Canada’s Great Trail was 25 years in the making, and now that it’s open for the nation’s recreationalists, we can start to appreciate what a marvel it really is. Let’s start off with the basics – it is now the world’s largest hiking trail, stretching 24,000 kilometers (15,000 miles) from coast to coast to coast. It is so large and so epic that 80 percent of all Canadians live within 30 minutes of the Great Trail.
The perfect trail for recreationalists of all kinds
What is even more impressive is that the Great Trail (officially known as the Trans Canada Trail, or TCT) encompasses 400 smaller trails that are scattered over 10 provinces and 3 territories in Canada. And that’s not all – the Great Trail is so expansive and so diverse that it actually requires several modes of transport to see all of it. More than one-quarter (26 percent) of the Great Trail is under water, meaning that you’ll need a canoe or kayak to see part of it during the summer months.
As you can imagine, the Great Trail has captured the imagination of recreationalists across the country. The Great Trail is a trail not just for hikers, but also for bicyclists, kayakers, runners and, yes, horseback riders. In wintertime, the Great Trail transforms into a vast winter wonderland for cross country skiers and winter hikers.
But just a word of advice here – in order to get the most out of the Great Trail, you’ll need the proper equipment. For example, if you plan on hiking the Great Trail during the peak of the Canadian winter, you’ll want to make sure that you have ice grips for your shoes or boots. Without these snow cleats, you’ll be slipping and sliding on these trails.
A great way to discover Canada
Another remarkable features of the Great Trail is that it crosses through several of Canada’s biggest cities – including Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg and Edmonton. This has the real potential to bring the love of the Great Outdoors to millions of Canadians who live in these cities. Getting outside and becoming a recreationalist no longer means that you have to live in a remote part of Canadian wilderness. You can literally set out on an urban hike and end up in a wonderfully preserved part of the Canadian outdoors.
And the creators of the Great Trail are certainly encouraging this spirit of exploration. On the website for the Great Trail (www.TheGreatTrail.ca), you can find all types of adventures that are now possible. For example, if you are an avid bicyclist, you can find “6 Unmissable Cycling Routes.” If you are an artist looking for inspiration, you can find “11 Stunning Masterpieces That Capture the Great Trail.” There is something for everyone.
And, as amazing as the Great Trail is going to be for Canadians, it’s easy to see how it also has significant tourism appeal for people living outside of Canada. Hikers, bicyclists and skiers from all over North America could soon be making their way to Canada, eager to explore the world’s largest hiking trail.