Monday, August 2, 2010

A Bicycle Trip in the Country

One of the many benefits to living on Prince Edward Island is the Confederation Trail.  This trail is the former rail line which ran from one end of PEI to the other.  Abandoned in 1989 the 357 kilometres of track was converted to a walking and cycling trail.  The wide riding area is covered in rolled stone dust making for an easy riding surface.  This is one of those times when I don't miss mountains.  The distinct lack of large hills makes riding a pleasant and easy way to spend the day outside.
Because the trail stretches from one end of the province to the other you are able to see all sorts of different landscapes.  Tree lined forests to hay fields and salt marshes.
This is also a great way to discover native plants.  As you bike along you'll see many examples of native trees and shrubs along the way.  I'm hoping the 3 white pine I planted in the spring will one day be as lovely as this larger specimen.
Along with the varied landscape comes many plants that I don't have in my own yard such as cattails or Typha latifolia. (Although I do have cat tails of a different variety, mine actually have cats attached)
This wild Liatris was found blooming alongside the cattails.
Jean tells me this is more likely Purple Loosestrife, an incredibly invasive weed.  After checking the photos and descriptions of loosestrife unfortunately I have to agree.
What a shame I don't have these in my yard either.  The trail was lined with wild blueberries and I had to stop and eat my fill before we could move on.
Other plants in bloom along the way included this wild rose or Rosa carolina.
Queen Anne's Lace or Daucus carota

Rudbeckia hirta
and Fireweed or Epilobium angustifolium

7 comments:

  1. That looks like a beautiful, peaceful ride! I wish I knew of such a pretty (carless) lane near my home. The wildflowers are all lovely. I especially love that Queen Anne's lace photo.

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  2. The lack of cars certainly makes a difference! I don't think I would have the confidence to ride on a road with cars at this point so having the trail makes a world of difference.

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  3. Great place for a ride! Wild blueberries to boot? Umm... okay! I think I would have had to stop too!

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  4. Laura, there is one certain way to get me to exercise, tempt me with food at the end of it. I used to hike the Grouse grind just so I could drink beer and eat nachos at the top of the mountain. In this case Jody packed a bag full of picnic stuff and the blueberries were simply the 'cherry on top' as it were.

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  5. What a place! I loved the picture with the wide sky. Would like to visit. V nice post

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  6. Are horses allowed on the island? I would love to ride my Pete on down those lanes.

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  7. Thanks for the comments Catherine. I love showing off the island.

    Cheri - I normally like to tell people all the benefits of PEI but unfortunately this time I can't. Although there's many many horses on this island used for harness racing, show jumping and work (they still use draft horses to gather Irish Moss up west), horses are not allowed on the Confederation Trail. An application was made recently to trial horse riding on the trails but it was rejected. Apparently there is concern about safety and damage to the trails. I simply don't agree with this. There are huge sections of the trail that are virtually unused by the public. I think this is a terrible shame particularly since horses are such a huge part of the history and culture in this place. By the way, I love your horses name.

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