Equestrians have been seeking access to safe, publicly accessible trails on Prince Edward Island for decades. In 2017, a Facebook group, PEI Trail Riders, was set up so that equestrians might share information regarding routes accessible to horseback riders, and to provide a social network for all those interested in trail riding.
On December 7 of 2019, a public meeting was organized by PEI Trail Riders at Founders Hall in Charlottetown, to discuss the issue of equestrian access to the Confederation Trail. The meeting confirmed a strong desire in the equestrian community for access to the Trail, as well as an enormous concern for the safety of those equestrians thus left to ride on roads and highways, where motor vehicle drivers not infrequently display dangerous behaviour towards horseback riders.
Discussions with government representatives in the fall and winter of 2020-2021 consistently demonstrated the provincial government's unwillingness to consider allowing equestrian access to the Trail. Strong support was, however, expressed by the Minister of Transport for developing alternative trails that would a provide safe riding network across the Island. A cabinet shuffle in January 2021 led to more productive discussions regarding the idea of horses on the Trail, leading to the 2021 Hooves on the Trail pilot project. For more detailed history about our trail efforts, click here.
PEI Trail Riders is also investigating other options for the development of new trails, ones which appear likely to see support from government and cooperation from other user group. We hope these initiatives will meet with rewarding results and provide PEI equestrians with the trails they deserve.
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