasked to write about her experiences on the Confederation Trail. She has biked it twice before, and both times she found herself impressed with how well-maintained a trail it was.

The second time she was especially impressed because it was September 2019 – the weekend after post-tropical storm Dorian swept through P.E.I.

"I was expecting to meet lots of impassable areas, but that was not the case," she said. "The amount of the trail that had been cleared was pretty amazing."

She passed many other tourists who were also pleased to see how the hard trail maintenance teams were working. Palassio described her ride as delightful and satisfying, spending most of her time in Kings County.

She also came across many more rolling hills than she expected, and the ride between Mount Stewart and St. Peters Bay is a standout, she said.

"You can really kinda just get lost in the smells and the sounds and the sights."

She found P.E.I.'s towns – many of which, she notes, have a great offering of restaurants – to be close and well-connected, and navigating off and onto Island roads came naturally, she said.

However, while the trail is well mapped, she would like to see a digital map file provided for use on various phone apps, which has become a standard for cycling tourists.

"In terms of accessibility and making planning your ride easier," she said.

Beidas anticipates Palassio's piece in the book will appeal to anyone with an interest in cycling, namely those who are wanting to go on multi-day cycling trips.

Other trails to be included in the new book are the Cami de Cavalls on the Spanish island of Menorca, the pass along the Dolomites mountain range in Italy and what has been dubbed the Death Road in Bolivia.

To learn more about the book, visit DK's website at www.dk.com.


Daniel Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Guardian