Vancouver and The Great Trail

English Bay Sunset Photo: Rob Weiss

Canadian Pride!  Granted Hockey supremacy may come to mind when you ponder Canadian pride, but did you know Canada is home to the greatest and longest recreational trail in the world? It’s true! Our country can proudly boast a coast to coast route featuring 24,000 kilometres and 15,000 communities all linked by one amazing trail rich in adventure, discovery and majestic beauty.  From urban streets and greenways to the rugged backcountry wilderness of the Rocky Mountains and the Canadian Shield, The Great Trail promises to showcase the beauty, vastness and diversity of our nation.

Majestic Lions Photo: Rob Weiss

The dream of a coast to coast route, also known as the Trans Canada Trail, began in 1992, as a project to celebrate Canada’s 125th year.  Twenty -five years later, with a new name and a grand vision, thousands of volunteers across the country are uniting to bridge existing gaps and complete the route in time for Canada’s 150th birthday gala.  Mountaineers, cross-country skiers, hikers, snowshoers, trail runners, joggers, snowmobilers, paddlers, cyclists, those on horseback and more share the vision of The Great Trail and Canada’s 150th celebration.  Now that’s a party I don’t want to miss – Canada one step at a time!

View of the Sails Photo: Rob Weiss

Daunted by the thought of traversing Canada?  Fortunately, you don’t need to scale Pale Face Mountain, organize a cross-country expedition or even purchase hiking boots to enjoy the route, as there is likely a Great Trail connection in a neighbourhood near you!  As one of the many Great Trail communities, the City of Vancouver boasts 29.32km of walking, hiking and cycling routes.  From the Sea Bus terminal and Canada Place, along our world-famous seawall, around Stanley Park to Kits Beach and back via False Creek to the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge, Vancouver brings an exciting urban component to the trek.

Cycling in Vancouver Photo: Rob Weiss

Personally, I have spent countless hours cycling, paddling, hiking, and strolling in and around Vancouver, and in my opinion, The Great Trail route captures the very best of our city.  Ocean and mountain views, lush rainforests, beaches, bustling bike paths all amidst a thriving cosmopolitan ambience. Truthfully, the Vancouver leg of The Great Trail is so incredibly beautiful; your biggest challenge may be leaving town!

The Great Trail route through Vancouver

How to Walk Across Canada

Interested in expanding your route and hiking beyond Vancouver?  A walk across Canada, perhaps?  Well, there’s an app for that.  Map, measure and share your adventure!

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