10 Greatest Hikes in Canada
Fall in love with Canada all over again with these 10 greatest hikes.
What are the Greatest Hiking Trails in Canada?
Take your cue from the crisp, fresh air–head outside and explore the beauty of Canada’s hiking trails. From quiet sojourns with nature to rugged mountainside adventures–Canada has a hike for all tastes and abilities. Here are the 10 best hikes in Canada.
Fundy Trail, New Brunswick
Southern New Brunswick nurtures a rare gem – one of North America’s last remaining coastal wilderness areas between Labrador and Florida. Hidden for many years, this unspoiled retreat is now open for hikers and cyclists to explore and is certainly one of the 10 best hikes in Canada. Situated just outside of St. Martins and less than an hour’s drive from Saint John, the Fundy Trail unlocks 16 km of seaside beauty. The winding trails – perfect for hikers or cyclists – lead to less travelled paths and stairways that divulge sandy beaches, concealed waterfalls and vertigo-inducing cliffs. Get a unique perspective of the Bay of Fundy’s tides – the world’s highest – and keep your eyes peeled for Right Whales and sea birds.
Appin Road, Prince Edward Island
Nothing whispers autumn quite like a crisp stroll under a golden canopy of leaves. PEI’s Appin Road is the ideal setting for such a journey. Constructed in 1862, this clay lane near the Island’s south shore is peaceful and off the beaten track – the perfect location for a reflective respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Autumn’s vivacious colours are on full display along this winding trail as it ushers you through woodlands and farmers’ fields. If you’re looking for a fall alternative to PEI’s Confederation Trail, Appin Road provides a refreshing change.
Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia
Kejimkujik National Park is truly one of a kind. Nowhere else in the country will you find a Parks Canada site that is designed as both a National Park and a National Historic Site. With its rare old growth forests, abundant wildlife, Mi’kmaq legends, and geological finds, Kejimkujik National Park offers an unforgettable autumn hiking experience. Boasting fifteen unique trails, the park lets visitors encounter rare species of birds, historical sites (including gold mines), granite boulders and vibrant fall foliage.
Killarney Park, Ontario
Touted as a ‘crown jewel’ of Ontario’s park system, Killarney Park came into existence by the dedicated efforts of several famous Canadian artists. The Group of Seven’s Lawren Harris, A.J. Casson and A.Y. Jackson were so enamored with this rugged landscape that they approached the government, demanding that the area be designated as protected parkland. Thanks to their efforts, Killarney’s jack pine ridges, clear lakes and quartz hills survive today. Four hiking trails including the picturesque Granite Ridge Trail give visitors unparalled access to La Cloche Mountains, Georgian Bay and the spectacular beauty immortalized by the Group of Seven’s iconic paintings.
Lake Louise Tea House Challenge, Alberta
Got a thirst for a six-hour autumn adventure in the Canadian Rockies? Hike 3.5 km uphill from Lake Louise through a lush forest of spruce and fir trees to Lake Agnes – named after Lady Agnes Macdonald, the second wife of Canadian prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. Upon your arrival, Lake Agnes Teahouse will tempt you with a warm tea and a scrumptious slice of pie. Catch your breath as you gaze upon the glorious waterfall cascading nearby. Continue your quest by climbing up the Big Beehive for jaw-dropping views of the Bow Valley and Lake Louise. Using the Highline trail, join the 5 km trek along the Plain of Six Glaciers trail and be mesmerized by Alberta’s soaring mountain peaks and the Victoria Glacier. Rest tired muscles and satisfy hunger pangs with a snack at the historic Plains of Six Glaciers Teahouse before completing the 5.5 km loop back to Lake Louise.
Kinney Lake Trail, British Columbia
For breathtaking lakeside and mountain views this autumn, head to Mount Robson Provincial Park – the second oldest provincial park in British Columbia. Towering overhead at 3,954 metres is the snow-capped Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. The sheer size of this majestic summit will have hikers spellbound as they wander along the 4.5 km Kinney Lake Trail. Amidst the dense cedar and hemlock forest, eagle-eyed visitors may have the once in a lifetime chance to see many wildlife species including moose, Black bears and elk. This gentle hike will take approximately 2.5 hours to complete.
Galloping Goose Regional Trails, British Columbia
Hikers, cyclists, and horse riders all agree – Galloping Goose Regional Trail is one of the most beautiful paths for exploring Vancouver Island’s southern reaches and is one of the best 10 hikes in Canada. Stretching for 55 km between Victoria and Sooke, this multi-use trail existed in the early 1900s as a railway line. A noisy gas-powered railway car called the Galloping Goose regularly crossed this path during the 1920s, shuttling mail and passengers between the two destinations. Today, the railway is a distant memory, but the glorious wilderness, rocky cliffs and farmland remain for all to enjoy. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot a bald eagle on your travels.
Twillingate, Newfoundland and Labrador
Welcome to Twillingate, the iceberg capital of the world! Whales, bald eagles, icebergs – you never know what adventure lurks around the corner on this picturesque North Atlantic island. Home to several invigorating hikes, Twillingate offers something special for trailblazers of all abilities. From the amazing rocky cliffs of Spiller’s Cove to the iconic Long Point Lighthouse and the 360-degree panoramic view atop the Twillingate trail, this engaging corner of Newfoundland and Labrador gives hikers plenty of postcard worthy moments. Catch an iceberg floating by, pick autumn blueberries along the hiking trails or spot a passing whale – just be sure to add a camera to your hiking necessities when you visit this east coast gem.
Grey Owl Trail, Manitoba
If you tread carefully along northern Manitoba’s Grey Owl Trail, you might be fortunate to spot white-tailed deer, beaver, foxes and maybe a moose or coyote. Deep in Riding Mountain National Park, this gentle trail takes hikers on a 17 km journey through sandy beaches, Jack pine forests and clusters of aspen, poplar and balsam trees. For six months in 1931, this untamed corner of the Canadian Shield was the home of Archie Belaney, a dedicated conservationist who became known as Grey Owl. Wandering along the path that bears his name, you’ll quickly understand why Grey Owl fought so hard to preserve the forests and fauna of this breathtaking area. The 5-hour hike concludes rather fittingly at the Beaver Lake cabin where Grey Owl lived and worked as the first naturalist of Canada’s park system.
Meewasin Valley Trail, Saskatchewan
Meewasin Valley sure lives up to its name. In Cree, Meewasin means ‘beautiful’, and this stunning area hugging the South Saskatchewan River offers picture-perfect autumn vistas. Ideal for urbanites craving a brush with nature, the Meewasin Valley Trail rambles through the city of Saskatoon. Along the 60 km path, hikers and leisurely walkers will encounter manicured parks, wild groves, expansive lookouts and historical landmarks. As fall’s hues of yellow, red and orange reshape the city’s landscape, the Meewasin Valley Trail brings nature’s beauty to Saskatoon’s doorstep.