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Hut to Hut Hiking on the Charlevoix Traverse

A few years ago John and I included a winter visit to the scenic Charlevoix region located less than 100 kilometres northeast of Quebec City. On that trip we enjoyed a stunning drive, albeit a hair-raising one along Highway 381, through a dramatic landscape of lumpy mountains and frozen rivers that included Parc national des Grands-Jardins with its sub-Arctic taiga-like terrain. At that time I knew there were backcountry huts in the area used by…

Mississagi Provincial Park – A Northern Ontario Treasure

Mississagi Provincial Park, located just 25 kilometres north of the city of Elliot Lake, has been called "one of Ontario's last true natural parks." The park offers visitors a chance to hike, canoe, bike, swim and enjoy nature in a park that aside from 60 front-country campsites, seven backcountry campsites and seven hiking trails is preserved in its natural state. Mississagi Provincial Park features one of the best views in Ontario, an incredible fall foliage display (!!!)…

The Hike to Black Prince Cirque

The hike to Black Prince Cirque is easy to access off the Smith Dorrien Road in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. In actuality, few people hike to Black Prince Cirque or even Black Prince Lake. Instead they stop at the very photogenic Warspite Lake - just a few kilometres from the trailhead. Warspite Lake is the first stop on the hike The majority of visitors head for Warspite Lake – via a 4.3 kilometre loop trail.…

Lake Superior Coastal Trail Hike

A Challenging Hike on the Lake Superior Coastal Trail

"The Lake Superior Coastal Trail is more difficult than the Coastal Trail in Pukaskwa National Park" exclaims one of the staff working at the Lake Superior Provincial Park Visitor Centre. I roll my eyes - thinking "as if". What does she really know? Now that I've hiked a major section of the Lake Superior Coastal Trail over a three day period - and not the most difficult section which is the 20 kilometres from Gargantua…

The Hike to Agawa Falls in Northern Ontario

Interested in seeing Agawa Falls - one of the highest waterfalls in Lake Superior Provincial Park that's only accessible on foot via the Towab Trail? While the hike to Agawa Falls is definitely a worthwhile outing - it would be easy to be put off attempting it as a day hike if you read the estimated hiking time in the Lake Superior Provincial Park Information Guide. The park brochure suggests 8 -14 hours to do…

The Powderface Ridge Hike near Bragg Creek

If you want a moderate hike that gets your heart rate up, delivers Rocky Mountain views and wildflower filled meadows do the Powderface Ridge hike near Bragg Creek. The trailhead is about an hour's scenic drive from Calgary - about 10 minutes past Elbow Falls and the trailhead to the popular Prairie Mountain hike. While there are several variations of this hike, we did the straightforward up and back hike from the trailhead to a…

5 Easy Rocky Mountain Hikes Within 2 Hours of Calgary

If you're in the mood for an easy family-friendly hike but with the option for something more, these five Rocky Mountain hikes - all within a two hour drive of Calgary (and the Calgary airport should you be visiting from out of town) should fit the bill. From Kananaskis Country to Banff National Park, there's something for every type of hiker. All of these five hikes are popular ones so do expect to be sharing…

Hidden Gems Along Ontario’s Bruce Trail

For Philip Gosling and the other founders of the Bruce Trail, the Bruce was code for wilderness. The near 800-kilometre-long footpath follows the Niagara Escarpment across Southern Ontario, connecting Niagara Falls to the Bruce Peninsula, which separates Lake Huron from Georgian Bay. Assigned to write an article about hidden gems in the southern Bruce Peninsula for the Bruce Trail magazine, I headed up to Wiarton for a near 70 kilometre, three-day hike. More importantly, I…

An Unforgettable Weekend at Purcell Mountain Lodge

"We call it the Purcell stair climber" exclaims Kevin Blades, a veteran mountain hiking guide at Purcell Mountain Lodge. The approach to Porcupine Ridge, our goal for the day, is certainly steep at times but with high alpine scenery that's in the world-class category, it's not a hardship to be hiking here, even if it means I'm sucking wind at times. In fact John and I reveled in the fact that we were able to…

The Ptarmigan Cirque Hike in Kananaskis Country

If you want a short hike that delivers superlative mountain scenery in short order do the popular Ptarmigan Cirque hike in Kananaskis Country. It's a 3.6 kilometre loop (if you include the interpretive trail) with a family-friendly 210 metres of elevation gain. There is the option to hike a section of the scramblers trail that heads for Mt. Rae. The perfect hike for out-of town guests new to mountains For a short hike Ptarmigan Cirque…

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