National Take a Hike Day: Hit the Trails on November 17


Attention, outdoor enthusiasts: if you’re waiting for a nudge to get outdoors, this is it!


Today is National Take a Hike Day, a day for us all to get outside, soak in the beauty of nature and explore the picturesque hiking trails and landscapes that surround us. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a novice, this day is an opportunity to take in the fresh air, stretch your legs and appreciate the wonders of our natural world.

Before setting out on your hiking adventure, it’s essential to prepare properly. Round up your hiking buddies for safety in numbers in the wilderness. The gear you choose can also greatly impact your safety and comfort on the trails, so be sure to bring the basics—like comfortable clothing, appropriate footwear, a backpack and plenty of water. Additionally, consider investing in items such as bear spray for regions with a bear population to ensure your safety, and an Apple Watch Ultra to keep track of your progress and stay connected, even in remote areas.

With ample hiking opportunities spanning across Canada from coast to coast, we’ve curated a selection of day trails in each province suitable for various seasons.


Newfoundland and Labrador: La Manche Village Path

An easy and enjoyable section of the 336-kilometre East Coast Trail, the La Manche Village Path leads to an abandoned village that was destroyed by a storm in 1966. Most of the hike is in the woods, featuring gorgeous viewpoints, waterfalls and an impressive 50-metre suspension bridge.

Location: La Manche Provincial Park
Length: 2.5 km out-and-back
Elevation gain: 193 metres
Duration: 1 hour Unsplash


Prince Edwards Island: Trout River Trail

Prince Edward Island’s Trout River Trail is a well-maintained path that offers a relaxing, comfortable hike along the running river where plentiful trout can be spotted. A nature lover’s oasis with minimal crowds, this hike provides a peaceful escape. 

Location: Near O’Leary
Distance: 6.4 km out-and-back
Elevation Gain: 47 m
Duration: 1 hour 20 minutesiStock


Nova Scotia: Polly’s Cove Trail

Polly’s Cove Trail, next to the popular Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse, offers stunning coastal and lighthouse views without the crowds, making it a hidden gem for tourists. This trail is accessible year-round, with rolling rocks and low bushes lining the landscapes, but extra care should be exercised in the winter when snowfall levels are high.

Location: Near West Dover
Length: 3.9 km loop
Elevation gain: 53 m
Duration: 50 minutesUnsplash


New Brunswick: Scotch Lake Road and Beaver Pond Trail

Scotch Lake Road and Beaver Pond Trail is a beautiful path meandering through forested scenery of spruce, cedar, maple and hemlock trees before making a loop around a serene pond (keep an eye out for beaver dams!). Wear appropriate footwear as trail conditions may vary, with some areas being muddy or slippery.

Location: Near Mactaquac
Length: 4.8 km out-and-back
Elevation gain: 120 m
Duration: 1 hour 20 minutesiStock


Quebec: Montmorency Falls

Situated on the outskirts of Quebec City, this well-maintained family-friendly path leads up a set of stairs to a spectacular view of the waterfalls. While summer months can bring about refreshing mist, during wintertime parts of the waterfall freeze over, creating a magnificent sight and a playground for ice climbers.

Location: Downtown Quebec City
Length: 4.7 km out and back
Elevation gain: 162 m
Duration: 1 hour 20 minutesUnsplash


Ontario: Middlebrun Bay Trail

Situated in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park in Ontario, Middlebrun Bay Trail offers hikers a scenic and tranquil adventure in the wilderness. This well-marked trail leads visitors through a diverse landscape of forests and along the shores of Lake Superior, providing opportunities for wildlife sightings and stunning lakeside views.

Location: Near Thunder Bay 
Length: 4.2 km out-and-back
Elevation gain: 69 m
Duration: 1 hour 20 minutesUnsplash


Manitoba: Oxbow Nature Trail

An easy, well-maintained and picturesque trail that meanders along the Little Saskatchewan River by the dam, Oxbow Nature Trail is great for hikers at all levels and throughout all seasons. During the winter, the frozen marshlands create a serene backdrop, and bison can be spotted grazing so keep your camera ready.

Location: Near Minnedosa
Length: 3.1 km loop
Elevation gain: 39 m
Duration: 40 minutesUnsplash


Saskatchewan: Wascana Trail Loop

Wascana Valley Natural Area Recreational Site is a prime nature destination, featuring an arch-style bridge across Wascana Creek, beautiful hills and valleys, and a network of interconnecting trails to choose from. Wascana Trail Loop is popular for birders, trail runners, mountain bikers, snowshoers and cross-country skiers depending on the season.

Location: Wascana Valley Natural Area Recreation Site
Length: 4.8 km loop
Elevation gain: 123 m
Duration: 1 hour 20 minutesUnsplash

Alberta: Grassi Lakes Trail

Grassi Lakes Trail, near Canmore, Alberta, is near two stunning turquoise-coloured mountain lakes nestled amidst the Rockies. The short and accessible hike to these lakes is a must-visit for hiking enthusiasts, offering a rewarding glimpse of the pristine, crystal-clear waters surrounded by rugged cliffs. 

Location: Near Canmore
Length: 4 km loop
Elevation gain: 166 m
Duration: 1 hour 10 minutesUnsplash


British Columbia: Quarry Rock Trail

This popular trail offers a relatively short yet rewarding hike through a lush rainforest. The highlight is the panoramic view of Deep Cove and Indian Arm from the Quarry Rock viewpoint at the end of the trail.

Location: Deep Cove
Length: 3.8 km out-and-back
Elevation gain: 206 m
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutesUnsplash


On November 17, National Take a Hike Day is a perfect opportunity to get active and get out in nature. So round up your hiking buddies, gear up, hit the trails and don’t forget to share your adventures with #NationalTakeAHikeDay and tag @exploremagazine on Instagram!


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