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

Apr
21
Sun
7:30 pm Owl Prowl
Owl Prowl
Apr 21 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Come join the Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project in celebrating the wonderful world of owls at one of this year’s Owl Prowls. To meet the growing interest in these fascinating birds, there will be Owl
Apr
27
Sat
7:30 pm Owl Prowl
Owl Prowl
Apr 27 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Come join the Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project in celebrating the wonderful world of owls at one of this year’s Owl Prowls. To meet the growing interest in these fascinating birds, there will be Owl
May
4
Sat
2:00 pm Landscaping with Native Plants
Landscaping with Native Plants
May 4 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Want to spend less time cutting grass and more time enjoying the beautiful plants around your home? This workshop introduces a variety of hardy native plants to attract wildlife and beautify your yard.
May
11
Sat
8:00 am Birds and Breakfast
Birds and Breakfast
May 11 @ 8:00 am – 10:00 am
The Macphail Homestead will be open at 7am to serve a free “early bird” breakfast. Join other birders beside the fireplace in the Great Room for at hot beverage and breakfast treats to start your
May
18
Sat
10:00 am Pruning Trees and Shrubs
Pruning Trees and Shrubs
May 18 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Participants will practice pruning on a variety of plants in the nursery, arboretum and woodlands. Please bring along any of your favourite pruning tools. Workshop will include a slide show and demonstration of proper pruning

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