The Best Canadian Running Trails

By , and on October 8, 2014

Banff National Park and the City of Banff, AB

With over 3 million visitors per year, Banff is Canada’s most popular National Park. It’s majestic beauty is only surpassed by its incredible network of more than 1600 kilometres of defined trails. What makes running in Banff great is the variety. While most people associate epic multi-day backpacking trips with the Park, there are many kilometres of great trails in, and around the town of Banff itself. Incredible trails located mere kilometers from the town include those around Lake Minnewanka (such as Aylmer Lookout), Cory-Edith Pass, Tunnel Mountain, and the network at the base of Norquay Ski Hill (including Stony Squaw, Mystic Pass, and Cascade Amphitheatre).

Waterton Park, AB

Tucked-away in the southwestern corner of Alberta, Waterton Lakes National Park is a much smaller park than Banff. This sister park to Montana’s Glacier National Park is a gem in it’s own right – featuring some of the most beautiful trails I’ve ever explored. From the small, charismatic town of Waterton, epic trails are only a short drive, or boat ride away. Recommendations are the challenging, yet awe-inspiring Crypt Lake trail (~17 km), or the incredible Akamina Ridge trail (~22 km). These trails are not all entirely runable, but definitely worth your time and effort! Bears are common in both parks, so be prepared!

Simon Donato, PhD is a Canadian geologist, entrepreneur, television host, world renowned explorer, and ultra-endurance athlete. Visit: www.adventurescience.ca

Gatineau Park, ON

Trail running is a great way to get away from the craziness of life and pavement. When you don’t have to travel for hours to do this, its even better. Gatineau Park is big, has 165 km of hiking trails, 90 km of mountain bike trails, the Trans Canada Trail passes through it plus its only 4 kilometres from downtown Ottawa. Hard to ask for more. Hit the popular Wolf trail for huge rock look offs, follow an old settler’s trail to a fire tower, stop at quiet wood cabins for a break. The trails vary in difficulty, are all full of nature, views, history and are well marked. If its winter, the trails turn into hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country ski trails.

Noel Paine is a runner 27+ years of experience running everything from the 100m hurdles to 100-kilomtre ultramarathons. Gatineau Park trails: http://www.ncc-ccn.gc.ca/places-to-visit/gatineau-park/things-to-do/hiking-walking-gatineau-park Personal blog: http://noelpaine.wordpress.com


BC Endowment Lands, West of Vancouver, BC

My favorite place for trail running is the UBC Endowment Lands. It was my place of solitude during the stress of my university years. It was the place I shared special moments and conversations with my closest friends; where I trained for 3 marathons (included Ironman), countless triathlons and numerous 10 KM races; where I kept my sanity while studying at UBC; it was while running in the UBC Endowment Land trails I learned about leadership, grit, commitment, and blood, sweat & tears from former Olympian coaches – Thelma Wright and Doug Clement. I encourage all runners to get into nature and experience the beauty of their local trails, "To me, exercise / running is not about what kind of outfit you are wearing or how much make-up you have on while you pose at the gym. It is a meditative experience where I am one with both nature and the sound of my beating heart as they calm the "busyness" of my mind into a state of pure bliss and joy."

Christina Bjorndal, ND is a mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend and colleague. Visit: www.drchrisbjorndal.com

 

 

About Charleen Wyman

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