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Decision to allow horses on parts of P.E.I.’s Confederation Trail in 2023 draws mixed reactions



Horses are being permitted on sections of P.E.I.’s Confederation Path once more in 2023. And, similar to the primary two years of the pilot mission, there are blended reactions to the information.

“It’s a dream come true to have the ability to take horses on the Confederation Path,” stated Sylvia Corridor Andrews, chair of the Confederation sub-committee for the P.E.I. Path Riders.

“There’s loads of knowledge supporting the path is right for horses. For those who had been to construct a path from scratch that was appropriate for walkers, cyclists, and horses, the Confederation Path is what you’ll get.”

The group offered the general public with surveys to fill out based mostly on their path experiences with horses. The equestrian person uptake survey was performed after final yr’s pilot.

Of these survey individuals, 47 per cent stated their interactions with different path customers had been typically nice. Solely 9 per cent stated their expertise was equally constructive and unfavorable. Twelve per cent stated they needed to clarify to some customers find out how to safely go their horse.

Sylvia Hall Andrews sits atop her horse on a section of the Confederation Trail near O'Leary. Contributed
Sylvia Corridor Andrews sits atop her horse on a bit of the Confederation Path close to O’Leary. Contributed

Corridor Andrews acknowledged that not all path customers are proud of the pilot mission.

“Some folks simply don’t like change or sharing what has been theirs for therefore lengthy, nevertheless, P.E.I. is a really small pie and the slices must be shared.”

Biking P.E.I. issues

Amongst these opposed is Biking P.E.I.

“The issues that we’ve had have largely needed to do with the danger of degradation of the path,” stated Jordan Bober, the group’s govt director.

“The federal government has spent tens of millions of {dollars} over time investing within the Confederation Path. The path has a global popularity and is taken into account one of many prime 100 trails for biking on the planet. There’s an actual danger of horses inflicting harm to the path that may make sure sections uncyclable or very disagreeable to cycle over.”

Security for cyclists can also be a priority.

Jordan Bober is the executive director of Cycling P.E.I. - Facebook
Jordan Bober is the manager director of Biking P.E.I. – Fb

“On the pace {that a} bike owner goes and in the event that they’re coming round a curve, they’ll in a short time discover that there’s a horse there. It’s one factor if you understand there’s a horse forward, the place the recommendation is to dismount your bike and acknowledge the horse, so it sees you and stroll your bike previous them,” stated Bober.

“Nonetheless, that’s not at all times going to be life like. You’re going to return round a bend and there might be a horse after which there’s the possibility the horse will get spooked. Then, you may find yourself with an accident.”

Biking P.E.I. can also be involved with the pilot mission label.

“What we’re involved about actually is the federal government calls this a pilot mission, however we surprise is that this the beginning of desirous to open all the path system. That’s a severe fear we’ve got.”

Bober doesn’t anticipate a change in place except one thing drastic was to occur.

“At this level, except there’s a very good plan to handle the problems that we’ve introduced up, our place is identical. We don’t suppose it’s a good suggestion for the paths. Wanting them altering the entire floor, having extra enforcement, or some fast response upkeep groups, we will’t actually see a means for it to work or be protected,” stated Bober.

A cyclist rides along the Confederation Trail in the O'Leary area ahead of someone on horseback. - Contributed
A bike owner rides alongside the Confederation Path within the O’Leary space forward of somebody on horseback. – Contributed

Survey says

The most important respondent group to the survey was cyclists at 45 per cent, adopted by equestrians and pedestrians every at 27 per cent.

Of the respondents, 80 per cent discovered their encounters with different path customers to be protected. Of the 20 per cent who deemed their expertise unsafe, 62 per cent claimed it was resulting from a bike owner passing too carefully or rapidly, 5 per cent stated it was due to an unsafe encounter with a horse.

Of respondents who had used the path prior to now yr, 97 per cent stated the path was in the identical or considerably higher situation than earlier years. The general rating for the path was 4.57 out of 5 and 92 per cent of respondents had not discovered any manure on the path.

Corridor Andrews was additionally happy with the assistance from the federal government.

“The federal government has been a tremendous companion all through this expertise. They helped us and we helped them all through a really organized course of to outline requirements and etiquette for path use. They had been essential and properly ready to make this dream a actuality.”


  • A fast have a look at some key particulars and suggestions for shared-use trails.
  • The American Affiliation of State Freeway and Transportation Officers suggests sight strains of 150 ft for trails utilized by cyclists and 100 ft for trails utilized by equestrians. The sightlines on the Confederation Path meet these necessities.
  • The place there are frequent encounters with horses and different path customers, a minimal instructed tread width ought to be six ft. In accordance with the U.S. Forest Service’s equestrian guidebook for trails, trailheads and campgrounds, the Confederation Path falls throughout the six ft tips.
  • The Rails-to-Trails conservancy notes that compacted stone mud supplies a floor that may accommodate almost each path person.
  • This yr’s equestrian season will run from July 1 to Oct. 31. The P.EI. authorities stated the autumn finish date is topic to vary based mostly on path circumstances.
  • Six sections of rural path might be open to equestrian riders; two per county. The sections will run from Harper Street to Centre Line Street and Charles F. Willis Memorial Racetrack to Murray Street in Prince County; and from Anderson Street to Freetown Street and Nodd Street to Clyde Street in Queens County. Lastly, from Monaghan Street to Georgetown Street and Georgetown Street to Route 23 in Kings County.

Taylor Stewart is a contract reporter with SaltWire in Prince Edward Island.

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