The Great Trail is 27,000 kilometres of trail across 13 Canadian provinces and territories.
Over the years, Julie’s made sure I get my paws onto hundreds of kilometres of that trail. Currently, I live about 2 blocks from Hunters Bay in Huntsville, Ontario. Every morning, Julie brings me here for a jaunt starting at Avery Beach and heading either south-west across a couple of cool boardwalks or north-east toward downtown Huntsville.
Either direction is pretty great but I do prefer the south-west because we get out of town pretty quickly and I can smell the cow poop and deer scat. Deer scat is ridiculously shaped. When I first saw some I thought someone has dropped their Raisinettes. However, on first sniff they had an odour of berries and apples and dirt and wet leaves. Definitely not chocolate covered raisins.
Of the Great Trail, I’ve been on many stretches in many provinces. Here a list of what I remember from East to West starting in Nova Scotia:
- Cobequid Trail – 16 km
- Shubenacadie River – 35 km
- Dartmouth Harbourfront Trail – 3.65 km
- Guysborough Nature Trail – 56.68 km
- Guysborough Rail Trail – 65.70 km
- Gully Lake Trail – 23.54 km
- Fundy Footpath – 43.41 km
- Wolastoq Valley Trail – 117.04 km – However, Julie got tuckered out and we turned back about halfway down so we could get to the Jeep before dark.
- Le Petit Témis – though this section is 144.26 km, Julie and i started in Riviere-du-Loop and went about 25 km out and then back again. I think this is Julie’s favourite place to stop when going between Ontario and Nova Scotia. She even brought her sisters here.
- Huntsville to Uderson and back again – approximately 60 km. while cool in the treed, too many roads in this section. Yuck. People in cars are a little mad and reckless.
- Voyageur Trail – Wawa – 21.6 km out and back. Great walk after a day in the Jeep coming across Canada . . . both the first and second time!
- Lake Superior Water Trail – this section is almost 1,000 km long. Nope, we didn’t do it. But we did the section from downtown Thunder Bay out to Amethyst harbour and back. We saw that Sleeping Giant . . . HUGE!
- Pine Tree Pathways – on the drive, it is a good idea to stop in Vermilion and start at Eagle Lake for this great leg stretcher. The smells. . . ..oh my GAWD.
- When in Winnipeg, the Red River North Trail (401.94 km) is pretty cool weaving around . .. many beaches what suit me just fine to run and splash a bit. We didn’t do it all but enough to work the cramps out of Julie’s legs.
- City of Regina – 25.18 km – a great trail to be in the cart behind Julie’s bike. Zooming fast!
- City of Moose Jaw – 11.03 km – Really turny twisty trail in the city though. Julie fell a few times off the bike. I think she needed to rest more.
- Medicine hat – 19.79 km. Another trail where Julie towed me in the cart. I like these trips because she stops a little shops for treats . . . french fries and ice cream cones for me!
- City of Calgary – we went EVERYWHERE! Especially with Silas we rode many kilometres. Downtown past the stampede place and to Eau Claire (ice cream again) and out to Edworthy Park! And then we’d go to Glenmore Reservoir and to Fish Creek Provincial Park – that was a great place to bike with Silas!
- Town of Canmore – 20.67 km and a great place to WALK! I thought I was drunk on the mountain air!
- North Star Rails to Trails – 24.73 km – towed behind Julie in the cart because this was ALL paved!
- Cranbrook to Vancouver! So many place we stopped to find the trail. There were many trips between Cranbrook and Vancouver in the 2 years living in Cranbrook, So many section of the trail I cannot remember them all . Here are a few: A bit of the Columbia River Trail out of Castlegar, north out of Samlo, Columbia and Western Trail out of Grand Forks for 40 or so kilomtres, a leg stretching section of Greenwood (more ice cream)
- Naramata to Summerland and back…a few times.
- Hope – 18. 04 km – lunch at the Bird bird or something cafe (Julie bought me a hamburger . . . she is a vegetarian but treats me, thank you very much). The Othelle Tunnels are eeerie and fantastics – I chased the bats!
- False Creek – with my love Kieffer! We’d walk around False Creek from his place in Olympic Village. And we’d bike, too ALL OVER THE PLACE IN VANCOUVER!!!! Stanley Park! Deep Cove! Spanish Banks!!!! I NEED TO GO BACK THERE! OH, I would probably take Julie with me.