Islands - Iona - Murray River
Location: Plough the Waves
The newest section of the Confederation Trail is a 29.9 km section
from Iona to Murray River, which is easily accessed via a spur
line from the trail gateway at Plough the Waves complex, just
off the Wood Islands ferry. In fact, the ferry provides a water
link with the Trans Canada trail in Pictou County, N.S. The
section offers glimpse of history, wildflowers, native plants,
birds, and other wildlife in abundance.
your PEI trail adventure at Plough the Waves in Wood Islands,
site of amenities such as a Visitor Information Centre, Liquor
Store, retail shops, and a replica train station which features
an exhibit of life pertaining to the railway in the 1870s,
authenticated by parts of the original Belle River station.
Also on site is the Melville freight shed. A short 4.1 km
trail with tight turns, through woodlands and past ponds,
brings you to the rail bed at Mt. Vernon, where Iona lies
to the west and Murray River to the east.
east, the trail passes beside a large millpond, a nesting
area for Canada Geese. Watch for osprey and the frequently
sighted bald eagles as you approach Flat River. In Melville
is a railway bridge and the foundation of a water tower used
by steam trains. The trail section ends at Iona, one of the
highest points on PEI, where spectacular vistas have recently
been opened by woodcutting.
east from the trail junction, the trail crosses 0.6 km of
open wetland, the Wood Islands Bog, home of some rare species
of native plants like orchids, and surrounded by nesting grounds
of a variety of warblers. Occasional streams cross the trail
in huge old stone culverts, relics of the original construction.
Crossing Main Street in Murray River, the trail passes the
original railway station just behind the post office. Between
Murray River and Murray Harbour lupines line the trail in
late June and early July. The crossing at Route 18 was the
site of the last fatal accident on the railway. A concrete
bridge crosses Jordan’s Pond, and the trail ends in