THE GREAT TRAIL map ( thegreattrail.ca/
explore-the-map) is also part of a
mobile app (available for iOS and
Android devices) that allows users to
zoom in and out of The Great Trail, and
to use GPS to self-locate. The app’s map
helps users plan routes by dropping
pins, calculating distances between
point A and point B, and the Activity
Tracker uses GPS to monitor journeys,
reporting the time, elevation and distance travelled.—IMT
EXPLORING THE TRAIL
MAY/JUNE 2018 The Costco Connection 25
BY IRENE MIDDLEMAN THOMAS
THE SECURIT Y AGENT brightened when
he read the logo on my T-shirt as I went
through the Ottawa airport scanner. “The
Great Trail? I’ve hiked it in six provinces
and one territory,” he announced proudly.
The Great Trail ( thegreattrail.ca) was
begun in ;;;;, during the ;;;th anniversary of Canada’s confederation. In ;;;;, in
honour of the ;;;th anniversary, the trail
was connected to form a staggering ;;,;;;
kilometres of continuous multi-use trail
connecting Canada from coast to coast.
Coast to coast
The Great Trail passes through every
province and territory, connects ;;,;;;
communities and is commonly known as
the world’s longest recreational trail. The
largely community-volunteer-based Trans
Canada Trail organization, based in
Montreal, promotes and oversees its development and operation.
“We changed the name from Trans
On the right path
Canada Trail to The Great Trail to explain
not only what the Trail is, but what it offers
Canadians and visitors,” explains Costco
member Jérémie Gabourg, marketing
manager of The Great Trail. “Eighty per
cent of Canadians live within ;; minutes
of a section of the Trail, which promotes
better health, environmentally friendly
activities and our diverse culture.”
The non-profit trail is a free, open-to-
all resource for hiking, walking, cycling,
snowshoeing, horseback riding, cross-
country skiing, and even canoeing and kay-
aking alongside the trail. The trail is really
a network of more than ;;; trails of differ-
Canada’s Great Trail is connected
ent types and in different regions—ranging
from wild to urban, footpath to paved trail,
and waterways to, at times, actual roads.
Three recommended sections
Yukon. This northwesternmost part of
the trail features part of the the original
;,;;;-kilometre-plus Klondike Highway,
which brought gold rushers to the area in
;;;;. Great Trail trekkers can now travel
from Whitehorse to Dawson City on a
paved road, following the old dogsled route
along the Yukon River, surrounded by
dense forests, lakes, rivers and creeks, and
wildlife. Highlights include the stop at
Lake Laberge and the First Nation Tagé
Cho Hudän Interpretive Centre.
Ontario. With more than ;,;;; kilometres of The Great Trail, Ontario has the
largest section in Canada, running from
Windsor to Ottawa and west along waterways to the Manitoba border. The first section of the trail to be completed, the
;;.;-kilometre rails-to-trails Caledon
Trailway begins in Terra Cotta and passes
through lush green valleys and hills filled
with creeks, flowering bushes and trees,
and picturesque villages lined with
Victorian homes and delightful inns, on its
way through Caledon East, passing the
trail’s first pavilion.
Quebec. The P’tit Train du Nord trail
goes from Montreal to Mont Laurier, running through the magnificent Laurentians
on a railway line built in the ;;;;s. The
trail features spectacular scenery, including lakes, rivers and mountains, and is dotted with delightful tourist-friendly towns
flush with shops, hotels and inns, campgrounds, pubs and bistros. Many of the old
train stations are now information centres,
rest areas and cafés. The nearly ;;;-kilo-metre P’tit Train du Nord is relatively flat.
The trail runs downhill from north to
south, letting cyclists coast for long
stretches in several areas. C
Irene Middleman Thomas (irenethomas.
com) is a Colorado-based writer.
Costco warehouses and Costco.ca carry
hiking essentials such as backpacks,
snacks and water.
The Great Trail passes
through Stanley Park in
Vancouver, British Columbia.
Cycling along the Banff
Legacy Trail, a section of
The Great Trail in Alberta.