Gairloch Trails


Gairloch Trail

Location: Gairloch Rd. PE
Type: Hilly Woodland
Length: 7km total
Difficulty: Difficult Sections

The Gairloch Road Trail is located in Lot 60, in the southeast corner of the province. It makes up almost 400 acres of the 2000 acres of Public Land that we are managing for 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 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.

Native and imported wildflower species teeming in 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.

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.

Upcoming Events

Jul
27
Sat
10:00 am Tracking the Mammals of PEI
Tracking the Mammals of PEI
Jul 27 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Come on out and learn about the native and introduced mammals found on PEI, as well as a brief look at some of the mammals we’ve lost. After a brief slideshow, we’ll head off to
Aug
17
Sat
1:00 pm Volunteer Afternoon
Volunteer Afternoon
Aug 17 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Come out and help with our work on our Native Plant Arboretum. We’ll have lots of tools and compost and mulch, and a variety of native shrubs, wildflowers and ferns to plant. This is already
Aug
25
Sun
2:00 pm Fourth Annual Festival of Forests
Fourth Annual Festival of Forests
Aug 25 @ 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Our Fourth Annual Festival of Forests will be a family-friendly event, with children’s activities, guided walks, food and micro-workshops. This will be a great opportunity to explore the wonders of the Acadian Forest.
Sep
21
Sat
7:00 pm September Stargazing
September Stargazing
Sep 21 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Learn about the night sky and get to know some constellations. This outing will teach some basics of astronomy and then head out into the dark for naked-eye stargazing
Oct
13
Sun
2:00 pm Autumn in the Forest
Autumn in the Forest
Oct 13 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
A walk along the trails of Macphail Woods, looking at both plants and animals. This is a great outing for people of all ages.

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