The Best Walks and Rambles in Canada
Canada is a paradise for hikers. In urban neighborhoods you won’t be ambling far from rich cultural destinations. At national parks you can forget all about civilization. And across the country you'll find treks to . Walk past waterfalls, rugged cliffs, glaciers and historic sites. But don’t forget to pack shoes you’ll be able to walk miles in!
Halifax’s Waterfront (Nova Scotia)
Take your time strolling along Halifax’s working waterfront. You can visit museums, board an historic ship or two, enjoy a snack, and take an inexpensive ferry ride across the harbor and back. Come evening, there’s fiddle and guitar playing at the pubs.
Cape Breton Highlands National Park (Nova Scotia)
You’ll find bog and woodland walks aplenty at Cape Breton, but the best trails follow rugged cliffs along the open ocean. The Skyline Trail is among the most dramatic pathways in the province.
Green Gardens Trail (Gros Morne, Newfoundland)
This demanding hike at Gros Morne National Park takes you on a 16km (9.9-mile) loop, much of which follows coastal meadows atop fractured cliffs. It’s demanding but worth every step.
Vieux-Montréal (Montréal, Québec)
The architectural heritage of the historic Vieux-Montréal, or “Old Montréal,” district and the Vieux-Port (Old Port) waterfront promenade adjacent has been substantially preserved. Several small but intriguing museums are housed in historic buildings, and restored 18th- and 19th-century structures have been adapted for use as shops, galleries, boutique hotels, cafes, studios, bars, and apartments. In the evening, many of the finer buildings are illuminated. Today, especially in summer, activity centers around Place Jacques-Cartier, where street performers, strolling locals, and tourists congregate.
Toronto’s Art & Design District (Ontario)
The stretch of Queen Street that runs west of Bathurst Avenue has been reinvented as the Art & Design District. This isn’t just a marketing ploy—the title is well deserved. The area is home to the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art and to private art collections such as the Stephen Bulger Gallery; it’s also the neighborhood to see some of the best local design talent, with block after block of unique boutiques, small but edgy galleries, and plenty of cafes.
Lake Superior Provincial Park (Ontario)
Follow any trail in this park to a rewarding vista. The 16km (9.9-mile) Peat Mountain Trail leads to a panoramic view close to 150m (about 492 ft.) above the surrounding lakes and forests. The moderate Orphan Lake Trail offers views over the Orphan Lake and Lake Superior, plus a pebble beach and Baldhead River falls. The 26km (16-mile) Toawab Trail takes you through the Agawa Valley to the 25m (82-ft.) Agawa Falls.
Johnston Canyon (Banff National Park, Alberta)
Just 24km (15 miles) west of Banff, Johnston Creek cuts a deep, very narrow canyon through limestone cliffs. The trail winds through tunnels, passes waterfalls, edges by shaded rock faces, and crosses the chasm on footbridges before reaching a series of iridescent pools, formed by springs that bubble up through highly colored rock.
Plain of Six Glaciers Trail (Lake Louise, Alberta)
From Chateau Lake Louise, a lakeside trail rambles along the edge of emerald-green Lake Louise, and then climbs to the base of Victoria Glacier. At a rustic teahouse, you can order a cup of tea and a scone—each made over a wood-burning stove—and gaze up at the rumpled face of the glacier.
Stanley Park (Vancouver, British Columbia)
Stanley Park (Vancouver, British Columbia) is something of a miracle—a huge, lush park (one of the largest city parks in the world) right on the edge of a densely populated urban neighborhood. Stroll the famous seawall that skirts the entire park, visit a striking collection of First Nation totem poles, or simply wander among the giant trees and magnificent plantings.
Long Beach (Vancouver Island, British Columbia)
Part of Pacific Rim National Park, Long Beach is more than 16km (10 miles) long and hundreds of meters wide, and is flanked by awe-inspiring rainforests of cedar, fir, and Sitka spruce. Beyond the roaring surf, you’ll see soaring eagles, basking sea lions, and occasionally even migrating gray whales.