No matter where you live in Canada, whether you purchased some Toronto real estate in Ontario or anywhere from Vancouver, B.C. to St. John’s, Newfoundland, odds are, you have a wealth of hiking opportunities nearby. But for those who are true enthusiasts of getting out on the trail, these are the country’s very best hiking destinations.
Banff National Park, Alberta
One of the most popular destinations for hiking in all of Canada, Banff National Park offers some 1,000 miles of trails that vary from easy to challenging, with stunning views of the dramatic Canadian Rockies, surreal gem-hued lakes, glistening glaciers and much more around practically every turn. There are dozens of options, like the short Rockpile Trail which is just under a mile roundtrip and provides a breathtaking view of aquamarine-colored Moraine Lake and Mount Temple, along with a number of hanging glaciers. The Bow Glacier Falls trail is a great day hike at 5.5-miles roundtrip. The trek hugs the shoreline of Bow Lake, one of the park’s largest lakes, leading to the falls while passing lush alpine wonderland and glaciers.
Gross Morne National Park, Newfoundland
Canada’s easternmost national park is spread across over 62 miles and features practically an endless number of hiking options as an outdoor adventurer’s paradise. It’s also home to one of the highest densities of moose in the world, with around 7,000 inhabiting the region. One of the most popular hikes is the just over six-mile roundtrip trail to Baker’s Brook Falls. You’ll follow the path, much of which is flat boardwalk, through the forest to the magnificent series of cascades, watching for moose and other wildlife along the way.
Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia
This national park is home to what’s often ranked among the world’s greatest drives, the 185-mile Cabot Trail. While the scenery from behind the wheel is jaw-dropping, it’s even better when you get out on foot and explore the miles and miles of hiking trails. Middle Head Trail is just one, a former carriage road, it follows a long, narrow peninsula that separates two ocean pays, ending on the headland cliffs that overlook the Atlantic, Ingonish Island, and Cape Smokey. Hikers not only enjoy incredible sea views, but the opportunity to spot whales, seals, and bald eagles. There are countless other options from beginner to more difficult trails, with the longest at around 7.5 miles.
Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario
One of Ontario’s most popular parks, Algonquin offers diverse terrain bringing a wide range of options for hikers of all experience levels. The short but sweet Beaver Pond Trail is a favorite for many. While it’s only about one-and-a-quarter miles long, it offers a good chance to spot wildlife, including beavers that are frequently spotted in the two beaver ponds the route passes.
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Lush Vancouver Island is home to what may be the “hiking holy grail,” the West Coast Trail. The bucket-list trek covers some 47 miles of remote terrain in the north part of the island, featuring rainforest, waterfalls, caves, whale watching and more.