Canada is home to some of the most lush, scenic hiking trails the world has to offer. From easy walks to challenging trails with steep climbs, there is no shortage of hikes to get you enjoying the great outdoors:
Bruce Peninsula National Park (Ontario)
The Bruce Trail, Canada’s oldest and longest footpath, starts in Queenston and ends in Tobermory, Ontario, where you’ll also find the Bruce Peninsula National Park. If you live in Ontario or are planning a trip there, this park offers some of the best hiking trails near Toronto.
Of the many trails to choose from, the one leading to the Overhanging Point is a popular trail that takes you to the infamous Grotto. You’ll also come across the Lion’s Head Trail where you can overlook the clear turquoise waters of Georgian Bay.
The Flowerpot Island Trails are also a great option for hiking in Ontario. You’ll see the historic light station and the natural rock pillars that resemble flowerpots. You may encounter some rocky terrain and steep stairs, giving these trails more of a moderate hike rating.
The Bruce Peninsula is also home to great cottage and cabin rentals near the park. Make it a trip for the entire family and enjoy one of the best hikes in Canada!
Cape Breton Highlands National Park (Nova Scotia)
The Cabot Trail is known as one of the best scenic drives in Canada. It’s also known for its great Canadian trails along the east coast.
If you’re planning a road trip along the trail, you’ll want to make a stop at Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Known for its highlands and ocean views, the park is open year-round. There are 26 hiking trails, each with its own incredible and unique viewpoint.
For an easy, but unforgettable hike, you should consider the Skyline Trail. This popular trail is a 7.5-kilometre loop that is open year-round and has boardwalks set up to protect the surrounding ecosystem. During your hike, you may even catch a glimpse of a moose, bald eagles, bears and various bird species!
If you’re planning a scenic road trip around The Cabot Trail, check out some one of the many cottage rentals you can stay in along the route.
Algonquin Provincial Park (Ontario)
For more hiking trails near Toronto, Algonquin Park is easily one of Ontario’s most popular parks and one of Canada’s oldest provincial parks. It has a variety of walking trails that are open year-round with different levels of difficulty. If you’re an advanced hiker, there are also several multi-day treks and portages available.
If you’re up for a challenge, Centennial Ridges Trail is a 10.4-kilometre loop with steep slopes and rocky terrain. That said, it provides a breathtaking view of the trees and lakes. It’s known for being one of the best hiking trails in Ontario during the fall season as the leaves change colour.
For an entry level hike, Bat Lake Trail is a great family-friendly option. While walking along the 5.8-kilometre loop, you’ll see a variety of ecological features and may even encounter a moose.
Planning a trip to the area sometime soon? There are plenty of cottages and cabins to stay in that are only a short drive to the park trails.
Kootenay National Park (British Columbia)
Located in southeastern British Columbia, Kootenay National Park is open year round with over 25 trails that span from easy to difficult. You’ll take in incredible views of the Canadian Rockies while hiking any of these trails.
For an easier hike, you’ll want to start with the popular Marble Canyon Trail. The 1.6-kilometre walking trail is connected with several bridges. Look down and you’ll see an incredible view of the gorge beneath you. Another popular short hike to consider is Juniper Trail, which is 6-kilometres in length and takes about 2 hours to complete.
A popular half-day hike is Stanley Glacier. Moderate in difficulty, the 8.4-kilometre hike takes about 3 hours to complete. You’ll come across a fire swept forest during your trek, as well as waterfalls, wildflowers and even fossils!
If you’re an advanced hiker looking for a challenge, the Rockwell Trail is a world-renowned multi-day trek. The elevation changes make it a more difficult hike, but offer incredible views of the Rockies.
Need a place to put your feet up after a full day of hiking? There are lots of vacation rentals to choose from in the Kootenays.
Fundy National Park of Canada (New Brunswick)
Home to the world’s largest tides, Fundy National Park is a must-visit destination along Canada’s east coast. With 29 trails available, hiking is one of the most popular activities at the park. Ranging from easy to difficult trails, you’ll take in views of the Acadian forest, waterfalls and coast.
For shorter and easier walking trails, Dickson Falls is a popular and kid-friendly route to take. The 1.6-kilometre loop runs through a forest with boardwalks available for parts of the trail. While the trail is short, you’ll come across beautiful waterfalls and great lookout points.
A must-see trail is the Moosehorn to Laverty Falls Loop, which is a combination of the Moosehorn and the Laverty Falls Trail. The combined trail is a 2.54-kilometre trek and is well suited for novice hikers. Like the name implies, you’ll take in incredible views of the waterfalls during your trek. Plus, you can take a dip in some of the water holes!
If you’re looking for a trail that encounters beaches, Point Wolfe Beach Trail is a short, yet beautiful hike through rock beaches. This beach trail may even whet your appetite to see more beaches in the province. Luckily, we have a list of some of the best beaches in New Brunswick!
If you’re thinking of visiting New Brunswick, we’ve got plenty of cottages available that will make planning your trip a little easier.
La Mauricie National Park (Québec)
With 150 lakes and several ponds, La Mauricie National Park is found in the Laurentian mountains, which serves as the perfect backdrop for your next hiking adventure. Open year-round, there are also trails available for snowshoeing in the winter.
Les Cascades is a popular and easy trail that is only a 2-kilometre loop that takes about an hour to complete. Cool down by taking a dip in one of the cascading streams. The family-friendly trail also offers designated picnic areas. We recommend visiting from June to October for the best trail experience.
For a slightly more challenging trek, Les Falaises Trail is highly recommended with great lookouts over Wapizagonke Lake. This trail is a 3.8-kilometre loop that can be completed in about 2 hours.
Both trails are a part of the Saint-Mathieu sector trails, which are offer easy to moderate hikes. If you’re seeking difficult trails for advanced hikers, head over to the Saint-Jean-des-Piles sector trails. You’ll encounter more demanding and rugged terrain on these trails, such as Lac-du-Pimbina.
Looking for nearby accommodations after going on one of the best hikes in Canada? Stay at one of the many chalets available to rent so you can unwind after a challenging hike.
Confederation Trail (Prince Edward Island)
Built on an abandoned railway line, the Confederation Trail in Prince Edward Island is now a popular Canadian trail to hike or cycle in the summer, and snowmobile in the winter. While you take in the province’s views on the well-maintained trail, you’ll cross several pink bridges and pass many orchards and farms.
The rolled stone dust trail starts in the town of Tignish and ends in the community of Elmira. While the trail is 435-kilometres in length, most visitors only do a small portion of the famous trail.
For coastal views, you’ll want to walk from Saint Peters Bay to Morrell, which is 11.7-kilometres and trails through farmland. Greenwich Dunes Trail is 4.8-kilometres long and is an easy and popular trail that also offers coastal views. The floating boardwalk is definitely one of the highlights along this trail, which goes over a pond. It has picturesque views of the dunes, as well as the plant and bird life. At the end of the boardwalk, you’re treated to a beautiful sandy beach!
Other trails to consider are the North Cape Nature Trail, Greenwich Hiking Trails, and Cavendish Grove Trails. All offer different views of the province, including the agriculture, beaches, sand dunes and cliffs.
Haven’t ventured out to the east coast yet? Consider a trip to Prince Edward Island where there are lots of cottages and beach houses available.
Banff National Park (Alberta)
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include Canada’s oldest national park on this list, Banff National Park, which offers over 1,600-kilometres of maintained trails that are best hiked from July to mid-September.
The Lake Agnes trail is known for being one of the best Banff day hikes and is relatively easy to complete. Located in the Lake Louise area, the distance is 3.4-kilometres in one direction and a 2.5 to 3 hour round trip. Treat yourself to some tea at the famous Lake Agnes Tea House, which was built in 1901 and serves over 100 varieties of tea.
One of the most scenic hikes at the park is the Plain of Six Glaciers trail. The hike is 13.8-kilometres long and takes about 4 to 6 hours to complete. Not only is it very accessible to hikers, but also provides stunning surrounding views of peaks and glaciers, including the Victoria Glacier.
During the fall season, you’ll definitely want to do a hike to Larch Valley. You’ll hike above Moraine Lake through a larch forest where the needles turn to a beautiful golden colour. You’ll also get a breathtaking view of the Ten Peaks.
Enjoy views of the mountains while staying at one of the many vacation rentals near Banff National Park.
Gatineau Park (Québec)
For a variety of accessible nature walks, Gatineau Park is a great hiking destination. While it’s located in Québec, the park is a popular getaway for Ottawans, since it’s only a 15-minute drive north from the city. It offers 165-kilometres of hiking trails and tends to get busier during the fall, thanks to the vibrant colours of the changing leaves. Peak times to visit the park are from April to November.
The Pink Lake Trail is a popular, moderate hike that is 2.5-kilometres long and takes about 1 hour to complete. While it may be called “Pink Lake,” the lake is actually a clear turquoise colour that draws in lots of visitors. There are stairs and boardwalks along the trail, making it an easier hike.
If you don’t mind getting wet, Lusk Cave Trail brings you to a marble cave that you’re free to explore. Due to the water levels within the cave, your shoes are bound to get wet, so bring a pair of water shoes along if you’re planning to enter the cave. The entire trail is about 10-kilometres and takes around 4 hours to complete.
Gatineau Park is known for having several lookout points to appreciate the fall colours. Champlain Lookout is one of the most popular views in the park and the trail itself (Champlain Trail) is only a 1.1-kilometre loop. Another route to consider is Luskville Falls Trail. The 4.5-kilometre trail is extremely challenging due to rocky steep hills, but offers two incredible lookout points – the Lusk Lookout and the Pontiac lookout.
If you’re planning to visit the park from further away, you can stay at one of the many vacation rentals in the Gatineau Park area.
Garibaldi Provincial Park (British Columbia)
For some of the best hikes near Vancouver, Garibaldi Provincial Park has over 90-kilometres of established hiking trails and is perfect for more advanced hikers seeking multi-day treks. Located in Squamish, the park is only a 1 hour and 45 minute drive from the city. There are five trailheads that lead into the park: Diamond Head, Black Tusk / Garibaldi Lake, Cheakamus Lake, Singing Pass, and Wedgemount Lake.
For one of the most scenic views of Garibaldi Lake, you’ll want to consider a trek to Panorama Ridge with two main trailheads that lead to it. Rubble Creek trailhead is considered the more popular route, since it’s more scenic and slightly shorter at 30-kilometres. Once you reach Panorama Ridge, you’ll get a panoramic view of Garibaldi Lake, Black Tusk and the Helm Lake area.
For shorter trails to Panorama Ridge, the trek from Garibaldi Lake to Panorama Ridge takes 2 hours one way at a distance of 5-kilometres, and offers views of the lake, as well as the Sphinx and Sentinel Glaciers. The hike is marked as moderately difficult.
Looking to spend the night? From cabins to guesthouses, there are plenty of rental options to consider in the surrounding area between Whistler and Squamish.
Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland and Labrador
If you plan on hiking in Newfoundland, Gros Morne National Park is the perfect spot to find many scenic trails. With over 100 kilometres of trails within the park, hikes can range from half-hour strolls to demanding day hikes. A site of raw natural beauty, the park is world-renowned for its geology and has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The trails will have you passing by beautiful fjords, cliffs, waterfalls, beaches, and much more!
For an easy hike that the whole family can take part in, Tableland Trail is a popular spot that takes about 1 hour to complete. The entire hike is 4 kilometres in length along an old road with minimal elevation. It’s a great starting point, since it’s at the base of the mountains and one the rare places where you’ll see the earth’s mantle exposed.
One of the most popular trails in Gros Morne National Park is Green Gardens Trail. The 10 kilometre hike takes about 3 to 4 hours to complete (round trip). The trail takes you along the coastal shoreline with incredible views of sea stacks, coves, and beaches with lush cliff-top meadows. You’ll also find yourself walking through wildflower meadows and forests. You may even spot a flock of sheep during your hike!
Want one of the most iconic views in Canada? You’ll want to head out on the Western Brook Pond trail. It’s arguably the most scenic hike in Gros Morne National Park with an unforgettable view of cliffs and mountains as far as the eye can see. It takes only 1 to 2 hours to complete this 6 kilometre hike, and is definitely worth every step.
For more information and great trail options, you’ll want to check out this link.
Planning a trip to Newfoundland and Labrador? Consider staying in one of the cottages or beach houses with beautiful views that the province has to offer.
Exhausted after going on one of the best hikes in Canada? Dust off your shoes and unwind when you find your ideal vacation rental on CanadaStays!