May 21, 2020

Spring has finally arrived across Canada and with most provinces reopening in some form after the COVID lockdown, getting out and about safely is now foremost in our minds. With physical distancing as our new norm for the foreseeable future, an RV vacation close to home ticks all the right boxes. It’s an ideal opportunity to visit places you may not have even realized were so close to home.

In our world, camping and hiking go hand in hand and there are some great hikes tucked away in lesser visited places where physical distancing remains a possibility, particularly if you can avoid weekends and holiday times. Combine that with an RV Rental from CanaDream and you have the perfect solution to keeping safe during COVID. In an RV you can control your environment and explore out of the way places at your own pace. So, what are you waiting for? Here are some of our favourite hikes across Canada ranging from easy to difficult.

Yukon

For some amazing tundra views and uncrowded surroundings, head out into Tombstone Territorial Park. Lying north-east of Dawson City, Yukon, the Park has a number of road-accessible easy to difficult trails and hikes. The Goldensides Mountain trail is rated easy to moderate and offers the chance to see wildlife.

Where to Camp:
Tombstone Mountain Campground

Hiking and Camping in the Yukon.


One of the jewels of the Yukon, Kluane National Park’s most popular activity is hiking. Family friendly interpretive trails are plentiful but for spectacular views, the steep trail up to the “seat” of the King’s Throne has to be on your bucket list. The 10km return trip will take you between 4 and 6 hours and is rated moderate.

Where to Camp:
Congdon Creek Campground
Aishihik Lake Campground
Other territorial park campgrounds in the area
Private campgrounds

British Columbia

The Garden Bay Marine Provincial Park on the Sunshine Coast is home to the Mount Daniel Trail. It’s a moderate hike which will take about an hour each way but the view at the top is to die for. Mount Daniel is a protected archeological site so please don’t take anything away from the summit.

Also on the Sunshine Coast, check out the 8km round-trip hike to Chapman Falls near Sechelt. These falls are in fact three large waterfalls, one right after the other. Take your time to enjoy the beauty of the forest as you survey these spectacular Falls.


Where to Camp:
SunLund by the Sea
Garnet Rock Oceanside Resort
Bayside Campground & RV Park

Ruby Lake, Sunshine Coast, BC. Credit Shaundd-Wiki Commons

Alberta

For a mountain experience away from the bustle of Banff National Park, Kananaskis Country is the answer. It’s quieter and often more preferred by the locals. One of the most popular hikes in this area is the Prairie Mountain Trail. It’s a little more trafficked that some others in the area but still possible to physical distance. This 6.4km year-round trail is rated difficult but becomes a little easier between late Spring and early Fall as the ground dries out.

Where to Camp:
BowRiversEdge Campground, Cochrane
One of the many provincial park campgrounds in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.

For the more experienced hiker, the moderately trafficked Turtle Mountain Trail in south-west Alberta should be on the ‘to do’ list. Best hiked from June until October, this difficult trail covers 6.5km out and back. The trailhead is just outside the town of Blairmore. Along the summit ridge are views of the Frank slide and the towns of Blairmore and Bellevue. From the north peak summit are commanding views of the surrounding mountains.

While in the area, it’s worth considering a climb to the top of Table Mountain near Castle Provincial Park. With a 10km return distance and an elevation gain of 832 metres, this hike is also considered difficult. Easier trails can also be found in the area at Mount Haig Lake and in Beauvais Lake Provincial Park.

Where to Camp:
Lost Lemon Campground, Blairmore
Alberta Provincial Park camgrounds in the area

Kananaskis Country-Credit davebloggs007 and Turtle Mountain-credit Fourtildas - Wikimedia Commons .

Saskatchewan

The southern border of Grasslands National Park lies along the Saskatchewan/Montana border directly south of the town of Swift Current. The most popular hike in this park is the Eagle Butte Trail and 70 mile Butte Trail. With small elevation gains and a slightly uneven ground, this trail is rated as moderate. 70 mile Butte is one of the highest points on the Canadian Prairies. Access to the trailhead is off State Highway 4.

Where to Camp:
Frenchman Valley Campground – reservations are recommended


West of Prince Albert and an hour east of Cold Lake, you’ll find some excellent hiking trails in Meadow Lake Provincial Park. Our pick for a easy to moderate day hike here is the Kimball Lake Trail. The long loop takes you around Raspberry Lake where you might spot an abundance of wildlife.

Where to Camp:
Mistohay Lake Campground
Kimball Lake Campground

Eagle Butte Trail-courtesty Tourism Saskatchewan and Spirit Sands Trail.

Manitoba

A difficult, well maintained trail scenic hike with beautiful views of varied landscape, the Gorge Creek Trail in Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba is a good heart-pumping workout over the 13km round trip. Hike through boreal forest and climb along the Manitoba Escarpment then be rewarded by a relaxing dip of your feet in a creek. If you’re not up to the return trip, you can do this one way by leaving your vehicle at the end of the trail.

Where to Camp:
Wasagaming Campground - Riding Mountain National Park

Sand dunes in Manitoba? Sure – all four square kilometers of them are located in Spruce Woods Provincial Park where the boreal forest meet the Assinboine River. The Spirit Sands Trail offers easy hiking but can get very hot in the summer months so start out early. It’s a short trail which can be combined with the Devil’s Punch Bowl trail and a meander through here could take anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours.

Where to Camp:
Kiche Manitou Campground - Spruce Woods Provincial Park

Ontario

For a hike like no other, the climb to the top of the Sleeping Giant will have you 1000ft above the surface of the water looking straight down on Lake Superior. This is no easy trek with a round trip distance of 22.4km and an elevation gain of 950 feet but definitely worth the effort! The Top of the Giant is one of the highest points in Ontario.

Where to Camp:
Wolf River Campground - private campground in Dorion
Marie Louise Lake Campground in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

Sleeping Giant Trail and Pukaskwa National Park.  

Hugging the northern shoreline of Lake Superior halfway between Marathon and Sault Ste Marie, you,ll find one of Ontario’s less popular national parks in Pukaskwa. The trails here start as family-friendly interpretative walks and graduate to Ontario’s premier wilderness backpacking route in the 60km long Coastal Hiking Trail. Plan to spend a few days here to explore the area and select a hike to suit your own interests and abilities.

Where to Camp:
Wawa RV Resort and Campground - private campground in Wawa
Hattie Cove Campground in Pukaskwa National Park

Quebec

The Gaspe region of Quebec boasts some spectacular hiking trails and the Tour du Mont Albert is one of its most popular. It’s a difficult-rated 17.8km loop trail with an elevation of 870 metres to a summit of lichen covered rock over 20km square in size. It’s possibly one of the most surprising and rewarding hikes in the province of Quebec.

Where to Camp:
Gaspésie National Park (Sepaq)

Mont Albert, Quebec and View from the Les Graves Trail in Forillon National Park.

Other hiking trails worth checking out in the Gaspesie area lie in Forillon National Park. Our pick is Les Graves. You can hike the entire trail (15.2km round trip) or just the last leg (8km round trip). Both will take you through coastline overlooking coves and the sea and you’ll even pass by a lighthouse.

Where to Camp:
There are three national park campgrounds available for RV camping.

New Brunswick

Stunning views abound on the 6.1km lightly trafficked loop trail in Mount Carleton Provincial Park. The Mount Sagamook trail features a mix of Acadian woods and mountain peaks and is rated difficult. At least 100 different types of birds and mammals live in the area.

Where to Camp:
Armstrong Campground, Mount Carleton Provincial Park

Mount Carleton, New Brunswick and Greenwich Dunes, PEI.

Prince Edward Island

The Greenwich Dunes trail in Prince Edward Island National Park is ideal for all the family. This 5km lightly trafficked out and back trail offers scenic views of both coast and dunes. The area contains an extensive and fragile dune system, wetlands and rare plant species.

Where to Camp:
Cymbria Campground
New Glasgow Highlands Campground
Cavendish KOA

Nova Scotia

Jutting out into the Bay of Fundy , the dramatic headland of Cape Split offers unparalleled views of the world’s highest tides. Here a 16km moderately demanding return hike along the Cape Split Trail will take around 5 hours to complete. This is one of Nova Scotia’s most popular hikes so plan to get on the trail early.

Where to Camp:
Blomidon Provincial Park

Cape Split, Nova Scotia and Hikers on the Skyline Trail, Cape Breton.
 

If you’re looking for something a little easier, perhaps for the whole family, the Skyline Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park should be considered. This is an easy-rated 8.2km loop on the western side of the Island taking you to a cliff overlooking the rugged Cape Breton coastline. Watch for whales in the Gulf of St Lawrence and enjoy an eagle’s eye view of the Cabot Trail as it winds its way down the mountain.

Where to Camp:
Cape Breton Highlands National Park Campgrounds

Newfoundland

If you’re lucky enough to get to Newfoundland, the Sugarloaf Path on the East Coast Trail is a hike for the list. Rated moderate to difficult, the 9km trail one way stretches from Quidi Vidi Village in St John’s to Logy Bay. Several river crossings, amazing coastal scenery, birdlife and woodland are just some of the delights that await you on this moderately trafficked trail.

Where to Camp:
Bluefin RV Trailer Park, Holyrood
Private campgrounds in the St John's area.

Hiking and camping are great ways to enjoy the outdoors while physical distancing.  Some of the campsites mentioned in this blog may have restricted openings in 2020 so we recommend that you check ahead.  Many provincial campsites are open for residents of that province only.  Private campgrounds will welcome Guests from across Canada and many of these are CanaDream Club partners, offering discounts off your stay.  If you don't have your own RV and would like to consider renting an RV in Halifax, Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary or Vancouver, please visit our website for pricing and availability.

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