If you are in search of a paradise on the earth for hikers and trekkers, your search is going to end in Canada for sure. And the reason behind this is the presence of an abundance of beautiful trails, lakes, parks, and places to eat. Also, Canada is home to some of the best hiking trails as the trail system in Canada is considered one of the best in the world.
If you are visiting Canada and have not added hiking activity to your bucket list, you are going to miss out on views of pretty incredible landscapes, and the experience of walking through the beautiful scenic trails in the snow-capped rolling hills that no one can afford to miss.
8 Best Hiking Trails for Hikers
1. West Coast Trail in British Columbia
Spread over 75 km in Pacific Rim National Park on the Vancouver Island of British Columbia, the West coast trail is not only the best hiking trail in Canada but also one of the best hiking trails in the world. The west coast trail moves through the forests, bogs, slick moss-covered ladders, climbing, rappelling, and beach walks.
Hikers can choose to stay in the highlands, which are considerably boggier or try to make progress on the shore, which is slower but easier on the feet.
The route winds through old-growth forests, waterfalls, streams, and thick stretches of deep muck, and hence by keeping this in mind, it is recommended that hikers should choose hiking boots wisely.
The route follows the coast, passing by sand and pebble beaches, headlands, and exposed shelves and stones at low tide. The path frequently detours inland to avoid dangerous surge channels and inaccessible headlands where cliffs drop straight into the sea even at low tide. High tides can render portions of the beach inaccessible.
West Coast Trail Route Plan
Arranging transportation is a bit difficult here because the trail is not round; you will need transportation to and from the finish point and the point at which the trail starts. The trails may be reached by either public transportation or driving your own vehicle.
One can go about Vancouver Island by bus, but renting a car is the most convenient option. One can also utilize Rental-cars Connect, which searches all major rental providers to provide you with the best offer online.
If you have a few days before heading to Vancouver Island, there are some fantastic things to do in Vancouver.
In season, from May 1 to September 30, the West Coast Trail Express shuttle bus service picks up and drops off tourists in Victoria, Port Renfrew, Gordon River, Pachena Bay, Bamfield, and Nanaimo. If you don’t have a car, the shuttle is a decent choice; but, if you take the shuttle back from both sides of Pachena Bay or Gordon River, you will possibly not find a way back to the Swartz Bay ferry terminal on time to get the final boat back to Vancouver.
2. Grizzly Lake Trail
If you want to see world-class mountain-top views in a remote place, try the Grizzly Lake climb in Yukon Territory’s Tombstone Range of mountains. The four to five-day hiking journey begins at a distance of 59 km on the Dempster Highway and leads passengers first to Grizzly Lake, then to Divide and Talus Lakes.
The Grizzly Lake Trail is one of the best hiking trails and backpacking trips in Tombstone Territorial Park. The first panoramic glimpse of the Tombstone mountainous range, including Mount Monolith, is seen after a very short yet steep trek. It is one of the very few well-maintained hiking trails in the region, a great site to set up base camp at the lakeside to experience the park’s backwoods, and the spectacular scenery.
Grizzly Lake Trail Route Plan
Dive to the Lincoln Creek Road which is eleven miles east of Aspen on Highway 82. Take a right onto Lincoln Creek Road and go nearly six miles to Grizzly Reservoir where the trail starts.
The trailhead is located on the left after the reservoir but before Portal Campground. Although a 4 by 4 vehicle is not required, a high clearance vehicle is good enough for avoiding an unpleasant driving experience.
For the first half-mile, the trail follows Grizzly Creek and climbs sharply through a number of slopes and twists. The following 1 1/2 miles are a steady rise through pine and fir woods and wildflower fields.
Other than springtime, a river crossing beyond the final meadow is easily navigated. The trail moves up a steep mountain cliff for the following 1 1/2 miles before turning across alpine tundra until a lengthy hillside climb that finishes on a hilltop hiding Grizzly Lake close ahead.
3. La Cloche Silhouette Trail in Killarney Provincial Park
The La Cloche Silhouette Trail situated in Killarney Provincial Park is a 49-mile trekking circuit through the La Cloche mountain range’s white quartz cliffs. Being one of the best hiking trails, it is located in Provincial Park in the province of Ontario, Canada.
The route is given the name after the picture “La Cloche Silhouette” by Group of Seven painter- Franklin Carmichael. Some visitors can spot wildlife at different times along the trail, including black bears, moose, mountain lions, leopards, white-tailed deer, reptiles, raccoons, beavers, and river otters.
Though the trek may require up to ten days to finish entirety, trekkers can go on shorter treks from several trail-heads near George Lake Campsite.
The western half of this trek is less challenging, passing through wooded hills to Acid and Lumsden lakes. It follows the stony coasts of small clear lakes as it crosses minor streams and rivers. Watch out for wild animals or indications of their existence.
La Cloche Trail Route Plan
The most convenient way is to hike the trail clockwise, beginning at the narrow bridge in the west region of the George Lake campground and ending at the small bridge in the eastern part of the campsite.
One can hike the trail in the opposite direction also; all these routes have peaks and troughs. Starting from the bridge, the common path takes you through some evergreen forests, river crossings, windy waterways, and some pretty rough terrain.
The first thirty kilometres or so are a little difficult, but they are actually quite easy compared to the rest of the interior. On a 10 day trip, the trail will become extremely rugged between days 2 and 8. It will turn out to be a difficult and rugged hike, on the other hand, with scenic beauty and amazing views of rugged landscape.
Hiking in the other way will send you into the rugged interior and scenic ridges on the first day. This also indicates that when you are just starting out and your load is the heaviest, you will be trekking down and up those steep, spectacular hills. If you are photogenic and love taking pictures then you must try this hike as this trail is one of the best hiking trails in Canada with breathtaking natural beauty.
Also on the positive side, trekking with this method allows you to tackle the most difficult uphill slopes, which is considerably easier and safer when carrying a full load.
The trail is normally signposted with small blue plastic arrows, however, there are a few areas where rock cairns are placed. This can be tricky, particularly around Silver Peak near the end of the Hansen Township stretch, when many paddlers day walks along the trail. Others have observed the rock cairns and started creating their own; the outcome of which, there are cairns all over the place, and the route is not visible clearly because it runs over a high rocky cliff.
The sight from the highest peak of Silver Peak is magnificent, but reaching there requires a two-hour journey each way. The red flag from the main trail is also 2 hours from the nearest campground, so it’s vital to prepare ahead if one wishes to trek up to the steep summit.
A wonderful view of the surroundings may be seen at the end of the trail, around 6-7 hours hiking from the George Lake campsite. It is the final and excellent vantage point before coming down through.
4. East Coast Trail in Newfoundland and Labrador
The East Coast Trail is a network of 26 difficult hiking trails that stretch over 186 miles along Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula. The trails’ location on the shore was named the world’s top coastal destination by National Geographic in 2016.
The East Coast Trail Association maintains the trail, which runs by the east coast of Newfoundland along the Atlantic Ocean and is mostly located on public properties.
The trail has its usual ups and downs, so keep an eye on your footing. And whether you are into photography of flora, there are many reasons to stop and admire the surrounding beauty and sea.
East Coast Trail Route Plan
The trail winds through several little coastal outposts on the Avalon Peninsula’s bays. The trail extends from Topsail Beach north to Cape St. Francis, then south through St. John’s to Cappahayden.
Many hikers climb the entire trail of the route. This multi-day hike trip will take you to the picturesque coastal village of Quidi Vidi, Signal Hill, trekking to the spectacular Berry Head sea arch and the Cape Spear Path at the continent’s most easterly point, and lastly the difficult Flamber Head trail.
These are some of the greatest treks on the path, and you will get a well-rounded experience in just a week. Therefore it is one of the best hiking trails if you are planning a multi-day trek.
5. Garibaldi Provincial Park and Garibaldi Lake Hike
Garibaldi Lake, located in Garibaldi Provincial Park between Squamish and Whistler, is one of the most gorgeous sites in British Columbia, with turquoise-coloured water between alpine mountains and stunning views of glaciers in the background. It is nearly 1,500 meters above sea level and more than 250 meters deep.
The lake’s turquoise appearance is due to two adjacent glaciers, the Sphinx Glacier to the eastern side and the Sentinel Glacier to the southern, both of which pour glacial grain into the water as it melts.
The lake is pretty much completely encircled by scenic mountains, including some that are accessible for the more adventurous hiking, as well as alpine meadows and several other water bodies and volcano formations. The adjoining Panorama Ridge and the Black Tusk are well-known additions to this climb.
Camping is also offered at the lake on 50 camping sites reserved for camping. Most visitors opt to camp by the lake to explore more of the surroundings.
Garibaldi Lake Trail Route Plan
Garibaldi Lake Trail is by far the easier and one of the best hiking trails for the newbies on the list. The quickest access to the lake’s base is via the Rubble Creek parking area, which is a 10-minute drive south of Whistler. This parking space gets occupied rapidly during the summer, especially during the weekends. Make sure to arrive well in time to secure a slot.
One can wander through gorgeous forests with huge trees on a clear, beautiful route. It won’t be long until you reach Switchback City, where you will travel for 7 kilometres. During this period, stops, refreshments, and drinks are essential.
On your way down to the lake, you will have to pass a bridge above a river near the lake’s eastern side. It really is a wonderful location for taking pictures of yours with beautiful background.
The trail follows the beach after the bridge, with some stretches climbing over the rocks. It is indeed simple, though, newbie hikers can also do it anytime.
Eventually, you will come to a tiny rocky coastal area with benches and restrooms used for picnics. Grab a seat if you are lucky, but they are generally packed because this trail is so crowded. Then continue the route along the lake’s shore to visit the Battleship Islands, which are tiny islands close to the coast. These are easily available, and many people enjoy them and hence it is known as one of the best hiking trails in Canada.
6. Skyline Trail in Nova Scotia
The Skyline Path is a hiking path in Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada. It is well-known for its panoramas, with the majority of the trail over the treeline. It is also known for difficult weather conditions, which results in a loss of a clear view of the trail ahead.
The trail is considered to be one of the best hiking trails in the Canadian Rockies. It simply has irresistible views of the surrounding hills and valleys, with 24 kilometres of the 44-kilometre trail at or above the treeline. It is often hiked in a couple of days from Maligne Lake towards Signal Mountain.
The Skyline Trail is among the best hiking trails which have facilities for campers. There are camping grounds available at Evelyn Creek, Little Shovel, Snowbowl, Curator, Tekarra, and Signal. But do note that camping is only available on the grounds which are specially assigned for camping, and that too needs to be booked in advance by visitors.
Also, don’t forget to bring your own stove as the campfires are banned here. Other facilities such as tent pads, picnic tables, bear poles with metal cables and connectors, and toilets are available here.
Skyline Trail Hiking Route Plan
Head east on Highway -16 nearly 2 kilometres from Jasper, take a right on to the Maligne Lake Road, turn left after crossing the bridge on the river and continue for 9 kilometres towards the north parking space on the right side of the road.
Despite being one of the best hiking trails in the Canadian Rockies, you will only see the hiking logo and no signposts, to indicate trekkers have arrived at the Skyline Trail. Visitors can park their car here and walk to the far end of the trail.
7. Fundy Trail or Fundy Footpath
The Fundy footpath is a 40-kilometre hiking path that connects Big Salmon River to Fundy National Park in New Brunswick, Canada and is considered among the best hiking trails in the Fundy National Park area. The route links to the Fundy Trail, which is 33 kilometres long and connects to the Dobson Trail.
The original path of the trail was created by Jack McKay in the early 1980s, but somehow it was neglected. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Alonzo and Gilles Leger, including several, many other volunteers, worked to rebuild it. The Fundy Hiking Trail Association Inc. oversaw the trail’s official opening in 1994.
Fundy Trail Route Plan
The Fundy Trail Park has two entrances, one on the east side and one on the west side. It is recommended to rent a car in Moncton, which is nearly 50 minutes away from the east end and has the state’s main airport. It is also accessible from the west entrance, where the next community is St. Martins.
Without breaks, the Fundy Trail Parkway takes roughly 50 minutes to travel across. Visitors can take some time to explore this gorgeous location.
There are several viewpoints where you can take a break and admire the stunning sea, or you can opt to trek one of the Parkway’s many trails– one of the greatest things to do in New Brunswick. There are plenty of activities to do while you are here, you can also spend several days depending on your time.
8. Bald Hill Trail in Riding Mountain National Park
Bald Hill is one of the best hiking trails in the Oregon State in Willamette Valley, which is present in the western side of Corvallis, Oregon state. Bald Hill, at an altitude of 755 and the top of the hill is absent of trees, which is why it is named Bald Hill. The hill is a prominent hiking site with views of Corvallis, Mary’s Peak, the Coastal Range, and the Cascade Range foothills.
Bald Hill is present in the Bald Hill Natural Area- a 115-hectare parkland with 16 kilometres of pathways winding across dense forests, all of which are maintained by the local body with the purpose of providing habitats for indigenous plants and wildlife.
A trip to Canada is incomplete without hiking, so if you are an avid hiker then pack your bag, fasten your hiking boots, and head towards some of the best hiking trails in Canada.