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The academics are at it! And some other dedicated folks, too...

Herein are links to hiking and trail organizations, plus some general sites with walking information. I've listed them first for North America, then Canada, then regions of Canada, then the United States, and finally international. There are also links here for people looking for walking and other sports equipment.

At the end, you'll find links to some weird and wonderful sites dealing with some aspect of walking.

I try to note, when I'm aware of it, the presence of aspects of walks that are not healthy for walkers. In North America and in particular the deadly all terrain vehicle mars some "multi-use" trails.. Some sections of the Trans Canada Trail, for example, allow ATVs and snowmobiles. Be warned. Other great trails sometimes have to occasionally use nasty suburban areas and minor highways to stay continuous. Yet others pass near areas with loud traffic or other less than attractive noises.
Trent University, based in Peterborough, Ontario, has a Trail Studies Unit. It's really cool, with all sorts of information on trail culture, trail building, history and so on. it also has some really fine links to sites around the world.

Wanna build a trail? Check out the Rails to Trails Conservancy. This is a fascinating (U.S.) site, dedicated to helping communities build trails from old rail lines.

North America

Trailpeak is a British Columbia-based community-driven site with all sorts of listings of trails across North America for not only hiking, but mountain biking, skiing, canoeing and kayaking. The bias is toward Canadian trails. The writing can be shaky at times (depending upon the skill of the person contributing), but the likes and dislikes of users is straight ahead. Founder Kurt Turchan offers GPS and compass courses.


National Trail signThe National Hiking Trail is aiming to be 10,000 km long, stretching across Canada. At this point, 3,000 km exist, so there are obviously big blank spots in it. It has been going since 1971. It doesn't have as high a profile as the Trans Canada Trail because its not a "multi-use trail," but when it's done, it will be a hiker's heaven — a walking trail from coast to coast! The NHT site is not as flashy as the TCT, but the vehicle-free trails are something every walker should support. This trail  incorporates parts of provincial trails, including the TCT. It has a number of links to provincial sections of the trail. Many of them are "under construction" or pretty skimpy, but check out Hike BC for some good listings in British Columbia. The Quebec link describes the Sentier Trail and the Ontario link has a good description of a day hike on the  Marathon Trail between Marathon  and Pukaskwa National Park. It's part of the Voyageur Trail, listed in the Ontario section below.. The Newfoundland link has a great shot of the awesome 50-metre suspension bridge on the East Coast Trail.

The International Appalachian Trail runs from Katahdin (the northernmost part of the Appalachian Trail in Maine) to the Gaspé in Quebec, across the Gulf of St. Lawrence to northern Newfoundland.
Trans Canada Trail logo When the Trans Canada Trail is finished it will be some 18,078 km. (11,233) long, which is pretty impressive. Some of it will incorporate wilderness trails like the Voyageur Trail and fine trails like the Bruce Trail in Ontario, which makes this a world-class trail in sections. It is marred by sections which allow ATVs. The TCT trail website plays this down and it's confusing to find exactly where the trail is at times, so it is particularly hard to find exactly where the trail allows ATVs.

canada trails logoCanada Trails has lists of trails and other travel information, not only for walkers but for other outdoor sports as well. It's hard to know who runs this site; they have no "about us," so you're on your own here. Nevertheless, some good info here.

Canadian Volkssport Association logoTake a Volksmarch with a Volkssports Association. The Canadian Volkssport Association oversees local chapters. Volkssports involve walks, swims, cross-country skiing and bike riding. Walking (Volksmarching) is by far the most popular. All Volkssports are rigorously non-competitive. Local chapters include the Volkssport Association of Alberta and the Cape Briton Island Hoppers Volksport Club. You can also find international clubs at their site. See the CVA site for a complete listing.

Way out lists trails and outdoor retail shops across Canada. A good site for skiers and bikers too.

Eastern Canada

The East Coast Trail will eventually wind for 540 kilometres along the Avalon Peninsula, the most south-easterly point of Newfoundland. At present, 220 km are completed. It looks fantastic and is high on my "to-do" lists. The Newfoundland T'Rail Council looks after the trail of the same name. It is part of the Trans Canada trail. I

Trails.com logoIt  is well worth signing on to Trails.com They have thousands of practical and detailed trail guides and maps for North America that you can download. Topos, route guides, it's a neat site.

t allows ATVs.

Quebec, Canada

Ontario, Canada

Celebration of Trails logoThe Celebration of Trails organization lists fall trail events in the Kawartha Lakes and the counties of Haliburton, Northumberland, Peterborough and Hastings in Ontario.

Central Ontario Loop Trail

The Central Ontario Loop Trail  is comprised mostly of old old rail lines and secondary roads. I find many of them rather straight and less exciting than a walk in the woods. However, they do get you to some interesting places and there are some great urban walks. When you go to this site, you can click on different trails that connect towns like Port Hope, Peterborough, Lindsay and Bancroft. Some of it (unfortunately sections near me in Hastings County) allow ATVs, so I seldom use them. Check carefully to see who is allowed to use the particular set of trails you want to walk.

The Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance is mostly all about ATVs, and the trails it oversees are ATV-friendly, so this organization is of limited use to walkers. Still, there are useful links here.

Hike Ontario is a volunteer organization for and about hiking, walking and related issues. Its trail list link sends you to the Ontario Trails Council list (see below). Many trail organizations are members of this organization, so its a handy way to track specific trails and find out who supports and runs them.

The Kawartha Trans Canada Trail is the part of the TCT in and around Peterborough, Ontario.
The Kawartha section, work hard to keep ATVs off the trail. Sometimes doing this involves the cops. For example, police charged five ATVers in October 2008 for illegally using the trail. Snowmobiles are allowed.

A guide to Trails in Peterborough County is part of Trent University's Trail Studies Site, which I've raved about elsewhere. However, this is a comprehensive listing of trails and canoe routes for Peterborough County in Central Ontario.
In Ottawa, the National Capital Commission's site has all kinds of information for tourists. Its "Explore the Outdoors" section has listings of trails on the Greenbelt and in parks (including Gatineau Park) and has some useful maps.

The Ontario Trails Council is a coalition of trail users and organizations. You can join for $26.50. and get access to their trail listings. They've been around since 1988 and particularly promote the establishment of the Trillium Trail Network, a system of loops in Ontario to connect different trails. ATVs are part of this, so be wary.

The Parks Canada site gives an overview of parks in the province. Within the site, search for walks or hikes.

Voyageur Trail logo

The Voyageur trail is overseen by The Voyageur Trail Association. This is an informative site, with maps and descriptions of sections of the trail. Not all of the trail is completed and much of it is pretty wild (which is a good thing). I haven't tried this trail, but it looks really tempting. Part of it is incorporated into the Trans Canada Trail. The site advertises 500 kilometres of "true wilderness trail."

The West Perth Thames Nature Trail runs along the Thames River north of London. The web page indicates some urban and some rural bits and just over 10 km of walks.. Looks pleasant and much of it is wheelchair accessible.

Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta

Alberta TrailNet has information on trails for the province, including maps. Albertans pay (per capita) more than anyone else in Canada to maintain TCT trails, so there are lots of trail to explore. Unfortunately, some allow ATVs, although it's not advertised as such on the Alberta TrailNet site. The Iron Horse Trail for example, allows ATVs.

British Columbia: Trail Organizations

United States: Trail Organizations

American Hiking Society logoThe American Hiking Society touts itself as "the only national organization that promotes and protects foot trails and the hiking experience." They've got featured trails, gear lists, and a very informative magazine. If I were American, I'd join.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is the volunteer organization that works to keep up this world-class trail. There are many sites that help hikers figure out different sections of the trail, which I will list as I build up my own experiences walking the trail. However, here are a few tasters: Kathy Bilton's page on fred.net, with tons of great information; Trailplace, which offers a handbook for through-hikers and has lots of handy tips; a great Google maps site that pinpoints about 300 places to camp along the entire length of the trail. (By the way, if you stumble upon  Appalachiantrail.com, I find it a surprisingly uninformative site, the ownership of which is not clear.)

The International Appalachian Trail originally set its sights on running from Katahdin (the northernmost part of the Appalachian Trail in Maine) to the Gaspé in Quebec. Their goal is now much larger. It now involves walkers and trails across continents.

pct-trailThe Pacific Crest Trail Association oversees the "PCT" trail. It's a staggering 2,650 miles (4,265 kilometres) trail. A trail that many walkers can only dream of walking. Very roughly 500 to 800 start out to do the whole trail. About 60% make it, according to the Association.

Trails.com logoIt  is well worth signing on to Trails.com They have thousands of practical and detailed trail guides and maps for North America that you can download. Topos, route guides, it's a neat site.

Britain: Trail Organizations

Ramblers Association logoThe Ramblers Association touts itself as the biggest organization of its kind in Britain. It has tons of information, including maps about walking in Great Britain, Europe and indeed the world.

Anthony Houghton's Strolling Guides are excellent. He's got a wealth of photos, good tips and so on, mostly for Britain, but a few other spots like Amsterdam. An accomplished vishwawalker indeed. I've made use of Anthony's information elsewhere on my site.

The Thames Path National Trail runs along the Thames River from the mouth up to the source in the Cotswolds. (One site describes it as a "pub crawl"!) It is about 294 km (184 miles) long. Here's a good unofficial guide.

Walking Britain lists a number of good walks across Britain, along with lots of general advice to help make walking more comfortable and fun.

International: Trail Organizations

See the International Appalachian Trail link in the U.S. section above.


Check out Foot.com: the foot health network, which advertises itself as "the most comprehensive source of foot health and foot care on the web."

Articles, gadgets, weird stuff


bionic leg apparatus from Honda Here's an interesting "walking gadget" from Honda that takes some stress off the knees. No price tag on this, but I'd guess it's not cheap. From a CBC article, November 7, 2008.

APO Hiking SocietyHow about a listen to the APO Hiking Society?. APO stands for Apolinario Mabini. They're a Filipino group and they've been around since 1973.

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Page created: February 3, 2009
Updated: April 6, 2013