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Best Hikes in Canada: Where to Find Them

From the east to the west, we’ve picked the best hikes in Canada with incredible views that will suit both beginners and advanced hikers alike.

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 is home to some of the best hiking trails in Ontario including Toberory

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)

Cape Breton offers some of the best hiking trails near Halifax

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)

Agonquin is home to the best hiking trails in 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)

Discover the best hikes near vancouver

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)

The Bay of fundy has some of the best best hikes in canada

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)

Wondering were are the best trails with waterfalls near me?
Les Cascades Hiking Trail by Steven Clack is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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)

If you are looking for easy walking trails, visit the Confederation Trail in PEI

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. Plus, we’ve got some great travel tips for you while you’re there!

Banff National Park (Alberta)

Discover day hikes in banff lakes

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. You can also find other great activities in the area on our list of the top 10 things to do in Banff during the summer!

Gatineau Park (Québec)

Try the Pink lake trail for one of the easiest hikes in Canada
Pink Lake by Laila Goubran is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

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)

Take in the view with this hiking trail near vancouver

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.

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!

Must-Do Canada: Your Travel Bucket List for 2019

New year, new you, new adventures! At CanadaStays, we think that 2019 should be the year to explore the Great White North and discover everything this beautiful country has to offer. From record-breaking ziplines to breathtaking northern views and whale watching on the coast, there are enough sights and experiences across the country to fill your Canada travel bucket list for years to come.

In the mood for a year of adventure? Here are our top picks for the the top 10 Canadian experiences to add to your travel bucket list this year.

Kayak Iceberg Alley (Twillingate, NL)

The best time to visit Canada? In Twillingate, it’s May to June to catch the icebergs!

Canada is called the Great White North for a reason — famous for the cold and snow, we’re also home to an impressive amount of Icebergs! The province of Newfoundland and Labrador is an iceberg hotspot, with between 400 to 800 icebergs floating down south each year. Taking a kayaking tour to chase them is an exhilarating, unforgettable and unique Canadian vacation that should be near the top of your 2019 travel bucket list.

Hire a guide and head out on the water to witness this impressive event between May and early June. Be on the watch for caves and rock formations in the icebergs for snap-worthy views, and keep your eyes peeled for animal visitors — whale and bird watching go hand-in-hand with iceberg watching.

If you’re lucky, you might even get to watch an iceberg crack or roll, a delight for the senses, but be sure to stay a safe distance away. One way to witness the beauty of this yearly spectacle without heading out on the water? Rent a charming place near the shore and pack your binoculars — the season is short and accommodations can be very limited, book now for the best pick of cabins!

Explore the shipwrecks in Fathom Five National Marine Park (Tobermory, ON)

 Seeing these sunken wrecks for yourself is one of the best experiences in Canada

Take a trip to Tobermory on the Bruce Penninsula in Ontario and you’ll find the Fathom Five National Marine Park, home to peaceful, protected freshwater ecosystems and over 20 historic sunken shipwrecks. The numerous scuba, snorkelling, and glass-bottom boat tours available let visitors explore the shipwrecks up close make this bucket list entry one of the top must-see places in Canada!

Some of the shipwrecks in the marine park date back to the 19th century, while others are more recent. Whether you’re a novice snorkeler or a diving enthusiast, Fathom Five is a unique, intriguing and truly Canadian experience.

After a day in the water, enjoy the lush local landscapes from the comfort of your own cabin rental in Tobermory!

Drive the Icefields Parkway (Banff, AB)

 Take the day and drive one of the best experiences in Canada

From coast to coast, Canada is a country filled with picturesque landscapes. Even our highways boast beautiful views — which is why the Icefields Parkway should be on your 2019 Canadian travel bucket list! Considered one of the most scenic highways in the world, spending a day exploring the Icefield Parkway means taking in impossibly blue waters, crisp clean air, healthy lush nature, and inspiring mountain views. Nature lovers need this on their bucket list!

The Icefields Parkway takes you through two of Canada’s most famous national parks, so if you’re taking the drive in the winter, be sure to stop for some skiing at Banff National Park — we’ve written a guide to get you started on this slope!

Stops along the way give you the chance to walk a glacier, hike to a roaring waterfall, picnic in peaceful meadows, see local wildlife, and more.If you’re a nature-loving traveller, this is a bucket list idea for summer or winter. Before you hit the road, why not start the trip off in a cozy lodge in Banff?

Catch a wave in Pacific Rim National Park (Tofino, BC)

 Looking for a new must do? Canada’s surf capital awaits

Surfs up in this 2019 Canadian travel bucket list entry! You don’t need to head south to ride the waves — just put Tofino, British Columbia, on your bucket list and head west. With a sandy shoreline that provides a wide variety of swell windows, Canada’s surf capital has the perfect waves to get you started.

You’ll catch the best waves in the winter, but don’t let the weather worry you. Tofino’s swells are a consistent 10°C all year long, and a wetsuit will protect you from the ocean chills. Check out a cabin in Tofino and hang ten!

See the Northern Lights (Whitehorse, YT)

 The aurora borealis makes for a unique Canadian vacation

If you love the enchanting romance of the northern lights, Canada is a great destination for viewing the aurora borealis — particularly between October and March. A trip to Whitehorse in the Yukon to watch this phenomenon with friends or family is a simple bucket list idea that everyone should consider this year!

Open skies, untouched landscapes, and undisturbed nature make the Whitehorse area one of the best places to visit in Canada if you’re looking for the clearest view of the northern lights.

Given that Whitehorse is a land of midnight sun and daytime moonlight, heading up north during the winter offers you the best chance to see the lights multiple times. Rent a cozy cabin or condo in the heart of Whitehorse and take in the lights on your own schedule!

Canoe the sparkling lakes (Muskoka, ON)

 Muskoka is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Canada

If you’re looking for things to do in eastern Canada, the Muskoka region is famous for over 1,600 lakes, with Lakes Joseph, Muskoka, and Rosseau topping out the most-popular lists. Dubbed Canada’s cottage country and considered one of the best places to visit in the country, the Muskoka region is an easy two-hour drive north of Toronto, making it the perfect spot for a weekend getaway from the city.

No visit to Muskoka is complete without time on the lakes. One of the best ways to experience the area’s breathtaking landscape is by canoe, and there are several places to rent a canoe in the region. The sheer number of lakes and rivers means there are paddling spots for everyone from the most to the least experienced, and everything in between. 

As one of the most beautiful places in Canada, the Muskoka region deserves a top spot on your 2019 Canadian travel bucket list. Rent a cottage in Canada’s cottage country and get paddling!

Go whale watching in the Bay of Fundy (St Andrews, NB)

 Whale watching is a great bucket list idea for couples, friends, and families

Looking for some bucket list ideas for the summer? Take the family to Saint Andrews in New Brunswick — the Bay of Fundy is great for whale watching, particularly between the months of June to October.

This is one of the best spots anywhere in the world to see the endangered Northern Right Whale, but that’s not all you’ll see, Humpback Whales and various species of dolphins are also fans of the bay. There are a number of boat tour companies to choose from but they tend to work together to make sure tourists get to the best views. If one boat spots a whale, the others will soon follow. If you visit Saint Andrews during the peak season, you’re sure to spot a marine animal or two.

Stay right in Saint Andrews and explore the Bay of Fundy for an experience that should definitely be on your 2019 bucket list!

Ride the longest zipline in North America (Whistler, BC)

 Whistler’s zipline is one of the best experiences in Canada!

Craving an adrenaline rush? The Sasquatch Zipline is the longest zipline in North America, with over 2 kilometres of high-speed scenic thrills. Whistler is one of the top places to visit in Canada and the perfect choice for a unique vacation that will make the whole family smile — kids as young as 10 can ride.

Starting from Blackcomb Mountain and ending at Whistler Mountain, this zipline provides you with an incredible aerial view of the landscape any time of year. Take in the old-growth rainforest, the Whistler Sliding Centre, and more!

With the Sasquatch Zipline just one of the many adventures to explore in Whistler we have to recommend (don’t miss skiing Whistler/Blackcomb as well) — you’ll love being able to curl up in your own cabin at the end of the day.

Hike the Laurentian Mountains (Mont Tremblant, QC)

 Spending time in the Laurentian Mountains should be at the top of your bucket list for Quebec

Want to see vibrant natural colours you won’t find anywhere else? The Laurentian Mountains should be one of your top bucket list ideas for travel in 2019! One of the oldest and most picturesque mountain ranges in the world, the Laurentians feature numerous trails of varying difficulties for hikes that suit any group.

The Laurentians are truly a year-round destination, so slot this entry onto your bucket list for any season. Heading out in the summer or fall? Hike the Grand Prix des Couleurs and take in colours so rich, you’ll think you’re in a painting. Feeling like a winter trip? Mont-Tremblant is a charming ski spot with fluffy, fresh snow. Spring traveller? The local sugar shacks — or cabanes à sucre in the local vernacular — will be in full swing tapping the delicious maple sap.

Find your own charming cottage in the area and don’t miss this 2019 Canadian travel bucket list must-see!

Bike the Cabot Trail (Cape Breton Island, NS)

Maritime bucket lists need to include the Cabot Trail

Our final suggestion for your 2019 Canadian travel bucket list involves grabbing a bike and hitting the trail on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia! With views so scenic it rivals the Icefields Parkway for the most beautiful road in Canada, the Cabot Trail is one of the world’s most highly rated cycling routes.

This 300 kilometre loop includes some steeper climbs and advanced rides, so this is a trip for anyone who wants to add a challenge to their bucket list. Though the trail is open all year long if you’re looking for the best road and weather conditions to take in all the incredible coastal views and highland scenery, book your trip between June and October.

After long days of biking, you’ll want a cozy cottage to relax in and enjoy the sunsets.

With captivating sights and experiences from coast to coast, Canada is a country we could (and should) spend years exploring — what better time to start than now? Check you travel bucket list, book your perfect rental, and hit the road!