At Green Gables we have two trails for you to explore: the Haunted Wood Trail and the Balsam Hollow Trail, which begins as Lover's Lane. Signs highlighting the inspirational sources for Montgomery's writing are located along the trails.

Haunted Wood Trail

The Haunted Wood Trail at Green Gables Heritage Place, with Green Gables House in the background and trees in the foreground.

The Haunted Wood Trail

Length: 900 m loop
Difficulty: Easy 

Located down the slope from the front of Green Gables House, the Haunted Wood Trail is a looped trail about 900 meters in length from start to finish. 

Beginning and ending at the trailhead at the base of the hill, this trail of packed gravel takes you through wooded areas. It passes near the edge of the Cavendish Cemetery and can also be a pathway to the other half of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Cavendish National Historic Site – the Site of L.M. Montgomery’s Cavendish Home, a separate location operated privately by the Macneill Family. (Please note: separate admission is required for this site).  

While most of the path is relatively smooth, there are sometimes exposed roots to watch for and there are a couple of staircases along the way.   

This wooded area, made up mostly of spruces, served as the inspiration for Montgomery’s “Haunted Wood” that appeared in Anne of Green Gables. Anne and her best friend Diana were terrified to take the shortcut through the Haunted Wood, with their vivid imaginations full of frightening possibilities of what might happen there.

In real life, young Maud Montgomery and her friends used to delight in making up spooky stories about the spruce grove. Listen to the trees as they move in the wind. Watch the shadows as they shift with the sunlight. Breathe in the earthy smell of the woods. There’s so much scope for imagination!

Balsam Hollow Trail and Lover's Lane

Balsam Hollow Trail at Green Gables Heritage Place, with the house and barns in the background.

The Balsam Hollow Trail

Length: 800 m return
Difficulty: Easy

Tucked behind Green Gables House is the end of a laneway that was at one time the passageway from the barnyard to the pastures. This laneway is now the beginning of our Balsam Hollow Trail and one of the most famous and beloved parts of our site – Lover’s Lane. 

Follow the signs on the path, which extends along a winding brook in the woods. The path of packed gravel is kept smooth most of the time but keep your eyes open for exposed roots, especially after significant rainfall. There is also a large stairway near the end. If you prefer not to take the stairs, you can also turn round at that point and follow the same trail back. 

In Anne of Green Gables, Anne speaks of the beauty of the path she calls “Lover’s Lane”. In reality, this place was one of L.M. Montgomery’s most favourite in the world. A path she visited and revisited throughout her lifetime when she needed a quiet moment of peace or comfort from the healing hands of nature, Lover’s Lane was also one of her most photographed spots. 

A young male wearing a blue shirt walks with a young female wearing a purple shirt on the pathway of Lover's Lane, Green Gables Heritage Place, surrounded by green trees.

Lover's Lane

With the shade and shadows of the many kinds of trees, the soothing sound of the brook, and the inviting songs of different birds at any time throughout the year, a walk down Lover’s Lane and through Balsam Hollow still offers those same moments of peace to visitors today. 

 

Prince Edward Island National Park trails 

Three youth walk on the Cavendish Dunelands Trail, with Cavendish Beach and facilities in the background.

Cavendish Dunelands Trail, Prince Edward Island National Park

Other trails can be found in nearby Prince Edward Island National Park. For more information: Hiking

Off-season access

Trails in PEI National Park are not maintained from early autumn until Victoria Day each year. However, visitors are still welcome to use the trails. During this period there is no Parks Canada emergency response.