Hike Canada's final frontiers for edge-of-the-world views

Canada is huge – the world’s second largest country, in fact – so it still contains rarely visited, remote destinations that are ideal for the aspiring explorer, especially in the east.

Its mountains, forests, coastline and waterways are all oversized with promises of world-class views beyond the main trails, proving that big really is better.

On the eastern seaboard, on Newfoundland’s west coast, you’ll find the spectacle that is Gros Morne National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), with its green-carpeted mountains, vast fjords, towering cliffs abutting the sea, and empty beaches. We list three scenic hikes that take you to some of Canada's best wilderness experiences.

1. Long Range Traverse

For the more hardy and experienced walker, the Long Range Traverse beckons. This six-day guided hike entails following a barely discernible route in the Long Range Mountains that takes you high up on a plateau. The first day is a steep ascent but once up high it is relatively flat for the remainder of the journey, with the occasional river crossing. So with each day of walking, you're rewarded with epic views across the fjords from your cliff-top vantage points – plus the added bonus of (most likely) not another hiker in sight.

Endless, otherworldly views across the Long Range Mountains. Photo: Nathalie Gauthier

Tackling Great Canadian Trails’ guided Long Range Traverse (World Expeditions’ active Canadian holidays division) means you get the benefit of extensive local knowledge – and guidance; navigation skills are essential here. As well as this remote adventure – and for those after even more – there’s the full nine-day Gros Morne Traverse, which adds the spectacular Tablelands region, and its lunar-esque landscape, to the Long Range Mountains adventure.

2. East Coast Trail

For the ultimate eastern seaboard experience, it’s hard to beat the 265km big-bopper East Coast Trail, comprising 24 wilderness paths that take in all of this region’s diverse landscapes over the course of 10 days, with nights spent in cosy B&Bs.

Yep, adventure can be tough but it can also be combined with a bit of pampering, too! Read more about this trail in our solo traveller's trekking guide.

Explore the beauty of Newfoundland along the East Coast Trail. Photo: Barrett & MacKay Photo

3. Gros Morne Sampler

And don’t think that you can’t experience this otherworldly destination if you’re ‘not fit enough’ to tackle these long distance walks; a four-day Gros Morne Sampler takes in the best of the region for those limited on time.

Choose from a selection of hikes varying on difficulty; from a gentle foray along a seaside vista to a challenging back country adventure, you'll be spoilt for choice. There's the 10km coastal trek that takes you to the Green Gardens' lush landscape; a full 16km loop of the Gros Morne Mountains; an off-trail hike to the Big Lookout, which reward hikers with 360 degree views of Gros Morne National Park; as well as the rocky Tablelands hike, where you walk atop the earth's exposed mantle.

Crossing lush fields towards the Long Range Moutnains. Photo: Nathalie Gauthier

But it doesn't end there! This adventure tour combines day walking with a scenic boat tour along the dramatic Western Brook Pond Fjord, a traditional Newfoundland musical performance and a gourmet culinary fix in Gros Morne's top fine dining restaurants.

Adventurers getting ready to sail along Western Brook Pond Fjord at the 'trailhead' of the Long Range Traverse. Photo: Keri May

Great Canadian Trails has ensured that this seemingly unattainable part of the world is, in fact, very easy – and awesome fun – to experience.

Bonus add-on

As well as walking, wildlife and epic landscapes, Newfoundland has a rich and long history, with Quirpon Island a perfect example, and one that is easy experience, thanks to Great Canadian Trails' Vikings, Whales and Icebergs three-day trip.

A whale passing a visit at Quirpon Island. Photo: Finn Beals

As you’d expect with a name like that, Quirpon Island is a great location for spotting icebergs, and is also home to up to 27 species of whale. It's also just a short boat ride from the mainland and the village of St Anthony, near where you will find with the only historic Viking site in North America: the 1000-year-old L’Anse aux Meadows UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Visit the unique Viking settlement on the north end of Newfoundland. Photo: Barrett & Mackay Photo

For that remote, away-from-the-crowds experience, the eastern seaboard of Canada is a tough one to beat and is now, thankfully, more easily accessed than ever before. So, yep, there’s no excuse not to add it to your Canada adventure bucket list!

Words by Justin Walker


Canada, east coast canada, gros morne, Gros Morne National Park, Hiking Trails, long range mountains, long range traverse, L’Anse aux Meadows, multi-day hikes, Newfoundland, North America, trekking

Comment (0)

Your comment will be visible after the administrator's approval.

b i u quote

Save Comment
Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions Schools"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions Schools</div>
World Expeditions Schools is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips