Once all sections are complete, the Prince Edward Island Confederation Trail will measure 444 km, including branch trails from Mount Stewart to Montague, Georgetown and Cardigan, from Harmony Junction to Souris and from Wood Islands to Murray Harbour.
© Guardian photo by Steve Sharratt
Deborah Apps, president of the Trans Canada Trail, joined P.E.I. Transportation Minister Robert Vessey, left, and Tourism Minister Robert Henderson, in announcing a $1.4 million joint donation, in conjunction with the Garfield Weston Foundation, to complete the Confederation Trail across P.E.I. by 2014.
VERNON RIVER – Comparing it to the last spike which united Canada by railroad, Tourism Minister Robert Henderson joined officials in the announcement of a $1.4 million funding effort to fully complete the Trans Canada trail across Prince Edward Island by next year.
“The railroad across Canada was completed with the last spike, and we’re completing our part of the Trans-Canada trail with the last hike,’’ joked the minister during a presentation here to finalize the completion of the last 30 kilometres of the Confederation Trail.
A $1 million donation from the W. Garfield Weston Foundation and an additional $400,000 from Trans Canada will help the province become the second in Canada to complete its portion.
“This puts us ahead of the 2017 deadline,’’ said Minister of Transportation Robert Vessey during the announcement, which took place indoors at the St. Joachim church hall because of rain.
“The Confederation Trail is not only a premiere venue for hiking and cycling, but it is also an ever more important tourism draw for the province,” said Henderson. “This very generous donation means the trail will be fully complete from Tignish to Elmira and from Wood Islands to Borden-Carleton, and the timing couldn’t be better given the celebrations planned for 2014.”
The provincial politicians were thanking the W. Garfield Weston Foundation and Trans Canada Trail for making it the project complete before the provincial sesquicentennial in 2014.
The donation means the TCT Confederation Trail will remain a greenway in perpetuity. No motorized vehicles will be allowed on the trail moving forward, with the exception of snowmobiles during winter. Prince Edward Island will also become the second province to complete its portion of the trail after Newfoundland and Labrador.
“This very generous donation means the trail will be fully complete from Tignish to Elmira and from Wood Islands to Borden-Carleton, and the timing couldn’t be better given the celebrations planned for 2014.” Tourism Minister Robert Henderson
“We are delighted to support the Stratford to Iona portion of the Trans Canada Trail . . . significant to the Island and all Canadians,” said Nancy Baron, trustee for The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, in a letter.
The bold plan to create a national recreational trail that would celebrate the natural beauty of this country was born in Prince Edward Island just over 20 years ago, said Baron.
“We are thrilled that this generous commitment from Mrs. Nancy Baron will support the full connection of the province’s trail in time for 2014 celebrations,” said Deborah Apps, president of the Trans Canada Trail.
The largest section that remains unfinished is the 15-km section between Vernon River and Iona. Construction is already underway on that section. There are also small sections to be completed near Lake Verde, Hazelbrook and within the town of Stratford.
“We are very grateful to these donors for enabling Stratford to become part of the Trans Canada Trail network,” said Stratford Mayor David Dunphy. “Giving residents more opportunities to become more active and improve their health is an important part of our plan to build the best community possible.”
Once all sections are complete, the Confederation Trail will measure 444 km, including branch trails from Mount Stewart to Montague, Georgetown and Cardigan, from Harmony Junction to Souris and from Wood Islands to Murray Harbour.