ATV riders on Prince Edward Island will soon have better access to more trails on, and off the island.
The P.E.I. and Nova Scotia ATV Federations just entered into a reciprocal agreement to honour each other’s trail passes. That means P.E.I. ATV club members who have passes to ride on the island won’t need a new pass when they go to N.S., and vice versa.
P.E.I. and New Brunswick, as well as Ontario, already have a similar agreement in place.
The president of the P.E.I. ATV Federation, Peter Mellish, hopes this will help attract more tourists to the Island.
“It’s a huge tourism opportunity,” Mellish said. “Probably a bigger tourism opportunity for us than it is for them because there’s that many more riders in Nova Scotia…. This gives us the opportunity to promote our product to off-Islanders to come to P.E.I. to experience what we have here.”
New trails opening this summer
The newest agreement with N.S. comes as the Island federation prepares to open up almost 100 km of new trails across the province this year. That will add to the 250 km of trails that currently exist.
“Our industry on P.E.I. is underdeveloped. It has not been developed because we haven’t had the infrastructure to be able to invite people to come out of province,” Mellish said.
The new trails will span the province, with 30 km being opened toward Kensington and the Rattenbury road area, and another 30km between Stratford and the Mount Albion area.
A legal place to ride
The new trails were formed in partnership with private land owners allowing the federation to build trails on their properties.
There’s still more work to be done on some of the new trails, but they should all be open by the end of the summer, Mellish said.
He hopes the addition of the new trails will not only encourage tourists, but will also cut down on the number of people riding where they shouldn’t.
“An ATV is a legal product, and we have to find a place to be able to legally drive it. And we don’t support riding on paved roads, we don’t support riding where you shouldn’t be.”
“We need to build the trails one landowner at a time,” Mellish said, “and eventually we’re going to get to the point where we have a mass amount of trails that we can really promote a tourism product on P.E.I. That’s the goal.”