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The Bonshaw Hills Provincial ParkPark includes a four-season trail system covering 25 kilometers. There are many shorter trails that vary in length and intensity connected to the main trail.

Enjoy over 18 kilometres of hiking and mountain bike trails along the Bonshaw River at the park. The trails are for all fitness levels from walking trails to challenging climbs. There are also picnic facilities, and a natural adventure playground featuring swings, balancing ropes and slide.

The main trail was named Ji’ka’we’katik Trail – after the traditional Mi’kmaq name for the West River. Ji’ka’we’katik (Pronounced – Jih Ga Way Ga Dig) means “the place where bass are plentiful” in Mi’kmaq.

This old trail offers excellent late spring and early summer birding opportunities. The trail follows along the stream, then circles inland through the woods. The terrain is similar to the North Loop.

This loop lies entirely within the riparian zone of the Pisquid River’s east and west tributaries. It includes impressive stands of mature pine, especially at the north end, and extensive stands of previously thinned spruce. As a short loop on its own or an extension to the Centre Loop, this trail offers excellent qualities for walking and hiking.

This is the largest loop with the greatest diversity of forest and landscape types. It includes dry upland terrain, early-succession forests, mixed-age softwood, stream-edge and steep ravine slopes, and occasional stands of large mature trees. Two stream crossings add an interesting dimension – the ridge walk along the Pisquid River is especially beautiful.  This trail offers a half-day hike of easy to moderate difficulty.

This loop encompasses a diverse forest structure, including an extensive open hardwood stand extending half its length. The trail is easy to negotiate, a pleasant half-day’s hike.  Two stream crossings make the walk interesting. Also some nice boardwalk over some wet spots on the south connector.

The Winter River Trail is located only five km from Charlottetown.

At the trailhead, the Winter River Trail heads off northerly, through the white spruce thicket, emerging shortly onto a woods road.  There is a family of rabbits just north of the parking lot, dining on the colorful mushrooms in the vicinity.  The road soon plunges again into white spruce over gently rolling terrain, except where it approaches the Winter River ravine via spurs, to catch the view.  Small feeder streams are bridged and wet spots  have boardwalks.  A few mature white pine are found, including one patriarch 70 feet to 80 feet tall and 24 inches diameter at shoulder height.  A 1,000 ft. boardwalk extends over what was a marshy area along the eastern boundary of the trail.

At the river lookouts you should look for great blue herons and bitterns among the shore reeds and grasses.  As the river opens up toward Winter Bay, you may see various waterfowl offshore.  In the woods you will see many songbirds, squirrels, and rabbits, maybe a fox, and evidence of coyotes.

This is an easy walk, of under seven km, and well protected snowshoeing terrain.

The Forest Hill Trail lies in north central Kings County, eight kilometers north of Bridgetown, and south of St. Peters.  It loops through a very extensive woodland area, over gently rolling terrain.  Much of the area is wetland, with deep swales, and including two sizable ponds.  On Whitlock’s Pond at the south west corner is a look out tower, and uphill at the opposite corner of the property is a 40 foot tower over looking the entire watershed.  This tower is no longer connected to the main trail system.

The trail can be accessed by two trailheads. The Corral trailhead has parking for horse trailers on the Rte 339 side, and the Main trailhead is on Rte 339 at the Whitlock Pond corner.

The treadways are wide and well cleared, especially where hikers and equestrian users might meet.  The total length available is 7.8km.

Ownership of the site is mixed, with several private landowners and the provincial Foresty division.  Island Trails uses this site with specific permissions, and under a license agreement with the provincial government.

In an area as extensive and varied as Forest Hill, a hiker or rider can expect to find almost every kind of tree, shrub, and forest plant; insect, reptilian and bird life; and fur bearers including predators and prey that you will find in any other part of the island. You won’t be disappointed at Forest Hill, by the trail or by the surroundings.

The Boughton River Nature Trail is located in Kings County on Highway 4 at Bridgetown.  It begins at a roadside parking lot beside the fire hall.  The trail is built in four interconnected  loops, plus a short spur to a lookout, to view the typical “drowned estuary” of the Boughton River.  From here you may also see kayakers and canoeist coming upriver on a paddling trail.  The total hiking length available is 8.9 km, but with the loop system there are opportunities to do an early return and an easier, shorter hike.

The Boughton River Nature Trail is an expansion and improvement of a previously existing community trail.  It lies entirely on government lands.  It is built for foot traffic only, and is not accessible to motorized vehicles.

The trail winds through white spruce thickets, open hardwoods, river flats, steep ravines and grassy meadows.  Narrow steep ravines and small rivulets are bridged, and wet spots have boardwalks across them.

In shady areas along the trail you will step over  ground pines and other club mosses, and skirting the many wet spots there will be ferns.  There are also Trilliums and Indian Pipe in the deep shade of the mixed woods.

Here you will also see songbirds, woodpeckers, and owls.  Fur bearing inhabitants include  squirrels and rabbits and there may be evidence of foxes and coyotes.

From lookouts to the “drowned estuary” you will see marsh plants such as cattails, bulrushes, and horse tail as well as other grasses and reeds.  Perched on them there may be redwing blackbirds, with bitterns hidden below them, and great blue herons just a bit further offshore.  Further out, you can find a variety of waterfowl, and up, you may see an osprey or a bald eagle.

The Gairloch Road Trail is located in Lot 60, in the southeast corner of the province.  The name Gairloch likely comes from a village of the same name on the Loch of Gair, in County Ross and Cromarty in Scotland.  From the start of settlement in the early 19thcentury Lot 60 had only 780 inhabitants by 1861.  The area remains as close to “wilderness” as a person can get in Prince Edward Island.

This is primarily a loop trail of about seven km including spurs and connectors.  There is potential to make a quick through cut, turning it into two loops in a figure 8.  The trail is of moderate difficulty, running through hilly terrain, with several stream crossings.  Since it is built for shared use by cyclists and hikers, the treadwayand water crossings are wide.  The steep ravine sides have switchbacks.

The trailhead entrance is also very convenient for mountain biking  use, since it is located at the juncture of GairlochRoad (Rte 204), and the Confederation Trail.  The site is also excellent for snowshoeing in winter.

The Gairloch Road site presents approximately 1500 acres of the full range of typical woodland cover.  It is under the management of the provincial forestry division and the MacPhailWoods Ecological Forestry Project.  These groups are making efforts to not only maintain and protect the forest, but to “retro-develop” it to the original Acadian forest state.  The trail runs through and skirts dense white spruce thickets, as well as more open pine and hardwood copses, where ground pine and other club mosses abound.

Native and imported wildflower species teemin open meadows.  On this and neighboring sites “birders” have noted up to 15 species of warblers, gray jays, hermit thrush, and rose breasted grosbeaks.  Northern goshawks and the barred owl have also been sighted.

The area and the trail are also home to typical fur bearers, including squirrels, hares, skunks, foxes and coyotes.  You need to be alone or just a few walkers and very still to spot these and other inhabitants.

The Dromore Woodland Trails consist of four sections totalling roughly 14 km (including loops and connectors). It provides numerous route choices for short, half-day or full-day hiking experiences. An attractive wooden sign identifies each trail head, and trail markers guide hikers at intersections.

As you walk along the trail, pause often to catch the busy burbling of the stream, the annoyed chattering of a squirrel, the warbler’s trill or the woodpecker’s drill. As the ever-present Island breeze soughs through the trees, feel its cooling breath on your face. Follow the sunlight filtering through the canopy, stippling the tree trunks. Find the tunnel entrances of small creatures in banks and under tree roots. Look carefully at the deadfall littering the forest floor that provides wildlife cover, a nursery for seedlings, and a source of compost for the living trees.

If you tread lightly in this special wilderness, you will reap its generous rewards.

This trail forms part of the International Appalachian trail on PEI.