Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July 10 – Biking around Summerside

The Confederation Trail is a collection of rail beds that have been converted to biking and hiking paths. Altogether they are over 400 kms long. The longest one goes from almost the North Cape to almost East Point and is about 270 km long. The province publishes a cycling ride that say you can do the tip to tip trail in about 5 days.

Now rail trails are a good idea in theory. They are long and flat. In practise, they are boring. Railways never thought about scenery when they put the tracks down. You are mostly going through farmer’s fields and when you are in town it is mostly through the industrial area. It is especially true on this end of the island. The trail goes right down the middle, only touching the coast near Summerside.

We wanted to go see Summerside and do a bit of biking so we started at the closet access to the path, that was not actually in Summerside and also had parking. It was near the town of Miscouche.

From there it is only about 7km to downtown Summerside. I figured that if the trail was bad or really boring we wouldn’t have far to go back.

The trail itself was in pretty good shape. The view on the other hand was either hedge rows of trees or potato or corn fields with VERY long straight stretches off to infinity.

There are going to be lots of shots of my shoulder because in most cases we didn’t bother to stop and Jennie just took a quick snap from the back.




Getting closer to town we passed behind some houses and then entered the land of cement plants and transfer stations.


The trail did almost make it to the downtown waterfront. We decided to continue on the trail out of town until we felt we had seen enough fields and had enough exercise. Then we would come back to explore Summerside.


We went another 5 km and then stopped for lunch at one of the nice shelters with picnic tables that are placed every so often along the trail.

This was the view back.


And the view forward.



We decided we had had enough trees and fields.

Heading back to town we took a snap of this mural / street art about the last time the train passed through town in 1989.


I remembered reading that Summerside had a 7 km long boardwalk along the bay that you can walk or cycle.  We connected up with the BayWalk path and headed east. This end is fairly short. The cool breeze was nice and the views were much better.




We are not sure what these guys were doing out in the bay. It looked like more than fishing.


Back in town we passed by the Silver Fox Curling Club. Jennie went in and bought a pin.



While Jennie was in the club, I watched this crane put the mast on a sailboat.


We walked the bike around the path at the harbour.



Then I sat around while Jennie checked our their tourist area called Spinnaker Landing. This is a panorama of the whole thing.


It was not much but Jennie found a lot of interesting things to look at.


Then we headed west along the shore.



Whereas in the States you see coffee stands everywhere, here it is Dairy Bars. Every town has at least one and some are out in what I would call the middle of nowhere. Of course we didn’t pass this one.




They really like their ice cream here. I heard one couple come in and order two small cups. Then the wife asked if they should sit at a certain picnic table and the husband said “No, we sat there yesterday”.

Someone was out on a guided Segway tour. I would like to try one but people just look too weird on them.


There were many different pieces of exercise equipment along the path.


Made it to the end.


The pointer in the picture below shows the other end of the trail.


Heading back.


And back to the car on the Confederation Trail.


Here is our path.


The GPS said the difference between the highest point on the trail and the lowest was only 40 meters. In total we did about 38 km.

There was nothing amazing today but it was still an enjoyable day out in the great weather.

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