Canada is blessed with great sightseeing destinations. It is the second largest country in the world. The country is filled with mountain ranges, waterfalls, lakes, and various other natural attractions. Getting to Canada should be a priority for those who want a diverse travel experience.
Everybody loves to go out for a nature walk. It helps you unwind. It gives you the much needed exercise, and it helps you indulge in some great photography. However, it is not always easy to know which places to visit for the best nature walks. So, here is a guide on the best hiking places in Canada for all you nature lovers out there.
West Coast Trail
West coast trail is originally known as Dominion Lifesaving Trail. It is a 75-kilometer trail situated in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on the southwestern edge of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. So, if you are looking for a wild ride, pack your backpack, grab your hiking pole, and head towards this trail.
This trail was basically used as a paddling path for traveling and trading. The well known first nations such as Huuay-aht, Ditidaht, Nuu-chah-nulth, and Pacheedaht established their villages and lived there for over 4000 years.
Today this trail contains the best of the rugged coast. You will see sandy beaches, amazing caves, and giant boulders. There are over 100 wooden ladders across the trail for you to climb up and down, cable car over the river, and you will need Gaiters to save your boot from the muds. Muds everywhere!
You might witness wildlife such as cougars, wolves, black bears, hummingbirds, eagles, gray whales, orcas, seals, and sea lions. Hikers get special instructions before starting the trail on how to react to possible encounters with dangerous animals such as cougars, bears, and wolves.
It is recommended to hike in groups on this trail as a safety measure because it requires extreme fitness to complete this trail. However, you may still see solo hikers as well. If you are not interested in completing the hike, you can take a water taxi from Nitinat Narrows.
Cape Breton’s Highlands National Park is considered one of the most insanely beautiful parks in Canada because of its glorious views. Rolling hills, boggy marshlands, seaside cliffs, and the endless ocean. In that, there is a trail called “Skyline Trail.” This trail is not very long. However, it is short enough to be completed within 3 hours maximum. It is basically 6.5 kilometers in length, but the hikers can choose to add another 8.2-kilometer loop.
This trail is an easy one for hikers of any type. The first half is almost smooth as silk. The second half contains stony ground and meadows.
The natural views of the trail are exceptional. The majestic view of the Atlantic is simply breathtaking. Moose is the most seen animal around the trail. Hikers have also spotted black bears, coyotes, bald eagles.
Plain of the Six Glaciers, Alberta
This trail is situated near the famous Lake Louise in Banff National Park. It is 13.8 kilometers in length. It starts with a 587 meters climb gradually by way of switchbacks. You witness the fascinating view of Lake Louise below. After 3.8 kilometers, you will view Mount Victoria, the Victoria Glacier, Mount Lefroy, the Mitre, and the Lefroy Glacier.
Towards the end of the hike, you will find the resting area. Also, the only Plain of the Six Glaciers Tea House. You won’t expect this in a trail.
The trail is the best for hiking in mid-summer. However, if you are planning to visit the trail in winter, expect ice and snow. So, it is a good idea to be prepared. As you climb upward, you might notice weather changes as well.
East Coast Trail, Newfoundland
This 336 kilometers long trail is a long-distance coastal footpath. In 2012, National Geographic named this trail as one of the best adventure destinations. You pass by many historical sites such as Signal Hill, St. John’s, Cape Spear, the easternmost point in North America (ignoring Greenland), and Ferryland. Icebergs, birds, whales can be sighted in season.
It is not easy to trek a trail of this length. So, most people opt to trek smaller sections. However, there is something for hikers of all types. If you are new, you will enjoy the easy walks. For the adventurers, there are challenges as well. If you are an adventurer, check out White Horse Path, which is 18.2 kilometers long. Silver Mine Head Path is an easy option for new hikers. It is only 7 kilometers long.
Grizzly Lake Trail, Yukon
Tombstone Territorial Park offers one of the unique landscapes in Canada. The Grizzly Lake is a designated trail in the park. It is 11 kilometers long and 6 hours required in return time. It is possible to camp overnight there on the trail, but you will need special permission. The number of permission granted is limited. If you are one of that lucky people to get the permit, do not miss out on the first 4 kilometers out and back hike.
797 m in elevation; this is not the easiest trail for hikers. The trail starts with a gentle stroll through the forest and alongside a creek. A lot of elevation gain within a short distance. It requires some hard work to get up there.
When you reach the highest point, you will understand why the hard work is worth it. The views of Mount Monolith and the other mountain peaks behind Grizzly Lake are excellent.
Fundy Footpath, New Brunswick
You will witness the world’s highest tides in the Bay of Fundy; along with that, there are 47.5 kilometers long Fundy Footpath. A total elevation of 2,750 meters and a constant up and down walkway make it difficult for new hikers. It takes around four days on average for a hiker to complete. A mix of point-to-point forest and beach walks will give you a mixed experience and new challenges.
This trail has a lot of river crossings and waterfall passing. Some of the must haves are Waterproof hiking boots and tidal charts. You need to make sure when the tides are slow and low. Tides may make the hike difficult at times, but you will have the lookouts to be remembered for life.
Grey Owl Trail, Manitoba
If you like to wander in forests, there is no better place than Grey Owl Trail. This trail is situated in Riding Mountain National Park and is 14.2 kilometers long. In summer, the trail is full of color. Green trees, butterflies, fully bloomed flowers create a peaceful feeling. However, you may want to bring your snowshoes or skis along in winter because the trail should be covered with snow.
Don’t forget to stop by the famous Grey Owl’s log cabin that can be seen around the halfway mark. Enjoy a cup of tea and listen to the forest. Better than that, have a picnic there.
Riding mountain is known for the gray wolf. However, people have noticed tracks of bears and moose as well. Who knows, you may encounter some of them.
Lion’s Head Trail, Ontario
Lion’s Head Trail is a part of 890 kilometers long Bruce Trail. It is known for the incredible view of Georgian Bay. The Lion’s head trail is approximately 18 kilometers long. This trail is not recommended for children because there are a lot of sinkholes and crags in the path. Also, there are no rails on the edges.
The trail starts in the forest, and the path will lead you to 200 feet tall limestone cliff. Stand there and watch bay water. It is absolutely stunning.
Most of the land in that territory is rocky. So, make sure to bring strong footwear.
Garibaldi Lake Hike, British Columbia
Garibaldi Lake is one of the most beautiful alpine lakes in Canada. It is situated in North Vancouver towards Whistler. Head towards Rubble Creek, climb 9 kilometers ahead to reach beautiful Garibaldi Lake. The trail starts from an endless stretch of forest and a gradual 820-meter climbing. You will be surprised to see alpine meadows, colorful wildflowers. The meadows are very sensitive, and hikers must stay on the marked trails.
If you want to camp in the lake, you must reserve your campsite ahead of time from Garibaldi Provincial Park. The trail remains crowded during summer, especially on weekends and holidays.
The Crack Trail, Ontario
If you want to see the exceptional view of Kakakise Lake and Killarney Lake, you should consider The crack trail. It is a moderately difficult 7 kilometers trail that starts with ease. Walking on old logging road until meeting up with La Cloche Silhouette Trail. From there, you will pass by the scenes of Kakakise Lake. You will feel that you are slowly climbing up. That moment, you know you are near to the Crack.
As the name suggests, the Crack is a crack. A large breakage on the rock. There are narrow passages to continue the trail. If you reach the opposite side of the Crack, you will have views of Killarney Lake, which is a great reward.
Keep in mind; this trail is not a loop. After reaching the Crack, the hikers should return along the same trail. If the trail is continued, the hikers will be on another 78-kilometer journey.
Centennial Ridges Trail, Ontario
Algonquin Provincial Park is most famous for canoeing. However, it is also well known for its peaceful hikes. Centennial Ridges Trail takes the hikers through a couple of high ridges. It is worth the ride for having a top-class view of the park.
It is a loop trail and 10.4 kilometers in length. You will gain an elevation of 460 meters which is not very difficult for a person of decent physical condition. However, there are rocks and roots on the trail. Nevertheless, you should be able to complete the trail within 4 hours.
Towards the end of the hike, you will pass along the ridges. There too, you will have excellent viewpoints.