The Sir Andrew Macphail Homestead is a 20-minute drive east of Charlottetown off Route 1, near the Orwell Corner Historic Village. The Homestead offers a wide variety of cultural and natural history activities and workshops, as well as restaurant, banquet and conference facilities in a beautiful wooded setting.
It is also the home of the Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project. Most of the homestead’s 57 hectares (140 acres) are wooded and include a pond and several streams. These wood lands are a research and demonstration site for the restoration of native forests. three walking trails , a native plant nursery and an arboretum have been created. The Wild flower, Streamside and Woodland Trails focus on different aspects of PEI’s natural succession of forest types. Each trail has its own unique charm.
Macphail Woods Walking Trails
Visitors are encouraged to tour the site on their own at any time of the year. To arrange tours or for more information, contact the Macphail Woods project at (902)651-2575. Parking is available at the trailhead near the house. Please refrain from removing flowers or other plants from the homestead.
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.
The Gairloch Road site presents approximately 400 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 restore 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.
There are many excellent hiking trails across Prince Edward Island that provide excellent opportunities to see some of the local plants and wildlife.
Island Trails is a local non-profit organization dedicated to creating, expanding, and maintaining a network of trails across the Island. Take a look at their website for some great trail recommendations.
Thanks to all the Friends of Macphail for their help and hard work; the descendants of Sir Andrew Macphail for permission to reprint material from The Master’s Wife; the P.E.I. Department of Fisheries and the Environment; Canada Trust Friends of the Environment Foundation; the EJLB Foundation for help with our Biodiversity Monitoring plots; Holland College students and staff in the Renewable Resources and Urban and Rural Planning programs; the Island Nature Trust for original assistance on the Streamside Trail and brochure; and all the generous volunteers who helped with our trail and nursery work.