As we navigate winter along the West Coast, whether as locals or visitors, it can be tempting to hunker down and take advantage of indoor pursuits.
But a winter campaign from the folks behind the Trans Canada Trail – or TCT – reminds us of both the beauty of winter, and of the season’s opportunities for wellness and adventure.
The ‘Blahs to Ahhhs’ campaign begins on Blue Monday and continues through mid-March, encouraging us to combat the winter blues by transforming the coldest months into a time of joy and exploration.
“The TCT is a reminder of the beauty in togetherness and outdoor exploration, regardless of the weather,” says Meghan Reddick, Chief Communications & Marketing Officer at Trans Canada Trail.
Spanning more than 28,000 kilometres, the TCT is the world’s longest trail network and links three oceans – the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic. It can be hiked, cycled, skied, snowshoed and even traversed by horseback or snowmobile, and as it weaves through diverse landscapes, it connects 15,000 communities, including rural, urban and Indigenous reserves.
Here in Western Canada, the trail travels a variety of landscapes, from the Rocky Mountains in Alberta and British Columbia to the vast, wild expanses of the Yukon and Northwest Territories. Travellers can experience anything from dense forests and craggy mountain ranges to serene lakes and rolling farmlands.
Here on the West Coast, travellers will have the chance to see a variety of wildlife, too, such as bears, moose and eagles. Because the trail passes through several protected areas and national parks, the likelihood of seeing wildlife is even greater.
Educational programs and interpretive signage along the way provide insights into the various regions’ ecological significance.
And perfect for photography enthusiasts, the trail also offers some of the most picturesque landscapes in Canada, like the Icefields Parkway in Alberta and the breathtaking coastal routes in B.C.
The ‘must-dos’ on the TCT
The main section of the Trans Canada Trail runs along the Canada-U.S. border, across capital cities and hikes north to the Yukon through British Columbia. Mile zero is located in St-John’s, Newfoundland.
It connects rural and urban communities, making it accessible to a wide range of traveller. Both long-distance adventures and shorter segments are possible for day trips or weekend excursions. Here are a few “musts” to add to your travel plans this winter:
Visit the Banff National Park on the TCT, where you can marvel at the Canadian Rockies and numerous hiking and biking trails. In Canmore, the trail is great for biking and hiking and offers scenic view of mountains and possibly wildlife sightings. Travelling through Jasper National Park you’ll be able to see the glaciers, lakes and wildlife.
The Kettle Valley Rail Trail, particularly the section near Kelowna and Penticton, is known for its historic trestles, tunnels and stunning views of Okanagan Lake. Stanley Park in Vancouver is a perfect day trip for families, with scenic views of the city skyline and the Lions Gate Bridge. On the Cowichan Valley Trail on Vancouver Island, enjoy the rural landscapes and vineyards.
The trail around the capital city of Whitehorse will be of wilderness and urban settings, great for a leisurely day’s walk or bike ride. Carcross is known for its historic significance and beautiful natural scenery.
On the Frame Lake Trail in Yellowknife you’ll get mix of city views and northern wilderness. The Ingraham Trail gives access to several territorial parks and stunning lakes.
If you go from ‘Blah to Ahhh’ this winter:
The TCT ‘Blahs to Ahhhs’ campaign encourages users to share their experiences using the hashtags #Blahs2Ahhhs and #TransCanadaTrail. Even better, you’ll have the chance to win some great prizes if you do!
For those interested in joining the winter journey, the campaign’s website offers an interactive maps.
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