If you are an experienced hiker looking to tackle long distance hiking trails in Canada, you’re in for a treat. We’ve compiled a list of the four best routes to take, along with a bit of background about each, trying to convince you it’s the perfect destination for a hiking holiday.
But if you’re just getting into hiking and you’re not ready to take on these long trails, don’t worry. We’ve also added some shorter routes to the list. They’re also sure to give you a taste of the glorious scenery and breathtaking nature the country has to offer.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in.
4 Longest Hiking Trails in Canada
First, let’s take a look at some of the longest hiking trails in Canada.
Before you start making any plans, though, make sure you take some time to prepare for your hike. Above all else, ensure that you are capable of conquering it. Don’t overestimate your powers and stamina. It’s better to go for a shorter and less demanding route than to find yourself in the middle of nowhere with no more energy left in your figurative tank, with nothing to eat in your pack and a storm about to break.
The Bruce Trail
Let’s start with what is probably the most famous hiking trail in all of Canada. The Bruce Trail edges along the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. It’s nearly 900 kilometres long (890 to be exact), and it starts at the Niagara River, ending at Tobermory.
It will take you at least 30 days to complete the entirety of the trail. So, you should be absolutely sure that you’re capable of surviving on your own in the wild and carrying all of your supplies on your back.
You can take it in stages and conquer the Bruce Trail over the span of several months or even years. There is a badge awaiting you when you finally log in all the miles. So make sure to keep a trail log and become a BTC member.
The Rideau Trail
If you’re looking for a slightly shorter hiking trail, the Rideau Trail might be up your street. It covers 400 kilometres between Ottawa and Kingston.
There is plenty to see on the hike, from forests and lakes to small towns and historic sites. That’s why it’s so incredibly popular both with tourists and the locals. You can manage this one even if you are not actually a hiking pro. There are some more challenging sections, but you can rest plenty between hikes. Plus, you probably won’t be all alone on the trail.
There is also a lot of wildlife to spot. If you are a nature lover and won’t mind spending hours looking at a rare bird, this can be your dream destination.
The Waskahegan Trail
The Waskahegen is a collection of 40 different routes, ranging between 5 and 15 kilometres in length, looping around Edmonton. If you are staying nearby or live in the area, take full advantage of this hiking trail hidden so obviously in plain sight.
The entire loop is over 300 kilometres long. If you are fit and prepared, it will take you around two weeks to complete. Fortunately, you can take it in stages and make good use of the camping sites dotted around the trail.
Elk and bison will keep you company as you make your way through the countryside, so if you are looking for a moderate effort, the Waskahegen is your choice.
The East Coast Trail
If you want to blend length with ease, the East Coast Trail might be the ideal hiking trail for you. It runs for 265 kilometres along the east coast of Newfoundland. This is one of the best marked and maintained trails in the country.
There are also plenty of accommodation options available, from campsites to bed and breakfasts, so you’ll be able to put your feet up as well, should you need to. The two or so weeks you spend in the great outdoors will introduce you to some classic Newfoundland sights: graceful lighthouses, adorable puffins and massive whales cruising in the distance.
A trail unlike any other, the East Coast Trails is one of Canada’s more stunning routes.
6 More Shorter Trails for the Less Experienced
If you’re not as experienced and you’re looking for a shorter trail to get your feet wet, so to speak, Canada still has plenty to offer.
For starters, there are some stunning hikes around Quebec City, in the Parc Des Jardins or the Jacques Cartier National Park.
If you are near the Yukon, you can take a look at the 15-kilometre Auriol Trail. The Coast Trail in British Columbia is also a fun one. However, it will take you a bit longer to conquer the ten coastal kilometres, as the route is not all that easy.
You can also choose to hike the Grassi Lakes, a hike with views like no other. Mind the elevation, though. You will be gaining and losing over 300 metres as you traverse the four kilometres of this route.
Jasper National Park lets you hike the Path of the Glacier Trail, if you are into this wonder of nature and want to fill your lungs with some pristine air.
All of these Canadian hiking trails offer amazing experiences. They will provide plenty of memories you will love to reminisce over and recount even in your sunset years.
Base your choice of hiking destination on your level of fitness first and foremost. Once you are clear on your abilities, consider a destination that will show you what you are most interested in. It might be wildlife, intricate and colourful flora, ocean views, glaciers, and so much more. Likewise, your priority might be finding an easy path that feels more like a casual stroll than a demanding hike.
Whatever your preferences may be, Canada has a hiking route for you.