HIKE CANADA! Hike Canada on the national trail system dedicated to hiking, snowshoeing and backpacking. Well-trodden or rugged, there are 3800km of operable trail with many more tracts of public lands awaiting designation. Once established coast to coast, the trail corridor will offer a contrasting array of heritage of natural landscapes and historic places, and provide passage, habitat, and refuge for wildlife.
From a 1971 meeting of national outdoor organizations and with the slogan “Towards a Foot Trail across Canada”, the National Hiking Trail was launched officially at a ceremony in Ottawa in 1987. Piece by piece, the scenic 10,000 kilometre footpath is growing between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and our long-held vision of a natural corridor connecting existing natural-surface pedestrian trail systems with parklands and wild places is becoming a reality.
The Bruce Trail of Ontario, forerunner of Canada’s modern-day trail system, was the pioneer. Completed in the Centennial Year 1967, its aim is to save the Niagara Escarpment and its unique natural features from the threat of development by establishing 700 kilometres of trail along its length. It started on the remarkable relationship grounded on handshake access permission between land managers and the trail organization, enabling public use of the trail. The same principles were adopted by the National Hiking Trail.
Hiking and backpacking are among the most popular activities in the outdoors. Also gaining in popularity are cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, nature photography, and bird-watching. Obviously, the pleasure, recreation, and mental relaxation of walking in natural surroundings appeals to many of all ages. While some sections of the National Hiking Trail are more challenging than others, every kilometre invites exploration.
Our Objectives are:
“To establish and maintain a National Hiking Trail system linking Canada’s provinces from coast to coast.”
Linking Canada’s Heritage through walking. In establishing a foot trail across Canada, we bring a broad spectrum of benefits to Canadians through:
- assisting in preservation of our heritage of natural and historic places.
- encouraging fitness and healthy outdoor exercise through hiking and walking-related recreational activities. working with other health promoting organizations to encourage walking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
- promoting environmental awareness of our natural surroundings and appreciation for wildlife protection.
- advancing the National Hiking Trail as a national icon to schools, tourism agencies and information media.
- providing tourism opportunities to attract Canadians and international visitors and benefit regional and local economies.
- encouraging the growth of regional and local hiking trails as part of the national hiking trail system.
- strengthening national ties by physical linkage of hiking trail systems and cooperation among supporters of the National Hiking Trail