Get Ready to Explore Canada's Best Multi-Day Hikes (Part I)
Grab a buddy and a backpack to explore some of Canada’s most scenic trails
West Coast Trail (Vancouver Island, BC)
Close to 8,000 hikers traverse the rugged but beautiful trails along the exposed coast of Pacific Rim National Park for a five- to seven-day backpacking trek per season. The West Coast Trail, which is only accessible by boat from Port Renfrew, features everything a wilderness lover could want along its 75 kilometres of trail, including sandy beaches, old-growth coastal temperate rainforest, caves, rock arches, tidal pools and waterfalls. Hiking the West Coast Trail requires a trail permit and booking at least 90 days out from your adventure.
Bruce Trail (Bruce Peninsula, ON)
Breathtaking waterfalls, miles of shimmering shoreline, massive caverns and dolostone cliffs are just some of the views hikers get to experience along the famous Bruce Trail in Ontario, which stretches 156 kilometres along the Niagara Escarpment on the eastern edge of the Bruce Peninsula. If you plan on hiking the entire length of the trail, you might want to pick up the Bruce Trail Reference Guide to learn about the more challenging sections of the trail and where the best spots are to camp. If a two or three day hike is more your style, there are numerous access points along the trail to choose from for planning your journey.
Waskahegan Trail (Edmonton, Alberta)
For a true backcountry experience, head out for a multi-day trek along the wild and remote Waskahegan Trail in central Alberta. The trail is a 309-kilometre loop, beginning south of Edmonton and heading to Wetaskiwin, then east to Miquelon Lake Provincial Park, north to Elk Island National Park and west to Fort Saskatchewan. Although rugged and remote, there are numerous entry points along the way and several private and public campgrounds with toilets, shelters and campfire pits.
Boreal Trail (Meadow Lake Provincial Park, SK)
The Boreal Trail, the only destination backpacking trail in the Saskatchewan Provincial Park system, spans 120 kilometres from Cold Lake to Waterhen in the picturesque Meadow Lake Provincial Park. Hike beneath towering jack pines and spruce, through wildflower fields and along pristine rivers during this moderate multi-day trek. Both front and back country campsites are available along the trail. If you plan to camp overnight, the park requires you to register two weeks in advance of your trip.
Mantario Trail (Whiteshell Provincial Park, MN)
If you’re an experienced hiker looking for a backcountry challenge, the 66 kilometre Mantario Trail in Whiteshell Provincial Park in Manitoba offers a wild and rugged experience. The trail meanders through the Canadian Shield with limited cell service and access points along the way, so hikers need to be well prepared. There are several campsites along the trail and a very good chance you’ll encounter some wildlife, as the area is protected from motorized access and hunting.
To check out the rest of the list, read part two of our list of top 10 hikes.