A 15,000-Mile Hiking Trail Just Opened in Canada

Botany Bay in British Columbia. Tom Collins/Flickr.

Botany Bay in British Columbia. Tom Collins/Flickr.

It’s been 25 years in the making, but Canada’s massive cross-country hiking trail, dubbed the Great Trail, has finally opened. Spanning nearly 15,000 miles, the trail isn’t actually one path, but 400 different trails maintained by different communities across the country. And, in fact, it’s not even just a hiking trail -- about a quarter of the trails are water, meaning hikers will have to kayak or canoe if they’re looking to traverse the whole route. There are also areas where travelers can cycle or ride horseback in the summer, and cross-country ski or snowmobile in the winter. In any event, it’s the longest hiking trail in the world.

The idea for the Trans Canada Trail, as it was formerly named, was dreamt up by Paul LaBarge, Pierre Camu, and Bill Pratt in 1992, the year of Canada’s 125th birthday. While millions of dollars have been raised via donations, the work of building and connecting the thousands of miles of trails has been largely completed by volunteers -- an impressive feat. And while all the trails have finally been connected, the project is not yet complete. The next step will be to add Great Trail signage along the paths. 

To see a map of the entire network of trails, visit thegreattrail.ca.

Looking for a place to stay along the Great Trail? Check out our reviews and photos of hotels across Canada.

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