The narrow, red clay lanes of the Island are special places and a unique part of our heritage.The terrain over which these routes travel is varied and captivating. High hills, twists and turns provide panoramic views of the countryside, as well as glimpses of rural life - of farmsteads, new and abandoned, and the remnants of sawmills and furniture factories.
"Tunnels" of foliage are found along some of these trails. Native hardwoods such as sugar maple, red maple, beech and red oak are some of the trees contributing to the canopies that arch over many roads. In open areas, a host of wild flowers create an abundance of bloom while, under the tree cover, mosses, ferns and trillium are some of the plants that thrive in the shade.
Appreciated not only by humans, these roads and their associated vegetation serve as wildlife corridors for foxes, squirrels and snowshoe hares. Roadside bushes provide nesting sites for many song birds.
Designated Scenic Heritage Roads
The designation of Scenic Heritage Roads became possible in 1987 when the Provincial Government passed regulations under the Planning Act limiting activities that may take place there with the intent of protecting and preserving some of these scenic and cultural refuges. As of 2005, eleven of these special places have become Designated Scenic Heritage Roads.
A Word of Caution
Many of these routes are still used by farmers with large machinery and caution is advised. Steep hills, sharp turns and wet areas are common and travelers are advised to reduce their speed accordingly. In spring (late March until mid-June, depending on the weather) as the snow and frost melt, these routes are quite muddy. Driving at this time is not advised.
We invite you to enjoy the simple pleasure of discovering these hidden pathways for yourself. Click through to visit the
Official Tourism PEI Heritage Roads Site.