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It’s A Wrap: HikeBikeTravel Highlights Of 2014 In Pictures

It’s a Wrap: HikeBikeTravel Highlights of 2014 in Pictures

I can’t believe 2014 is almost over. It’s a relief in many ways as it certainly felt like my busiest year ever. As much as I love traveling, it’s incredibly hard to travel, keep a blog going, write a book and try to find a balance with family and friends. I know my family is as happy as I am that my book is finished (and available for sale on my website).

I’m looking forward to 2015. I’ve got enough trips planned to keep my restless soul happy, some work that actually pays and a big garden project to satisfy my creative side.

Here’s a chronological look at HikeBikeTravel’s highlights of 2014 in pictures.

January

The year started with a short trip to Montreal. I spent most of my time discovering how easy and fun it is to be active outdoors in Montreal even in the depths of winter.

Night time view of Montreal from the Levi Tower

Night time view of Montreal from the Levi Tower

Columbia Valley, British Columbia

The Columbia Valley is only three hours from Calgary yet other than cross-country skiing at Panorama Mountain for a few hours, I’d never explored the place. John and I both loved skiing the Whiteway. Next time, we’ll skate it, as it’s Canada’s longest skating rink with close to 30 kilometres of maintained ice.

Cross-country skiing the Whiteway

Cross-country skiing the Whiteway

February

I booked a two night stay at Shadow Lake Lodge in Banff National Park, about eight months in advance so I could get a cabin for Family Day weekend. The lodge is only accessible in winter via skis or snowshoes; the area around it is also fantastic for exploring on skis.

Our cabin at Shadow Lake Lodge in Banff National Park

Our cabin at Shadow Lake Lodge in Banff National Park

Algonquin Park is delight in winter. John and I had one of our best days of cross-country skiing ever.

The expansive view from the cabin on the Pinetree Loop

The expansive view from the cabin on the Pinetree Loop

March

Superb cross-country skiing, this time at Mont Ste. Anne just outside of Quebec City, was definitely a highlight of the month.

Cross-country skiing at Mont Ste-Anne just outside of Quebec City

Cross-country skiing at Mont Sainte-Anne just outside of Quebec City

April

Even though it was a short trip, I managed to spend two days in Dresden after a Social Media Travel Conference in Leipzig, Germany. Loved the city, loved the cycling and would happily go back. Speeding in a Porsche while in Leipzig was also a thrill.

Exceptional biking around Dresden

Exceptional biking around Dresden

May

Over the May long weekend, John and I drove to Meadow Lake Provincial Park in central Saskatchewan and hiked several sections of the Boreal Trail over three days. It turned out to be a great time to go as there wasn’t a bug around. The highlight of the trip happened on the drive home. Shortly after leaving the park, an owl flew eye to eye alongside our car for some distance. What an experience and such a thrill!

A pretty section of river along the Boreal Trail in Saskatchewan

A pretty section of river along the Boreal Trail

June

The latter half of June was spent in Newfoundland. Not only did the weather cooperate, every experience from hiking the East Coast Trail to kayaking with icebergs was first rate. It’s hard to pick a highlight with so many but I’d have to say that seeing icebergs en masse was a buzz and the scenery at the top of the gorge on the Long Range Traverse was breathtaking – quite literally as it took several hours of tough hiking to reach the top.

Checking out Iceberg Alley in Twillingate, Newfoundland

Checking out Iceberg Alley in Twillingate, Newfoundland

The view from the top of the gorge on the Long Range Traverse, Newfoundland

The view from the top of the gorge on the Long Range Traverse, Newfoundland

July

Two back to back trips in July were incredible. One was a canoeing trip on the Churchill River in Saskatchewan which opened my eyes to the beauty of the province, and the other a superlative week long kayaking trip in Gwaii Haanas National Park Preserve in Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlottes).

Sunset over the Churchill River in Saskatchewan

Sunset over the Churchill River in Saskatchewan

First rate sea kayaking in Gwaii Haanas National Park

First rate sea kayaking in Gwaii Haanas National Park

August

August was non-stop traveling as I tried to complete all 100 adventures for my book. Canoeing the Cameron River to Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories turned out to be a far more beautiful than I ever expected, especially in Hidden Lake Territorial Park.

Georgian Bay like scenery in Hidden Lake Territorial Park, NWT

Georgian Bay like scenery in Hidden Lake Territorial Park, NWT

A quick trip to Manitoba opened our eyes to the beauty of the Caddy Lakes.

Canoeing through one of the Caddy Lake Tunnels

Canoeing through one of the Caddy Lake Tunnels

Our week in the Yukon Territory offered so much world-class scenery, especially in Kluane National Park and the Tombstone Mountain Range. The three day backpacking trip into the Tombstones is definitely one of the top adventures in my book.

Looking at Grizzly Lake, our destination for the night, Tombstone Mountain Range

Looking at Grizzly Lake, our destination for the night, Tombstone Mountain Range

Hiking the Auriol Trail in Kluane National Park

Hiking the Auriol Trail in Kluane National Park

September

The last adventure for the book took us to Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park, home to world-class mountain scenery and extraordinary hiking. Don’t miss it.

The day after I finished all 100 adventures, John tore his retina and couldn’t do much for the better part of two months. Trips to the mountains were out as you can’t travel to altitude and a Thanksgiving trip to Toronto was cancelled as flying was also out of the question. At least his timing was good.

Hiking the Nublet in Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park

Hiking the Nublet in Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park

October

At the end of the month, I helped my mother celebrate her 80th birthday with an afternoon tea at the Butchart Gardens in Victoria.

Fantastic fall colours in late October in the Japanese section of the Butchart Gardens

Fantastic fall colours in late October in the Japanese section of the Butchart Gardens

November

I didn’t travel anywhere but at least I managed to get out for a couple of good hikes, including one of my faves – Prairie Mountain in Kananaskis Country.

Descending Prairie Mountain in Kananaskis Country

Descending Prairie Mountain in Kananaskis Country

December

With my book finally out, it’s been a busy month for marketing and sales, not so much for traveling. Thankfully we had a few days in the Lake Louise area just after Christmas to clear our heads and get some exercise.

Skiing the Pipestone Trails in the Lake Louise area

Skiing the Pipestone Trails in the Lake Louise area

To start the New Year we have a ski trip planned to Sundance Lodge in Banff National Park. That’s my idea of a great way to start the year!

What was your best adventure in 2014?

Leigh McAdam

 

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 57,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 11 Comments
  1. Wow, what a super-active year you had, Leigh. So many fun adventures; I’m especially intrigued by Newfoundland. Wishing you all the best – and more fun travels of course – in 2015 🙂

  2. It makes me tired just reading about everything you did in 2014, Leigh, it certainly was an incredible year! Your photos are all beautiful and the adventures you describe are amazing. I’m glad that you are having a chance to relax a bit now that the book is complete – I think reading it has inspired us to do a little more travel in Canada next summer!

    1. @Lisa If you haven’t been to Newfoundland with the family, I think that would be very worthwhile – same with Nova Scotia. The North is fantastic and the Yukon is very accessible but from Ontario you do need some time to properly explore it. It feels great not to be writing every waking minute though I should be marketing.

  3. Sorry that I did not get to this back in December…I had disengaged at Christmas time, Leigh. I loved this year in review and as I went back over everything it brought back so many personal memories for me both happy and sad in my personal life. I’m very grateful that you were there and a part of it and my good friend through so very much. I’m always so grateful to you, my friend 🙂

    1. @Mike I’m so glad you liked it. Some years are really so great and then every so often one gets rocked and dumped at the bottom of the barrel and you have to crawl your way back up again to see the light. It sounds like that is slowly happening and that’s great news.

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