Celebrating connection on Prince Edward Island

De gauche à droite : Le maire de Stratford, David Dunphy; le maire de Charlottetown, Clifford Lee; le premier ministre de l’Î.-P.-É., l’honorable Robert Ghiz; Catherine Schaap, présidente d’Island Trails; Nancy Baron, fiduciaire de la Fondation W. Garfield Weston; Valerie Pringle, coprésidente de la Fondation du sentier Transcanadien; l’honorable Gail Shea, ministre des Pêches et des Océans; Mme Laureen Harper, présidente d’honneur de la Campagne du STC; et Paul LaBarge, président du sentier Transcanadien.

The Trans Canada Trail and the Province of Prince Edward Island are thrilled to announce the full connection of the Province’s portion of the Trans Canada Trail, known as the Confederation Trail. Prince Edward Island is the second province to connect its section of the TCT.

Canada’s Trail is currently 75 per cent complete. TCT’s bold mission is to achieve full connection, coast to coast to coast, by 2017, Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation and become a platform for national celebrations.

“It is a proud day for Prince Edward Island and a proud day for Canada,” said Premier Robert Ghiz, who was named the first Champion Premier of the Trans Canada Trail earlier this year in honour of the Province’s success in connecting its section of the TCT.

“The concept of a cross-country trail was first conceived right here on Prince Edward Island almost 25 years ago. So it is only fitting that we announce the full connection of our portion of the Trail during the celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference, where the idea of Canada was first conceived,” he said.

Since its launch in 1992 on Prince Edward Island, the Trans Canada Trail has evolved from a dream to just over 17,000 kilometres of free, multipurpose recreational Trail from coast to coast to coast. Connecting nearly 1,000 communities, the TCT has been developed thanks to the contributions of countless enthusiastic volunteers, and donors, and the committed support of municipal, provincial and federal governments.

“This is a remarkable achievement for both Prince Edward Island and for our national Trail. We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the Province, to local Trail builders and generous donors and supporters who share our vision of connecting Canada and Canadians through a multi-use network of recreational Trails to be enjoyed by Canadians and visitors alike, ” said Paul LaBarge, Trans Canada Trail Chair. “The full connection of the Trail in P.E.I. will now fuel the momentum towards full connection of the Trans Canada Trail across the country.  We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but Trail builders across the country can look to this great accomplishment for inspiration.”

The Confederation Trail/Trans Canada Trail is Prince Edward Island’s premiere venue for walking, running and cycling. It provides outdoor enthusiasts with a safe, natural environment in which to enjoy the pristine beauty of Prince Edward Island.

The last 30 kilometres of the Trail, which includes sections from Stratford to Iona, were developed in large part thanks to a $1,000,000 donation from the W. Garfield Weston Foundation.  

“The Trans Canada Trail would not be where it is today without the generous support of our donors, who have been the driving force behind our Trail development from the beginning,” said Paul LaBarge. “We are so grateful to the W. Garfield Weston Foundation and to all of our TCT donors for their contribution to our national Trail.”

“More than just a trail the Trans Canada Trail represents a connection, collaboration, and a healthy, active community,” said His Worship David Dunphy, Mayor of Stratford. “The Town of Stratford is extremely proud of the prominent role we have had in this national project and considers the trail an integral part of building the best community possible.”

“The Confederation Trail/Trans Canada Trail is an important part of the City of Charlottetown’s Routes for Nature and Health Trail System and the Regional Active Transportation Plan,” said His Worship Clifford Lee, Mayor of Charlottetown. “This multipurpose path not only runs tip to tip on the Island, it weaves through the city core and makes up about half of the city’s main trail system. People of all abilities make use of this trail because it is accessible and has a well-maintained surface. It’s a vital trail system and we are pleased to celebrate the full connection of the PEI portion of the TCT with all of the partners who have made it possible.”

“The full connection of the Trans Canada Trail on the Island is truly a community endeavour and it all started with the vision of a few and from there the momentum built,” said Catherine Schaap, President of Island Trails. “Building the Trail has involved the hard work and commitment of employees and volunteers.  We’re very proud and grateful to be celebrating the achievement of this important milestone which is truly a legacy for our province, and for Canada.”

PEI’s Confederation/Trans Canada Trail is 444 kilometres long, running from Tignish in the west to Elmira in the east. It connects the Island’s two entry points at Borden-Carleton and Wood Islands. It also includes branch trails from Mount Stewart to Montague, Georgetown and Cardigan, from Harmony Junction to Souris and from Wood Islands to Murray Harbour.

– Press release (pdf)