The Best Hiking Trails Canada Has To Offer
Apologies for the long hiatus – life has been crazy busy in Australia, but I’m loving it! For today’s guest post, we fly across the globe to a beautiful country I’d love to spend more time in. Having hiked in Spain, Croatia, Greece, Peru, Switzerland, and more, I can say that hiking is one of my favorite ways to explore a foreign country. Abby Clark shares her tips on the greatest hiking places to experience in my home country’s northern neighbor, Canada.
Outdoors enthusiasts abound in Canada, and thousands of visitors flock to the Great White North every year to hike thousands of kilometers of trails that wind through the country’s sprawling wilderness and ascend into its mountains.
A bona fide hiker’s paradise, there are more designated hiking trails in Canada than anywhere else on earth. Furthermore, no other region offers as many hiking options with proximity to major cities. As such, tranquil, world-class day hikes are available to the majority of Canadians, and rugged, intense, multiple-day hiking adventures are also available in every province and territory. Regardless of your level of experience or expertise, if you’re within Canadian borders, a first-rate hike isn’t far.
A few of Canada’s more rewarding and/or famous hikes:
Killarney Park, Ontario
Killarney Park exists because of an initiative from members of Canada’s Group of Seven, a collective of famous Canadian landscape painters. Lawren Harris, A.J. Casson and A.Y. Jackson approached the government and insisted the area be designated as protected park land. Today, ten trails wind past the park’s pine ridges, crystal-clear lakes and quartz hills, offering day hikes with incredible views of Georgian Bay and the La Cloche mountains, and Killarney is considered by many to be the crown jewel of the Ontario Parks system.
The Lake Louise Teahouse Challenge, Alberta
If you’re near southwestern Alberta and ready for a six-hour-long Rocky Mountain adventure, take on the Teahouse Challenge.
Beginning in Lake Louise, you’ll head 3.5km uphill to Lake Agnes. The Lake Agnes Teahouse will welcome you. Stop here and enjoy some pie over a view of a waterfall.
From here, ascend “The Big Beehive” for stunning views of Lake Louise and the Bow Valley, then hike another 5km along the Highline trail beside a glacier. At this point you’ll be ready for another stop at The Plains of Six Glaciers Teahouse for a rest and a bite before the final 5.5km leg of the loop back to Lake Louise.
The West Coast Trail, British Columbia
Now for something a little (read: a lot) more intense. The West Coast Trail on the western coast of Vancouver Island in Pacific Rim National Park is a multi-day hike which is often led by experienced guides. The Trail leads adventurers across suspension bridges, through spectacular old-growth forest, down streams, and along the open ocean coast. It’s 75km long and takes between five and seven courageous days to complete, but those who have done The Trail tend to remember it as one of those imprint life experiences, and some serious hikers in British Columbia consider it a rite of passage.
Fundy Trail, New Brunswick
Fundy trail is a rarity on the east coast, one of the few remaining true coastal wilderness areas (as where you find waterfront, you generally find docks and condos). It stretches roughly 16km and features an abundance of whales, sea birds, and natural beauty. Now open to hikers and cyclists, Fundy Trail remained secluded and untouched for years, and they say you can feel it. Its trails lead to stairways and waterfalls and small beaches, and along high cliffs which overlook the Bay of Fundy and its famous high tides.
Galloping Goose Regional Trail, British Columbia
Southern Vancouver Island’s Galloping Goose trail is a 55km trail originally cleared for a railway between the capital city of Victoria and the town of Sooke – “The Galloping Goose” being the famous train that thundered along the path. The railway has disappeared and faded into history, but the trail and the rocky cliffs and a famous tunnel remain.
Galloping Goose is open for hiking and biking and horseback riding, for long or short trips, entering and exiting along branches of the path in Langford, Colwood, Saanich and other South Island communities. Some locals who work and live along the picturesque path use it to commute.
Sections of Galloping Goose are especially nice on hot summer days, as high cliffs on either side of the trail channel a cool wind.
Twillingate Island, Newfoundland
Warmly referred to as the Iceberg Capital of Canada, Twillingate is sectioned into a number of hikes ranging from one and three hours. Walking trails with incredible views wander the coastline and along cliffs, and in the winter season icebergs float in the ocean below. In the spring and summer, hikers can pick blueberries and apples.
The popular Top of Twillingate Trail is a couple of hours long, round trip. It circles Low Mist Pond then leads you uphill. If you chose a clear day, when you reach the top, a fantastic view of the town of Twillingate awaits.
Abby Clark fell in love with travel when she was a teenager. Today she proudly calls herself an experienced traveler and a passionate travel writer. She has explored several famous as well as little known cities and towns around the world. Abby currently writes for Best Quote Travel Insurance and touches subjects such as travel and super visa insurance.