A Canadian holiday need not be just about seeing the Niagara Falls, visiting Montreal or exploring one of the vibrant cities of the country. On the other hand, Canada is a country with one of the most beautiful locales and landscapes, making it a great place for hiking. Be it lakes, mountains, national parks and forests, there is no dearth of hiking trails in Canada. Moreover, it is a pleasure to hike in Canada throughout the year. So, just because it is winter and the temperature goes way below 0oC, it does not mean that you have to hang off your hiking boots for a while. Rather, take this as an opportunity for an adventurous Canadian winter holiday. With this note, let us look at some of the best hikes (both hiking trails and hiking spots) in Canada.
1.The West Coast Trail
Originally, the trail was created to help shipwreck survivors escape the wild. However, today, it is perfect for those who want to escape from their daily routine and want to spend time amidst nature. This trail is 75 km long and passes through a deserted beach as well as verdant forest located in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, located in Vancouver Island. The hike takes around 6 days and would be the right way to spend your winter break at work or even college.
If your plan for winter vacation in Canada involves seeing and walking in snow, the Rattlesnake Point in Ontario is something you would enjoy. The place offers 13 kilometres of hiking trails and no matter which trail you pick, it would lead you to the incredible snow-covered view of Rattlesnake Point. The place is covered with snow-covered cliffs, glacial deposits, cedars, caves, etc. You would also be able to spot Chickadees and also feed them with your own hands. It is also a great place to spot white owls both during day and night.
If donning your snowshoes and climbing or walking on a snowy area is not something you want to do, Canada’s British Columbia offers you Cypress Falls where you can go on a snow-free walk. The trail is just 3 kilometres and it is great for a day trip. It takes just 1.5 hours of your time to cover the entire trail and you would pass through an old forest path to reach the lower Cypress Falls. You can enjoy the view and return or continue your journey to reach the Upper Cypress Falls. For this, you would have to go beyond the border of the Cypress Falls Park but the view from the end would definitely be worth it.
4.Johnston Canyon Hike
The oldest national park of Canada, the Banff National Park, offers some of the most picturesque hiking trails. However, the best one, especially during winter, is the Johnston Canyon. You can choose to go on a relatively simpler hike to the Lower Falls (2.4 kilometres) or the bit challenging one to the Upper Falls (4.8 kilometres), the view of the frozen waterfalls is both dramatic and mesmerizing. Visit on a sunny winter day and get ready to be mesmerized.
5.Parc national du Mont Orford
Close to Montreal, Parc national du Mont Orford, is a great place for winter hiking. The place has several loop trails, which extend to around 90 kilometres and range from low to high difficulty level. Depending on the trail you choose, you would be able to access either of the four summits or elevations up to 853 meters as well as check out lake views. This provincial park of Quebec is also a popular place for skiing in winter.
6.Opal Hills Loop
If you are in for a challenging hike, the Opal Hills Loop is something that you would enjoy. The hike starts at Highway 16 and is 8.2 kilometres long and can take anywhere between 4-6 hours. While you may have a fairly easy hike most of the time, you have to face a 460 meters elevation every three kilometres, which needs a bit of effort. However, all the hard work is worthwhile, as you would encounter breathtaking views of the Maligne Lake as well as alpine wildflowers during your journey.
7.The Valley of Five Lakes Trail
This trail, as the name suggests, is a valley where the trail would lead you to five picturesque lakes. The trail is 4.3 kilometres in length. The hike starts at Icefields Parkway and can take anywhere between 3 to 4 hours to complete. Although the hike on this trail is quite easy, you may have to put some effort at the hills and slopes. As the hike is not very challenging, it is great for beginners. Apart from the beautiful lakes and sceneries, get ready to see some wild animals on your way.
Tips for Safe Hike during winter in Canada
You may be excited about hiking in Canada and watching the snow. But there are some things that you must remember to ensure that you have a safe hiking trip.
- It is important to wear insulating layers of clothing. This way, you would be able to wear, remove or adjust the clothes as per the climatic conditions.
- Invest in sturdy winter hiking boots. Make sure that they are waterproof and allow you to remain warm. They should be able to protect you from falling in case of slippery areas.
- Remember to drink enough water during your hike. As it is cold, you may not feel thirsty. But this can cause dehydration. You can also have a hot drink to keep yourself hydrated.
- It is important to munch on calorie-rich snacks like nuts, chocolates, etc. while hiking to keep your energy levels up.
[Also Read : Winter Vacation in Canada]
This list of places to hike in Canada does not do any justice to the number of beautiful hiking trails in Canada. To make your adventurous winter vacation in Canada exciting and interesting, do your research well and check out the best trails in the area you are visiting. However, before you start your planning, it is also important to know the Canada tourist visa requirements and apply for a Canadian visa.