Canada is the second largest country in the world, so you can only imagine the vast amount of territory there is to explore. These 10 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.
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 unspoiled retreat is open for both hikers and cyclists to explore. Take your time adventuring, as visitors easily 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 tons of water, creating the highest tides in the world; in some areas of the bay, the tides reach more than 16 m.
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.
Fully enjoy the variety of the Canadian landscape on the West Coast Trail, arguably Canada's most famous hiking trail. But it is definitely 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 hike 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.
The Lake Louise Tea House Challenge is a 3.5 km hike through the Canadian Rockies. Its difficult 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 times, hikers must resort to following 'caribou leads'- the trails carved out by centuries of traveling 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.
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 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 terrain 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.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Andrea Shaffer; cropped from original