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P.E.I. man invites everyone out for a walk on June 1

Bryson Guptill, right, enjoys a scenic break on his 704-kilometre walk around P.E.I. with Dan Grant, left, Nora Wotton and Marion Grant in October 2019.
Bryson Guptill, right, enjoys a scenic break on his 704-kilometre walk around P.E.I. with Dan Grant, left, Nora Wotton and Marion Grant in October 2019. - Contributed



An Island man is encouraging Islanders to take a hike on June 1.

Bryson Guptill, an avid hiker and board member of Island Trails, invites everyone to lace up some comfy shoes for Islanders Walk.

“People can walk wherever they happen to be, they don’t have to walk on a trail necessarily. If they’re walking around their yard or hiking on one of the trails, let’s just get out and be active on June 1. That’s what the idea is about.”

Guptill sees it as a chance to celebrate the lifting of pandemic restrictions while encouraging outdoor activity – one of Island Trails’ mandates. 

The non-profit corporation looks after several woodland trails on P.E.I. and promotes active living.

“We’ve noticed that our trail use since COVID has started to increase quite dramatically," said Guptill.

"People were a little stir crazy and getting outside is not only safe, but it’s a healthy thing to do."

Most of the hiking trails are remote, and users don’t bump into each other often, making them ideal for physically-distanced exercise, he said.


The Island Walk

  • In October 2019, Bryson Guptill with some close friends walked 704 kilometres around the edge of P.E.I. in 32 days. 
  • Covering between 20 to 25 kilometres per day, they stayed at nearby accommodations along the route.
  • Guptill wrote a guidebook about the experience to help walkers on their way. It’s available at The Bookmark and online at Etsy.
  • Island Trails has added his path to its trails, and he hopes folks on P.E.I. will take some time this summer to explore some new-to-them back roads.

Guptill says the trails are popular in the winter for snowshoeing, but this year, interest has remained steady as the snow faded.

“Every week the number of people checking on trail conditions just keeps increasing so that, in the last 30 days, we’ve had an almost 70 per cent increase in people going to our webpage to check on trail conditions,” said Guptill.

“We’ve noticed that our trail use since COVID has started to increase quite dramatically. People were a little stir crazy and getting outside is not only safe, but it’s a healthy thing to do."

Trails are ready for hiking now that the snow has gone and the ground has dried. Check islandtrails.ca for locations and conditions.

More details about Islanders Walk on June 1 will be announced on the group’s social media.

The Islanders Walk grew from Guptill’s round-the-Island jaunt last fall where he and a few close friends traced P.E.I.’s perimeter on foot, using the Confederation Trail, side roads, Island Trails paths and even a few beaches.

For his June 1 constitutional, he hopes everyone will have a route in mind, find a buddy, maintain physical distance (if needed) and take a walk.

“I don’t know how it will unfold, but I think it’ll be great to see a whole lot of people out walking,” said Guptill.

For more information, visit theislandwalk.infoFacebook.com/IslandTrailsPEI and Etsy.com/ca/listing/750673122/the-island-walk.

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