I’d have to say, there are few countries on this magnificent little planet that offer the topographical and cultural diversity of Canada. From Arctic wilds to Pacific forests, the Rocky Mountains to Atlantic Coast, prairie horizon to Old World Quebec charm and modern gleaming cities, Canada seemingly has it all—providing you don’t mind a mere couple months of hot summer sunshine each year. (I exaggerate!)
The East Coast Trail was launched in 1994 as a network of walking tracks that run along the east coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. Today, it is comprised of 26 wilderness trails that wind their way through more than 300 kilometres of the Avalon Peninsula, an area ranked the world’s top coastal destination by National Geographic in 2016.
From Cappahayden in the south to Cape St. Francis near the northern tip of the peninsula, and back down to Portugal Cove on its west coast, the trail takes in endless rugged coastline, breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, rugged fishing villages, abandoned settlements, deep fjords and ecological reserves.
While trekking along this spectacular landscape you may spot moose, puffins, whales and icebergs, and should always be ready for a friendly conversation with a warm and welcoming local. This self-guided trek takes all the logistical work out of your vacation, leaving you free to concentrate on having fun.
The 10-day itinerary includes all your accommodation in B&Bs and guesthouses, daily breakfast, most lunches and some dinners. Your luggage will be transferred ahead by vehicle each morning, leaving you unencumbered to spend the day hiking.
Walks range from 10 to 20 kilometres per day, with seven days of hiking plus the start and finish days, and one built-in rest day in Petty Harbour about mid-trip. Though whether you choose to actually rest is up to you as there are plenty of hiking options in the area to tempt you. Or, perhaps you’ll go kayaking or whale-watching. Ah, the possibilities with Canada!
GREAT CANADIAN TRAILS
- Phone: 866.305.2257
- Length/Departs: 10 days/June to Oct.
- Accommodation: B&Bs, guesthouses
- Starting Price: $2,150
- Difficulty: Moderate to challenging
- By Simon Vaughan, Senior Editor/Special Travel Advisor for Outpost Travel Media