Hiking, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking
The Backroad Mapbook trails section in every book offers a lifetime of opportunity for locals or area visitors. No matter your interest, whether it is hiking in Canada, mountain biking in BC, horseback riding in Alberta, trail running in the Maritimes even ATVing in Ontario, there is a trail for you to explore. We offer so much variety that even local hiking books or tourism centres can't rival what we offer.
In addition to each trail listing in the writing, the maps offer a host of other information. We label and symbol each trail and go so far as to distinguish the more notable trail systems in a given area. In particular, we clearly show long distance trails, have a unique line style for the ever expanding Trans Canada Trail, classify duo sport, ATV trails and snowmobile routes. More recently we have been updating our trails with GPS tracks given to us by readers and researchers. This helps make us one of the most reliable sources of trail information in Canada.
What to look for
Line Style/Symbol on the maps
Look for biking, hiking, or horseback riding symbols on our maps.
Symbol in the writing
Look for symbols in the write-up to find trails that are tailored to your activity.
Write-up in Reference
Look for the Trail section in our books to find the most popular spots.
Newsletter's Featured Trips For more Featured Trails check out our Blog.
Vancouver Island BC: West Coast Trail (Map 2/B1–7/C5)
The West Coast Trail gets all the glory when it comes to BC Trails. Known internationally, the trail is becoming almost too popular for its own good and as a result has become heavily regulated. The trail is only open from May 1 to September 30 and only 52 people are allowed to head out onto the trail each day. A reservation system has been put into place, which usually fills in a matter of minutes. The fees have been climbing steadily for the last few years, so call ahead to confirm: 1-800-663-6000 or (250) 387-1642 (internationally) and don't forget money for the ferry at Gordon River and the Nitinat Narrows. The trail itself is a demanding 75 km (46 mile) one-way trek from Bamfield to Port Renfrew along the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island, now noticeably tamer than it was. Still, the scenery is much the same as it was a century ago, when the lifesaving trail was first built for the benefit of shipwrecked sailors along the treacherous coast. You can still see many of the wrecks, along with other man-made and natural points of interest.
Canadian Rockies: Castle Mountain Lookout Trail (Map 7/C2)
This 4 km (2.5 mile) trek up the side of Castle Mountain leads to the old Mount Eisenhower Fire Lookout. You can find the trailhead 5 km (3 miles) west of Castle Junction on the Bow Valley Parkway (Highway 1A). Although short, the trail is quite steep, gaining 520 m (1,690 ft) in elevation. The trail leads from the forest to meadows full of wildflowers (in season) and an exposed cliff, which offers great views of the Bow Valley. Experienced rock climbers can continue from the scenic lookout and onto Goat Ledge.
Eastern Ontario: Rideau Trail (Map 8, 9, 15, 23, 24, 34, 35)
The Rideau Trail is a fantastic long distance hiking trail that is known throughout Eastern Ontario by hiking enthusiasts. It was established in 1971 and spans 387 km (240 mi) from Kingston to Ottawa, passing several towns and settlements along the way, including Perth and Smiths Falls. The trail is divided into three sections, the Kingston, Central and Ottawa sections. The Kingston portion travels north from near the shore of Lake Ontario, quickly ascending into the rolling hills of the Frontenac Axis. The Central portion is the most rugged and often involves rocky granite hills and low use trail conditions. The Ottawa section of the trail is characterized by lowland terrain, mixed with agriculture and the odd mixed forest. For an extended trip, there are a number of provincial parks that the trail passes near or through that can offer overnight camping. For a more rustic trail experience, there are a few established user maintained campsites found along the way. In general, the trail is well marked and the difficulty of the route depends on how far and where hikers plan to travel. While hiking is the main activity, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are possible in winter on the more maintained sections near urban centres. A guidebook is available from local retailers offering a detailed map and description of all sections of the trail.
New Brunswick: Grand Manan Trails (Map 1/D4)
Grand Manan and its neighbouring islands create a special treat for hikers. Over 70 km (43 mi) of trails are maintained on the island, allowing visitors of all levels of ability to enjoy at least one portion of the existing pathways. The western side of the island is quite rugged, characterized by rock walls or cliffs that can reach 100 metres (328 ft) and span approximately 25 km (16 mi). The eastern side of the island contrasts this jagged landscape with land that has been settled for hundreds of years, which is much more friendly and forgiving. It is also the more populous part of the island. The group of islands, including Ross and White Head Islands to the southeast, is full of incredible scenery. They are a favourite destination for birdwatchers and whale watchers alike. Those interested in the geology of the area will certainly be intrigued by the unique rock formations and evidence of glacial activity that typify the landscape. In general, the trails form a loop around Grand Manan and the smaller islands, with some trails cutting though the centre of Grand Manan to allow access to the island's various communities. Below are descriptions of some of the more popular parts to the trail system, which have been broken up into sections. A more detailed description of the Grand Manan Trails is also available for purchase from local retailers.