This is the time of year to start thinking about summer vacation. For any of you outdoor adventurers, whether you like to walk, hike, bike or paddle, the Great Trail may just be the destination for you. Few people know that this trail is the longest continuous trail in the world, over 24,000 km in length. It traverses 13 provinces and territories and connects the three coastlines of Canada. Not all of it is rural, either–some sections go right through towns, some through waterways (about 25% of the trail!). This video shows a sampling of some of the scenery and topography it traverses. Amazingly, it’s estimated that 80% of Candians live within 30 minutes of the trail. It took 25 years to complete and is all the more impressive when you consider that it isn’t actually one trail, but, rather, several local trails that all connect. Just think about all the red tape and “jurisdiction” issues that needed to be surmounted in order to achieve an uninterruped path. Each portion is locally maintained and volunteer efforts comprise the majority of its care and continued existence. While it is heavily favored by cyclists and hikers, you can find people on horseback and, in the winter, on cross country skis and snowmobiles on the trail, too.
If you don’t want to just hike aimlessly, but, rather, like to have a destination in mind, consider some of these. Whether you want to visit Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Banff, British Columbia, the Territories, Ottowa, Quebec or any other area of Canada, you’ll find great places to stop and see and plenty of regions you might want to stay in for a multi-day vacation. The website even has a great interactive “Explore the Map” tool that lets you see pictures, find out which sections allow which types of activites, see where there’s parking (as there are no cars allowed on the trail itself), see “points of interest”, an option that lets you measure the distance of a given section and even the ability to customize a map for your own personal travel on the trail. Most Canadians are big supporters and the Great Trail has an enormous fan base. Find out more here.