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Insider Insights: Articles

Outdoor Report: Amazing hikes, from coast to coast

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By Suzanne Leonard
Weather Broadcaster
Friday, August 15, 2014, 12:08 PM

Enjoying the outdoors this summer doesn’t have to involve a lot of fancy gear or expensive travel.

Do a little research in your local area – or where you’re heading for a vacation - and I bet you’ll find there are great walking trails and hikes that you’ve never tried or perhaps have never even heard of.

From my album: Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick

From my album: Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick

Reporter Nathan Coleman visited the Hopewell Rocks in the video above, this location is a great showcase for the world’s biggest tides. The Bay of Fundy’s tides officially measure 50 feet in height, over 15 metres, and billions of tonnes of water flow in and out each time. When the tide is out around the Hopewell Rocks you are literally walking on the ocean floor - I remember this being a very sticky but fascinating experience!

Further west along the north shore is the Fundy Trail Walk. It’s a panoramic wilderness trail you can bike or hike for 16 km along the Atlantic coast. There are over 16 lookouts and many are wheelchair accessible - weather permitting you can sometimes see the Nova Scotia shore across the water.

One of the most rugged trails in Canada is the famous West Coast Trail on western Vancouver Island, British Columbia. It’s isolated and requires both stamina and wilderness expertise to complete it. The trail is 75 km long and access is restricted to daily quotas. This Pacific coast hike takes about 7 days to complete, with extraordinary scenery – and often changeable weather – along the way. Sounds absolutely incredible.

Then there’s the Trans Canada Trail - it was started in 1992 and is one of the world’s longest networks of multi-use recreational trails. It’s about 75 per cent connected and has an impressive target, once complete “It will stretch nearly 24,000 kilometres from the Atlantic to the Pacific to the Arctic oceans, through every province and territory, linking Canadians in nearly 1,000 communities.” Make sure your family has the chance to be part of this unique experience, a truly national hiking trail – find out here which section is near you. (BONUS: PHOTO GALLERY OF THE TRANS CANADA TRAIL'S BEST SPOTS)

From my album: Favourite view on the Centennial Ridges trail, Algonquin Park, Ontario

From my album: Favourite view on the Centennial Ridges trail, Algonquin Park, Ontario

Pukaskwa National Park is considered a premier backcountry hiking destination, it winds along Lake Superior’s shore for 60km. Explore this Great Lakes ‘inland sea’ by visiting http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/on/pukaskwa/ne/ne1.aspx. Also in Ontario, I’m a big fan of the Bruce Trail. It stretches hundreds of kilometres along the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, with access points stretching from Niagara to Tobermory. Algonquin Provincial Park holds a special place in Canada’s history, and is a personal favourite of mine. Its wilderness landscapes inspired the Group of Seven painters - and have created memories for generations of campers, canoeists and hikers. I’ve hiked the Centennial Ridges trail in spring, summer or fall – when you see views like the one above you’ll understand why I keep going back, it’s breathtakingly beautiful even on an overcast day. Wherever you’re hiking get the latest forecast before you head out, check the bug report too – and have an amazing outdoor experience.

In my garden: Phlox

In my garden: Phlox

Conservation is key for keeping these outdoor spaces beautiful and unspoiled for many generations to come. When it comes to gardening, water conservation not only protects a valuable resource but is also key in helping you save both time and money.

Find out more in this Adventures in Gardening.

“Returning home is the most difficult part of long-distance hiking; You have grown outside the puzzle and your piece no longer fits.”
Cindy Ross

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