Canadians are welcoming spring as health restrictions ease, which means some people are looking for adventure.
As people start to think about vacations and travel, a sportswear company has calculated which countries are the most popular hiking destinations in the world as well as the 10 Best Hiking Routes in Canadabased on the number of hiking-related Instagram posts and Google searches for hiking destinations around the world.
Based on these factors, Sportsshoes.com crowned Spain the most popular hiking destination in the world, with Japan and England in second and third place.
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Closer to home, the company reviewed more than 50 hiking routes in Canada before determining the most popular.
The 10 most popular hiking routes in Canada include five routes in British Columbia and two in Alberta. Quebec, Ontario and Newfoundland are also on the list.
#1 Bruce Trail
One of Canada’s oldest trails, this Ontario trail winds along the Niagara Escarpment. Hikers can experience waterfalls, streams, and rivers leading to Niagara Falls, accessible via a side trail.
#2 East Coast Trail
This 336 kilometer coastal trail passes through 30 communities and offers views of Signal Hill, St. John’s, Cape Spear, Ferryland as well as historic lighthouses and icebergs. This trail features abundant wildlife: birds, whales, marine and plant life.
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#3 West Coast Trail
Vancouver Island, BC
This once infamous hiking route was originally designed as a way to rescue survivors of a shipwreck on the coastline. It was originally known as the Dominion Lifesaving Trail. It runs along a stretch of coast subject to unpredictable weather conditions, rocky reefs and shifting sandbanks. Hikers encounter white sand beaches and dense, lush forests, but the trail is more challenging and best suited to intermediate to advanced hikers.
#4 Black Defense
Garibaldi Provincial Park, BC
The Black Tusk is a stratovolcano and volcanic rock summit in Garibaldi Provincial Park. It rises to 2,319 meters above sea level and its highest peak is visible from afar at all distances. One of the best places to see it is from the Sea-to-Sky Highway, just south of Whistler.
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#5 Chief Stawamus
The Stawamus Chief, officially called Stawamus Chief Mountain, is a 700 meter granite dome next to the town of Squamish near Howe Sound. It is one of the largest granite monoliths in the world. The trail takes you up to one of three peaks. There are a few tricky sections, but ladders and tow chains can help. It is possible to hike all three peaks in the same day.
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#6 Mont Albert
This is a 20-kilometre loop near Mont-Albert, a territory in the Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine region of Quebec. It is considered a difficult route, taking over seven hours to complete. It is popular for hiking, camping, and backpacking. The trail is open year round.
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#7 Juan de Fuca Trail
Vancouver Island, BC
The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is a 47 kilometer wilderness hiking trail located inside Juan de Fuca Provincial Park along the southwest coast of Vancouver Island. The trail runs from China Beach, west of Sooke, to Botanical Beach, just outside Port Renfrew.
#8 Rim Trail
Interior of British Columbia
The Rim Trail is a circular hike in Cathedral Provincial Park in interior British Columbia. The majority of the route runs along a mountain ridge. It is known to be visually stunning and inspires incredible photography.
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#9 Plain of Six Glaciers
Lake Louise, AB
The famous turquoise waters of Lake Louise are surrounded by mountains inside Banff National Park. The Plain of Six Glaciers hike offers iconic views of the lake. The hike begins with an easy walk along the shoreline of Lake Louise, then continues into the beautiful mountain amphitheater.
#10 Turtle Mountain
Crowsnest Pass, Alberta
The Turtle Mountain Trail is approximately 7.4 miles round trip. It is classed as a difficult route, taking an average of around four hours. It’s popular for hiking, backpacking, and snowshoeing, but also offers peace and serenity. The trail is open year-round, but the best times to visit are June through October.
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The company used Google Search Data to analyze global search volumes using the terms “walking and country” and “walking holiday and country” over the past 12 months, then combined them with the number of Instagram hashtags to #hike+country and gave each destination its own rating.
Countries were then ranked according to this score.
The study, conducted by SportsShoes.com, analyzed Google searches for more than 500 hiking routes, as well as walking and hiking holidays in more than 100 countries, before combining this with the number of Instagram hashtags for each. , to create an index that determined the best destinations for a hike.
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10. Northern Ireland
Spain tops the list, with 170,830 annual searches and 3,100 hashtags associated with a hiking adventure there.
Japan follows closely and England takes third place, with over 124,000 searches and 1,600 hashtags for hiking holidays.
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