Canada opens world's longest hiking trail

The Great Trail at 15,000 miles long took 25 years to complete.

After 25 long years, the longest hiking trail in the world is finally open to visitors. Also known as The Great Trail, the 14,913-mile recreational trail system in Canada was first conceived in 1992 by Pierre Camu, Paul LaBarge and Bill Pratt. The Canadians wanted to connect the country’s vast hiking, biking, paddling, snowmobiling and horseback riding trails to celebrate its 125th birthday. They spoke to landowners and local governments to build proper signage along the coast-to-coast trail. The project attracted 470 volunteer groups to create the trail’s 432 sections, which pass through 15,000 communities.

However, Smithsonian magazine reported that “the route falls significantly short of its original goal of being an off-road trail, with only around 4,900 miles of the route, or 32%, composed of off-road trails”. Nevertheless, travellers are still excited to embark on the trail as it weaves through scenic landscapes in major cities such as Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.

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