Confederation Trail – Hazelbrook PEI

Recently razed.

Recently razed.

Prince Edward Island (PEI) joined the confederation of Canada in 1873 in large part because its government was nearly bankrupt from the costs of building the PEI Railway, begun in 1871.

The railway network closed at the end of December 1989 and now, 25 years later, most of that network has been converted to a trail. The main trail is part of the Trans Canada Trail and parts of the trail are included in the International Appalachian Trail .

A second piece history is being celebrated in 2014: the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference.  It led, in 1867, to the Confederation of Canada, but, ironically, PEI did not join.  Extensive work on the trail network, called the Confederation Trail (what else?) has taken place as part of the anniversary, and several new sections have opened near where I live.

This section is near the community of Hazelbrook.  The brook is poorly defined where it runs next to the trail, and ditches don’t seem to be draining into it or anything else.  It also seems that the construction crews were in a hurry.  Sediment dams look useless:

 

Water, water everywhere.

 
Offending branches were lobbed off indiscriminately:

Slash and clear was the order of the day.

Slash and clear was the order of the day.

and leftover culverts (of which many were needed) lay in fields near the last remaining autumn colour.

A reminder that this part of the trail has only just opened and there are leftovers from the construction.

A reminder that this part of the trail has only just opened and there are leftovers from the construction.

There wasn’t much other colour remaining in November except a few berries and some hardy greens. Many of the scenes that caught my eye were in or near water.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Trailside ditches.

Trailside ditches.

Maybe 50 feet off the trail was what seemed to be the main watercourse, the Hazel Brook (which flows into Mill Creek and thus into Pownal Bay.)   We had a torrent of rain the previous day which accounts for the colour of the water and the height of the pond.

Still life with muddy water.

Still life with muddy water.

Just off the trail, a muddy series of ponds.

Just off the trail, a muddy series of ponds.

 

More of what I saw on the Hazelbrook section of the Confederation Trail will be in the next post.