8 of Canada’s Best Hiking & Mountain Biking Trails

Canada is well known for its world-class ski resorts. But, when the snow melts, it’s also a haven for mountain bikers and trekkers. Nomad Guy Wilkinson reveals his top pick of the trails for all levels of abilities.


Photo © Guy Wilkinson

Hike the Bay of Fundy Footpath, New Brunswick

This challenging wilderness trail begins at the suspension bridge at salmon river. It meanders 25.47mi (41km) through a series of dense woodland switchbacks and alongside the stunning coastline skirting the boundaries of Fundy National Park.

Best for: Advanced.

How long you need: 3-5 days.

When to go: June to September.

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Bike Harper Mountain, Kamloops, British Columbia

This lesser-known region of British Columbia’s interior possesses some of the most diverse mountain biking terrain in the country, with more than 1,000 hectares of public cross-country trails. The microclimate here means you can ride through rainforest in the morning and desert in the afternoon. Cut your teeth on the nearby Unicorn Race Trail.

Best for: Intermediate.

How long you need: 3-4 days.

When to go: May to September.

Hike in Banff National Park, Alberta

Canada’s oldest National Park offers 994mi (1,600km) of spectacular hiking trails past emerald lakes, sprawling glaciers, forests, meadows, and rivers, all within a spectacular alpine setting. Choose from more gentile excursions around Lake Louise – the Tea House Hikes are a good introduction – to more challenging outings through wild backcountry.

Best for: Beginners/Intermediate.

How long you need: 4-7 days.

When to go: May or September.

Hiking for views over Lake Moraine. Photo credit: iStock

Bike Whistler, British Columbia

Arguably the world’s most famous mountain biking mecca, this adrenaline-fuelled park draws riders from around the world. Highlights include the Top of the World alpine trail, the Joyride Trail, and, of course, the world-renowned A-Line trail. The comprehensive lift infrastructure also makes this a downhillers paradise.

Best for: Advanced.

How long you need: A summer season if possible.

When to go: Late June or September.

Mountain biking in British Columbia. Photo credit: iStock

Hike Twillingate, Newfoundland

One of the world’s best hikes for spotting icebergs, this rural slice of eastern Canada offers breathtaking spectacles of nature at its rawest. Hit the Long Point Lighthouse Lower Head Trail for panoramic views over to the rocky cliffs to Spiller’s Cove.

Best for: Intermediate.

How long you need: 4 days.

When to go: May to July.

Bike Sun Peaks, British Columbia

With close to 800m of lift-accessed vertical terrain, Sun Peaks Bike Park has long been considered “cloud nine” for downhill bikers, but, increasingly, there are more varied options and nearly 40 distinct trails have been developed in recent years. As a ski resort, lodgings can also be cheap during the off season.

Best for: Intermediate

How long you need: 3-4 days.

When to go: May-October.

Hike Cape Breton National Park, Nova Scotia

26 trails blending canyons, highlands, valleys, and coastal bluffs make this wild region among the best places to hike in Canada. Among the best trails are The Skyline, Franey, or the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail.

Best for: Intermediate.

How long you need: 5 days.

When to go: May to September.

Bike Collingwood, Ontario

Just a couple of hours from Toronto, the lush deciduous forests of Georgian Bay contain some of Canada’s finest single track, downhill, and cross-country trails. Proximity to the ocean also makes for the perfect post-ride refresher.

Best for: Intermediate.

How long you need: 5 days.

When to go: May to September.

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