Canada is the second largest country in the world, so you can only imagine the vast amount of territory there is to explore. These ten amazing hikes guide you through the beautiful landscapes of Canada providing close-ups of wildlife and some of the most spectacular views of mountains, glaciers and lakes. Head outside during your holiday - there is a hike for all tastes and abilities.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Andrea Shaffer; cropped from original shot of Fundy Trail
Southern New Brunswick offers the perfect opportunity to spend a day outdoors while you discover 16km of seaside beauty. Fundy Trail winds through one of North America's last remaining coastal wilderness areas. This perfect retreat is open to both hikers and cyclists to explore. Take your time adventuring, as visitors quickly stumble upon stairways to private beaches, concealed waterfalls and cliffs displaying awe-inspiring views of the waters below. During your adventures at the Bay of Fundy, take a peak as the Bay fills and empties nearly 100 billion tonnes of water, creating the highest tides in the world; in some areas of the Bay, the waves reach more than 16 m.
Hikers entrance to the Bonshaw Trial along Appin Road in summer
If you are visiting Canada during the autumn, this is the number one hike to enjoy. The hiking trail lays under a canopy of various types of trees and vegetation, and you will be walking beneath autumn's most vibrant colours. Appin Road ushers hikers through woodlands and farmer's fields and is a quiet oasis off the beaten path. Located near the Island's south shore, this peaceful hike is a wonderful way to experience the Canadian countryside.
If you’re looking stomp new ground, Bonshaw’s trail is the place to go. Recently expanded to run through 25 kilometres of beautiful woodland, Bonshaw Hills provides a long, winding trip through the wilderness. Whether that journey’s done on foot, bike – or even horse – is up to you!
Bonshaw boasts trails for all fitness levels, from those looking for a leisurely walk, to the experienced explorers hoping for a steep, twisting hike that will push them to their limit. The trail has some side loops like Witch’s Way and Merry-Go-Round for shorter treks, while the main Ji’ka’we’katik Trail stretches all the way between Bonshaw Hills and Strathgartney Provincial Parks. And no need to backtrack for lunch – there are picnic facilities at either end of the Ji’ka’we’katik, so you can sit and take a breather if need be.
If you decide to bring your family, don’t worry about having to leave anyone behind. Pets are permitted in Bonshaw Hills if kept on leashes, and, if the trails prove daunting for the young ones, there’s a natural adventure playground at the entrance to the park. It comes complete with climbing equipment, balancing ropes, swings, and a slide, so you may not even make it to the trails!
Image provided directly from West Coast Trail -client camping
Fully enjoy the variety of the Canadian landscape on the West Coast Trail, arguably Canada's most famous hiking trail. But it is reserved for the more experienced backpackers. Make sure you have the right backpack for this 74 km hike as an overnight stay is usually necessary. Located on the edge of Vancouver Island, this walk guides you through rain forest, coves and beaches and has incredible views of the Pacific Ocean. If you are a skilled hiker heading to Canada for the full trekking experience, reserve a spot on this trail early as there is a quota system that limits the number of people who can be hiking it at once.
Killarney Park is referred to as the 'crowned jewel' of Ontario's park system because of its incredible historical background and stunning scenic views. Seven famous Canadian artists were so impressed with this rugged landscape that they demanded the area be designated as protected parkland. It is a good thing too because today Killarney's clear lakes, striking views of the La Cloche Mountains, and immense pines and other forestry are fully preserved and are incredible assets to the Canadian landscape. You can day hike at Killarney Park or reserve a campsite overnight.
Paddleboarding on the lake with views of the Canadian Rockies. Image courtesy of Lake Louise Tea House
The Lake Louise Tea House Challenge is a 3.5 km hike through the Canadian Rockies. Its steep terrain proves rewarding as you travel through a lush forest to Lake Agnes; a beautiful mountain lake of clear, blue water. Located on Lake Agnes you will find the Lake Agnes Teahouse where the revered Canadian hospitality comes to life as employees offer you warm tea and a slice of pie while you put your feet up and get some well-earned rest. Once you continue your journey, you will experience outstanding views of a variety of terrain including the Bow Valley, the Victoria Glacier, and Lake Louise.
Located on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, this hiking trail is an untouched paradise as it passes by massive waterfalls and winds through inlets lined with granite cliffs. Enjoy views of the moose and caribou that casually graze along the plateau. The Long Range Traverse is an experience for the skilled hikers out there, especially because no marked or maintained trails penetrate the unique wilderness. Often, hikers must resort to following 'caribou leads'- the trails carved out by centuries of travelling moose and caribou.
Twillingate is the iceberg capital of the world, so you can only imagine the stunning, arctic scenery hikers enjoy as they travel on this trail. Not only is the landscape remarkable, but hikers will also get a close view of the whales, bald eagles and other local species that frequent this area. There is something on this North Atlantic island for trailblazers of all abilities. Some must-see spots include the rocky cliffs of Spiller's Cover and the iconic Long Point Lighthouse.
Celebrating its 80th birthday, Parc national de la Gaspésie has added yet another trail to its already impressive collection of circuits. Offering a 1.7 km stroll, La Rivière-Cascapédia trail has been carefully designed in an unlogged mature forest. The end of the circuit corresponds to the junction of Rivière Cascapédia and Ruisseau aux Saumons, where picnic tables and river access await you. Mont du Sud provides an unforgettable backdrop. While less well known than Mont Albert, it's not unlike that mountain regarding its rock composition. Finally, fresh air enthusiasts will have the pleasure of exploring this territory to conquer the renowned Albert, Jacques-Cartier, and Richardson peaks, as well as other mountains for seasoned hikers.
The Gaspésie National Park, particularly in the area of Mount Ernest-Laforce, offers you the best chance of seeing the great star of the place, the moose, pacing the territory of its long legs. In summer, it is frequent to observe the largest cervid in the world. He frequents ponds and lakes to feed, among other things, aquatic plants. In the direction of Mount Ernest-Laforce, a short path will show you the moose's privileged habitat. This deciduous forest, consisting mainly of birches, young fir trees and various shrubs, provides abundant moose food.
With more than 3000 km of coastline on the St. Lawrence River, the Gaspesié National Park has some of the most amazing hiking trails that are fully loaded with postcard-worthy moments. This hiking hot spot gives visitors access to an extraordinary mountain environment. Climbers especially enjoy the two mountain ranges that converge in the park and create a beautiful landscape of mountains meeting water. Make sure you brush up on your photography skills before you visit this eastern coast gem—you will not want to forget a single scene.
This unique park is the only site that is designated as a National Park and a National Historic Site in Canada. Enjoy the old forests, abundant wildlife, geological masterpieces, and even historical sites such as gold mines from the 17th century. The legends about the Mi'kmaq Indians that once lived in the area will come to life as you hike along this historic trail. Throughout this National Park, you will find 15 different trails that pertain to a variety of skill levels so that all hikers can enjoy the history and scenery of Kejimkujik National Park.
Meewasin means beautiful—a perfect description for your hike along the South Saskatchewan River. The magnificent river views pair well with an autumn visit when the weather is cool, and the abundant forestry begins to change colour. The Meewasin Valley Trail leads hikers through the city of Saskatoon, and while travelling the 60 km path, you will encounter manicured parks, wild orchards, historical landmarks and panoramic views of the city. This hiking trail seamlessly merges natural beauty into the urban area of Saskatoon.
Many of these outstanding hiking trails are extensive and follow unmarked paths, so it is important you have the correct equipment or sign up for a guided hike. Make sure you have the skills and experience to take on some of the treacherous terrains and if not, opt for a less rigorous hike that offers just as stunning views of the preserved beauty of the Canadian landscape—just with less risk.
If you do plan to head out on a hike that will take several days or cover very rough trails, make sure you are protected with travel insurance that includes medical coverage. Having health insurance will ease your mind as you adventure out on a hike in Canada's majestic outdoors.