Hikers and backpackers looking for the ultimate challenge may want to add Canada’s newly finished Great Trail to their bucket lists. At 24,000 km (14,912 miles) in length, it is now the longest trekking route in the world, stretching across al 13 provinces and looping its way across some of the most spectacular landscapes that Canada has to offer. Best of all, this multi-use backcountry route is open to bikes, snowmobiles, paddling, and variety of other activities, making it even more accessible to those who want to explore its wonders.
All told, The Great Trail, which is made up of not just hiking paths but scenic waterways too, wanders from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and north to the Arctic Ocean as well. The idea to create the route first originated back in 1992 when Canada was celebrating its 125th birthday. It has taken decades of planning and building to complete, but at long last, the entire route was fully connected a few weeks back.
Now that it is done, the question is, who will be the first to hike it end to end? There are likely a few long-distance backpackers who are already planning such an expedition, if not some who are already out on the trail. It will be a significant undertaking to cover that full distance of course, but as with any major challenge in the outdoors, someone will be keen to give it a try.
Just completing the construction of this trail is an impressive piece of work for the Canadian government and the thousands of individuals who helped build it over the years. It is also an amazing resource for anyone who wants to take advantage of it. The Great Trails sheer size will keep most of us from ever walking it end-to-end, but there are certainly plenty of excellent sections that can be done over a few days or weeks to keep any hiker/backpacker happy and busy for a very long time to come.