On foot, by bike, on horseback, by canoe or on skis, in the wild and unspoiled nature: today it is possible to cross Canada far and wide. The record-breaking trail measures over 20,000 kilometers and it was inaugurated just a few years ago.
The inauguration was scheduled to coincide with the celebrations for Canada's 150 years of independence.
Canada is the second largest country on Earth after Russia but it has a population of only 35 million inhabitants. In short, it is the ideal place to experience nature in its wildest and most uncontaminated way. Only here, therefore, could a project like The Great Trail be born, which at the moment already connects 90 percent of the country and 15,000 communities: a project born from an idea 25 years away, when the various provincial governments decided to equip routes outdoors intended for sports.
It is an epic path created by thousands of dreamers, volunteers and friends who shared the same daring goal: to connect a country as vast as ours, so that all of us can find common ground on the path.
The trail was entirely financed by donations and it is obviously open to anyone, it was not conceived for profit.
ABOVE a view from one of the many trails in Canada today
The Great Trail deserves the superlatives attributed to it. It crisscrosses every territory and every province of Canada, totaling 24,000 kilometers of inviting exploration in all seasons. It links three oceans and it offers many trails that can suit beginners as well as experienced hikers, its creation required more than 25 years of hard work but it is undoubtedly the most original walk to discover this country.
The Great Trail presents an unparalleled diversity in the open air, to be explored in every imaginable way. It would be reductive to believe that this route is just a huge cycle path or a long road; Composed of more than 400 trails, it has unparalleled characteristics, increasing the wonder and certainly removing the monotony.
Whether it is with the addition of facilities allowing as many people as possible to access them, or even with the creation of new trails or the development, where possible, of roads and green corridors, the protection of users and ecosystems are an integral part of it and remains a demonstrated priority. A federal government investment along with the generosity of thousands of donors are paving the way for a bright future for this unique trans-Canada project.
Almost 80% of Canadians live within 30 minutes of the Great Trail: from British Columbia to Newfoundland, it strategically traverses the splendours of this great country that is Canada.
Surprisingly, it is also hidden in the back of your pocket or on your desk, so that you can appreciate and discover its possibilities and attractions, masterful and gigantic. A mobile app for orientation allows you to plan your outings, geolocate, calculate the distances traveled and share your adventures along the Trail. Likewise, a relevant interactive map offered on the legrandsentier.ca site is full of useful information, in addition to being a great planning tool and a source of ideas for future excursions to other sections. The monthly newsletter is also to be watched; it offers tasty user stories, adventure suggestions and up-to-date information on this remarkable corridor that crosses Canada. By subscribing to it, you will find inspiration and motivation, most of it in the disconcerting proximity of your home!
The trail allows you to enjoy the beauties of the Laurentians and its gastronomic pleasures at the same time.
There are obviously no shortage of options on the Trail: strolling through Montreal or Gatineau, or climbing the Charlevoix foothills along the Traverse de Charlevoix…in short, everyone has their Trail options covered, whether they are cyclists, paddlers, runners, climbers, walkers or passersby. This is the leitmotif of this pan-Canadian journey: its surprising variety.
I appreciate the versatility of the network: if I enjoy a solitary walk with a certain level of challenge, I have plenty to choose from on the Trail, if I want to hike with children or pets I have trails dedicated to that too.