Digital Magazine – Canada, with its expansive landscapes covering nearly 10 million sq km, is a haven for adventurous hikers. The country boasts a myriad of trails, each offering a unique blend of natural wonders and challenging terrains. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through some of the best bucket-list hikes in Canada, from the majestic Garibaldi Provincial Park in British Columbia to the wild Canol Heritage Trail in the Northwest Territories.
1. Garibaldi Provincial Park, British Columbia
Garibaldi Provincial Park, named after the towering Mount Garibaldi, offers a fantasyland for hikers. With 90km of trails at varying intensities, this park provides a diverse range of experiences. A highlight is the 25km hike from Cheakamus Lake to Garibaldi Lake via Helm Creek, best tackled over two days. Always check for trail closures due to volatile weather conditions.
2. Kinney Lake & Berg Lake Trails, British Columbia
Situated in Mount Robson Provincial Park, the Kinney Lake to Berg Lake trail is a scenic 23km journey currently closed due to flood damage. For an easier hike, the 4.5km trail to Kinney Lake is a visual delight. Check with park authorities for the latest information before embarking on your adventure.
3. Wild Pacific Trail, British Columbia
Ucluelet’s Wild Pacific Trail offers an informative 10km round-trip hike through a temperate rainforest, passing a historic lighthouse and captivating coastal views. Well-signposted and mapped, the trail provides benches, lookouts, and “artist’s loops” for recording the scenery.
4. Lake Agnes & the Beehives, Alberta
A classic Canadian hike in Banff National Park, the Lake Agnes trail covers 7km round-trip to Lake Agnes and 10km to the Big Beehive. Highlights include the historic Lake Agnes Teahouse and panoramic views from Big Beehive. Check the Canada Parks page for trailhead status before starting your hike.
5. Johnston Canyon & the Inkpots, Alberta
Johnston Canyon Trail is a popular choice, offering dramatic cliff faces and waterfalls. The trail to the Inkpots, two natural pools, provides a slightly challenging extension. Check the Canada Parks Banff website for weather-related closures.
6. Grey Owl Trail, Saskatchewan
Ideal for birding, the 20km Grey Owl Trail in Prince Albert National Park offers a serene hike through forests, wildflowers, and marshland. Visit Grey Owl’s cabin, the former home of conservationist Archibald Belaney, for a historical touch.
7. Cup & Saucer Trail, Ontario
Perfect for families, the Cup & Saucer Trail on Manitoulin Island offers staggering viewpoints and interactive adventures. With various hike durations, the trail leads to the highest point on the island, providing breathtaking views of the North Channel.
8. Bruce Trail, Ontario
The 900km Bruce Trail along the Niagara Escarpment is an excellent choice for hiking in stages. Best enjoyed in the fall for vibrant autumn colors, the well-maintained trail offers a diverse range of landscapes.
9. Parc d’Environnement Naturel de Sutton, Quebec
Sutton Park’s 80km of trails, including lakes and mountain ponds, make it an ideal summertime hiking destination. Trails range from 2-hour loops to multi-day excursions. Plan ahead for park tickets, especially on holiday weekends.
10. Lower Little Harbour Trail, Newfoundland
For those seeking spooky vibes, the 4.8km loop of Lower Little Harbour Trail encompasses historic root cellars, sea arches, and abandoned communities. The eerie atmosphere adds a unique element to this moderate to difficult hike.
11. East Coast Trail, Newfoundland
A multi-day adventure, the 336km East Coast Trail showcases Canada’s natural beauty with diverse landscapes and historic sites. Choose specific trails based on your comfort level, and plan accommodations at campgrounds or local B&Bs.
12. Cape Split, Nova Scotia
Known for its coastal beauty, Cape Split offers a 13km round-trip hike with moderate difficulty. The trail ends at a dramatic clearing above the Bay of Fundy, providing stunning views of tidal rips and seabird nesting sites.
13. Skyline Trail, Nova Scotia
Situated in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, the Skyline Trail offers a dramatic 8.7km loop on a boardwalk. Enjoy breathtaking views and spot wildlife, including moose, bald eagles, and bears.
14. Fundy Footpath, New Brunswick
Considered one of the best hikes globally, the Fundy Footpath in Fundy National Park covers 49.3km of challenging wilderness. The infrequently maintained trail requires careful planning, and hikers should attempt it only in warmer months.
15. Grizzly Lake Trail, Yukon
Located in Tombstone Territorial Park, the Grizzly Lake Trail offers a challenging 11km round trip with unforgettable views of Grizzly Valley. Overnight hikers must book passes in advance and complete a mandatory backcountry hiking orientation.
16. Canol Heritage Trail, Northwest Territories
For the ultimate multi-week adventure, the 358km Canol Heritage Trail traverses peaks, canyons, and barrens. Abundant wildlife and historical Quonset huts provide a unique wilderness experience. Plan food drops and consult Northwest Territories Tourism for essential information.
Embark on these unforgettable hikes to witness Canada’s natural wonders, each trail offering a distinct blend of adventure, history, and breathtaking landscapes. Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or a family seeking a scenic outing, Canada’s diverse trails have something for everyone.