• Rebecca Bugg

My Top 5 Canadian Bucket List Hikes

With Canada Day in a few days what better way to celebrate than to write a post admiring the landscapes and trails in this beautiful country. Today I want to share with you my top five bucket list hikes all across Canada.

1. The Bruce Trail, Ontario

The Bruce Trail stretches across a large portion of Ontario from the Bruce Peninsula in the North to the Niagara Escarpment in the South. It is Canada’s older and longest marked footpath and is about 900km in length. It is possible to thru-hike the trail, however, it would take A LOT of planning. There are designated camping areas but they can be few and far between. Regardless of whether you thru-hike or section hike, if you complete all sections of the trail you can become an official End-to-Ender (which also has a really cool badge)! The Bruce Trail Club offers group hikes for each of the sections with shuttles and all. I would recommend checking out their website if you want to learn more!

2. International Appalachian Trail, Quebec

If you are into thru-hiking, you have probably heard about the infamous Appalachian Trail (AT). But, did you know that the trail continues on into Quebec? I didn’t either. The whole premise of the AT is to follow part of the former Appalachian mountain range. Pretty cool, right? In Quebec, the AT spans over about 650km and covers various different regions/settings (mountain ranges, coastal sections, etc.). On this trail, you will go through the Matane Wildlife Reserve, Gaspésie National Park, and Forillon National Park. This trail can be thru-hiked as there are lots of accommodations and camping areas. You can learn more about the trail here.

3. Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia

Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia has 26 different trails for you to explore with varying ranges of difficulty. The park offers a great chance to see the majestic moose and plenty of challenges for you to complete. For example, there is the red chair challenge where you hike to find all 10 red Muskoka chairs scattered throughout the park. But the person looking for the ultimate hiking challenge and huge bragging rights would probably prefer the Highland Challenge. In this challenge, the goal is to hike all 26 trails. This would be the perfect 4 day-7 day trip depending on your hiking experience as the park has about 135km of trails to explore.

4. Heiko’s Trail, British Columbia

Heading to the West Coast, we have Heiko’s Trail. This trail is about 21km but very difficult. Many people recommend it be done as a day hike, however, there is the option to wilderness camp (but don’t forget the key principle of "leave no trace"). There are plenty of options to extend this trail into a multi-day trip by heading to different mountains as well. This trail gives you a glimpse of a little bit of everything that beautiful British Columbia has to offer, From mountain passes to meadows, it kind of has it all. It is recommended that hikes tackle this trail in July or August due to weather conditions, snowmelt, and the amount of daylight.

5. Ram Plateau, North West Territories

This hike is not for the faint of heart. Located in the Nahanni National Park Reserve, Ram Plateau is the challenge of a lifetime and a way to truly emerge yourself in nature. Featuring 1200m deep canyons, exposed fossil, and caves this adventure really has it all. You can even enjoy some hot springs on this trail, but make sure to follow the guidelines so as to not leave a trace. There are no formal trails here, so you have to be very confident in your navigational skills. Because of its remote nature, you also get an incredible opportunity to see wildlife such as Dall Sheep. Although it would be an incredibly challenging adventure, I think it would be incredibly rewarding.

So there you have it. My top five bucket list hikes from across Canada. Let me know in the comments below if you’ve ever hiked any of these trails or what trails are on your list.

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