With the new year approaching, many of us outdoor enthusiasts have a few new hiking destinations added to our 2017 backcountry bucketlist. For some of us, it may be hitting up a state park a few hours away. For others, it could be a road trip to the other side of the United States, visiting some of the country’s most popular national parks.
But, while the U.S. certainly has A LOT to see, you might want to take your expeditions a little more north in the coming year.
Here’s why Canada belongs on your 2017 backcountry bucketlist:
1. The Trans Canada Trail Will Be Complete
Remember the Trans Canada Trail, also known as the Great Trail? That incredible concept by Canada to create a trail that’s the longest in the world? Well, if you haven’t heard of it, we’ll fill you in. The Great Trail spans over 24,000 km (15,000 mi) and involves a network of recreational trails throughout the entire country. Therefore, you can literally hike from one end to another one of the largest countries in the world. Or, you can do other outdoor activities, like biking or paddling, too. The trail started being put together in 1992, and after 25 years of construction come 2017, it will be completed. Already 21,000 km of the trail are ready to use, but we can’t wait until it’s all done just in time for Canada’s special year.
Which brings us to our next reason…
2. Canada’s 150 Birthday
This year in the United States, we celebrated the National Parks’ 100th birthday. And, if you like partaking in these kind of celebrations, then you’ll be happy to know that this year Canada will be celebrating its 150th birthday! Like the U.S., this means that all of Canada’s National Parks will be free. That’s right, free! There will also be festivals and celebrations going on throughout the country. If that’s not a reason to add this destination to your 2017 backcountry bucketlist, we don’t know what is!
3. See Unbelievable Outdoor Sights and Phenomena
Sure, the U.S. is full of some of the world’s most amazing sights. But, Canada takes it to a whole new level. If you have the urge to step out of your comfort zone, then step right into Canada’s backcountry in 2017. Whether you prefer the coast, the Arctic, the mountains, the lakes, or the thick, thriving landscapes in between, there’s something here for every kind of hungry outdoor enthusiast. From seeing the Northern Lights to glacier lakes and hello-the Canadian Rockies…you’re set! And, let’s of course not forget about the wildlife in Canada. From whales to seals to polar bears, there’s a lot of “cool” creatures you just can’t catch in the U.S.
4. Four Beautiful Seasons
While our neighbor up north may be a bit colder than we’re used to, the country (for the most part) experiences the four seasons. Unlike in the U.S. where you need to escape the winter hiking season for warmer areas, Canadians embrace the cold when it’s cold and the sun when it’s warm. So, no matter what kind of weather you prefer, you can add Canada to your 2017 bucketlist when it’s most convenient for you!
5. More Hiking Buddies!
Okay, we like to stay away from stereotypes on LTBC. But, come on? Have you ever met a Canadian you didn’t like? They are said to be very friendly, very polite, and most love getting outdoors whenever they get the chance! Alright, so maybe that last part isn’t entirely true. But, how can you not love being outside when you’re in a country like this?! Regardless of whether or not these stereotypes are true, hiking in a new country means new hiking buddies that can show you around to their favorite backcountry spots.
It’s time to put a new destination to your itinerary! Make sure you add Canada to your 2017 backcounry bucketlist!