Author: Leigh McAdam

Snow Canyon State Park near St. George, Utah is a gem filled with soaring multi-coloured sandstone cliffs, lava flows, and canyons along with a diverse array of plants and animals including 14 sensitive species. Snow Canyon is not nearly as popular as famous Zion National Park – where everyone seemingly heads for, but a few of the hikes here are mind-blowing. Described are a selection of the best hikes in Snow Canyon – some of which you can knock off in 30 minutes to an hour. Hike at least a couple of them if you’re anywhere near the area. There…

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It’s that time of year already – when I sit down to pull together the annual HikeBikeTravel outdoor lover’s holiday gift guide. I’ve got lots of suggestions from books to boots, energy bars to food dehydrators and some cozy winter wear. I’m hoping I save you a few trips to the shopping mall, and you find some new ideas that friends and family alike would enjoy. This post includes some affiliate links. If you make a qualifying purchase through one of these links, I will receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you…

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We were like most people, disappointed that we didn’t win the lottery to visit the Wave. But in hindsight, we shouldn’t have been. Coyote Buttes South is unique, visually stunning, remote, almost deserted, and there’s so much to see. The reality is that the Coyote Buttes South is the biggest and most colorful place in the entire area, far surpassing Coyote Buttes North in both size and variety of formations to ooh and aah over. And it’s way easier to score one of the 20 spots drawn daily from the lottery.  Both Coyote Buttes South and Coyote Buttes North are…

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Liverpool, Nova Scotia is under two hours by car from Halifax on Nova Scotia’s south shore at the mouth of the Mersey River. The town of about 2,600 people has a long history of privateering and rum running but today its better known for its beautiful natural landscapes and culture. This is the home of country music star Hank Snow who helped discover Elvis. That Elvis. You’ll find lots to do in and near Liverpool including visits to white sand beaches, trips to see several lighthouses, and hikes in both local parks and nearby Kejimkujik National Park Seaside. History lovers…

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Liverpool, Nova Scotia is under two hours by car from Halifax on Nova Scotia’s south shore at the mouth of the Mersey River. The town of about 2,600 people has a long history of privateering and rum running but today its better known for its beautiful natural landscapes and culture. This is the home of country music star Hank Snow who helped discover Elvis. That Elvis. You’ll find lots to do in and near Liverpool including visits to white sand beaches, trips to see several lighthouses, and hikes in both local parks and nearby Kejimkujik National Park Seaside. History lovers…

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Shelbourne, Nova Scotia is a unique town on the south shore of the province, about a 2.5-hour drive away from Halifax. It doesn’t have the star status of Peggy’s Cove and Lunenburg but what it does have is the third best natural harbour in the world, unobstructed waterfront views thanks to the filming of The Scarlett Letter in 1994 starring Demi Moore and Robert Duvall (which required burying electrical cables and refurbishing buildings), colourful 18th century buildings, great walking trails, beaches, a cool lighthouse, interesting museums, a microbrewery, a handful of wonderful places to eat – and most importantly, welcoming…

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Debbie Olsen, my friend and fellow co-author of 200 Nature Hots Spots in Alberta, is the author of another book, Top 150 Unusual Things to See in Alberta, published in summer 2022 by Firefly Books. If you thought you knew the province – and I certainly did, then I think you would be shocked at what she has uncovered. In the 272-page book, Debbie will take you across Alberta and show you loads of unusual things including unusual foods invented in Alberta, unusual festivals and events in Alberta, unusual bathrooms for regular people, and unusual sites around the province. What…

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Rossland, British Columbia is a fantastic mountain town located in the south-central part of the province. It’s a year-round outdoor lover’s paradise. In winter, Rossland is well known for world-class skiing and snowboarding at RED Mountain Resort. Come summer and fall, it shines with the hiking and mountain biking crowd.  The former gold-mining town is growing in the wake of COVID, with people moving here to enjoy easy access to nature, a laidback lifestyle in a spectacular setting, along with many of the amenities they find in a city including locally owned coffee shops, restaurants, a microbrewery, and a phenomenal…

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The Arnica Lake trail can be done as a stand-alone hike or part of a multi-day hike to Egypt Lake in Banff National Park. If you’re doing it on its own, larch season is the prettiest time of year to do it, but on a weekend at least, that comes at a cost – huge numbers of people. If possible, aim to do the hike in larch season on a weekday. What I do like about the hike apart from the larches, is that you can visit a minimum of two lakes and up to four lakes if you continue…

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Mount Lipsett is a mountain named for Major General Louis James Lipsett, who commanded the 3rd Canadian Division during WWI. It is located south of Highwood Pass, off Highway 40. The mountain is an outlier of Mist Mountain – one you’ll see up close on the Mount Lipsett hike. It’s one of many unofficial hikes in Kananaskis Country – but don’t let that deter you. You’ll be rewarded with lovely views starting about 75 minutes into the hike, great swaths of wildflowers in summer and some good fall colours, including larches come September. The mountain is accessed by a good…

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The 78-kilometre La Cloche Silhouette Trail in Ontario’s Killarney Provincial Park is a loop hike that is typically done over seven to nine days. It takes you through a beautiful landscape that includes pretty, crystal-clear lakes, stunning sections of open forest, and over white quartzite ridges that offer picturesque views of the La Cloche Mountain Range. The trail is dedicated to the memory of The Group of Seven artist, Franklin Carmichael (1890-1945) and is named for his painting La Cloche Silhouette. La Cloche Silhouette Trail summary The La Cloche Silhouette Trail is a 78 km loop that starts at the…

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My husband tested the Mountain Hardware PCT 70L backpack over seven days on the strenuous La Cloche Silhouette Trail in Ontario’s Killarney Provincial Park. He found it to be very comfortable, easy to pack, and able to carry a large load. Although he tried it on at home, he had never worn the pack before we started hiking on the trail. At the end of seven days, he pronounced it as comfortable a pack as he has ever worn in five plus decades of backpacking – and he is not getting paid to say that.   John sporting the Mountain Hardware…

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The Geraldine Lakes trail hike in Jasper National Park isn’t nearly as popular as other Jasper hikes – probably because it entails a drive up a fire road and the difficulty of the trail likely puts many people off. The hike is easy as far as the first lake, but the best views don’t kick in until you’re near the higher of the two waterfalls. At that point the level of difficulty rises dramatically. The trail doesn’t gain a lot of elevation, but when it does, it’s tough going. The reward is a beautiful view down the valley and the…

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If you’re looking for a getaway that offers outdoor adventure, world-class wineries, and several exceptional dining experiences in a sustainable and responsible manner, then the South Okanagan needs to be on your radar. This sunny, dry region in southern British Columbia is home to eight communities (Penticton, Naramata, Summerland, Peachland, Kaleden, Okanagan Falls, Oliver and Osoyoos), several lakes including Vaseux and Skaha Lakes along with 135-kilometre-long Lake Okanagan. You’ll find friendly people, awe-inspiring landscapes, pretty beaches, mountains, and a host of unique activities you won’t find in a big city. It’s an ideal destination if you want to recharge mentally…

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The Bald Hills Trail hike in Jasper National Park is for those of you who don’t mind putting up with a slog up a fire road to reach kilometres of wondrous hiking above treeline with panoramic views of Maligne Lake, the Evelyn Creek Valley, the multi-hued Opal Hills along with a glacier or two. Of eight day hikes I’ve done in Jasper National Park, it’s my favourite. Bald Hills Trail Summary One of the outstanding and popular hikes in Jasper National Park with a fantastic panorama that includes Maligne Lake, and the Queen Elizabeth ranges. Climb approximately 610 metres over…

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The Valley of the Five Lakes hike is a popular outing, especially for families, largely because it’s easy and close to the Jasper Townsite. It’s perfect for the shoulder season when there is snow at higher elevation but it’s also a pleasant after-dinner or stretch-your-legs kind of hike from late spring to fall. There are a couple of ways to lengthen the hike, including adding in a loop around the first lake or doing an out and back hike from Old Fort Point. But the hike to and from Old Fort Point might get a bit tedious because you’re in…

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Tweedsmuir Provincial Park in the West Chilcotin area of British Columbia is the home of the Rainbow Range Trail. It’s in an area not many have visited or even know about. The hike in this park is just about as close to hiking nirvana as you’re going to get. I’d call the Rainbow Range hike in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park one of the best one day hikes of my life. And that’s saying something considering how many I’ve done over the decades. It offers amazing wildflowers, beautiful tarns, rainbow coloured mountains, silence and a sense that you have this part of the…

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The Bow Valley Parkway is a 48-kilometre stretch of road between Banff and Lake Louise that parallels the Trans-Canada Highway. It’s been called the alternate scenic route between Banff National Park’s most beloved towns. On the drive you are treated to first rate views of Castle Mountain and Morant’s Curve – a gorgeous section of highway near Lake Louise that is perfect for train spotting. And for anyone looking for unique accommodation, you’ll find a collection of historic cabins that harken back to the era of 1920’s and 30’s motor bungalow camps along with a wealth of natural attractions.  The…

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The Bald Hills Trail hike in Jasper National Park is for those of you who don’t mind putting up with a slog up a fire road to reach kilometres of wondrous hiking above treeline with panoramic views of Maligne Lake, the Evelyn Creek Valley, the multi-hued Opal Hills along with a glacier or two. Of eight day hikes I’ve done in Jasper National Park, it’s my favourite. Bald Hills Trail Summary One of the outstanding and popular hikes in Jasper National Park with a fantastic panorama that includes Maligne Lake, and the Queen Elizabeth ranges. Climb approximately 610 metres over…

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Summary A double whammy of a hike as you knock off West Wind Pass and Windtower – with its astounding views of the Spray Lakes, Canmore, and the Bow Valley. The hike is 9.8 kilometres round trip with an elevation gain of 988 metres. There are a couple of easy scrambling sections.  Allow up 6 – 7 hours to do the return hike, depending on your fitness level and how sure-footed you are on steep terrain.  I have looked up at Windtower for years – both from West Wind Pass on a chilly, windy day and from the Smith Dorrien…

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Brier Island, Nova Scotia is a small island at the entrance to the world-renown Bay of Fundy, at the end of the long, narrow Fundy Spit. Even though it’s just 90 minutes and a couple of short ferry rides from Digby, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time to a place that has stayed true to its seafaring roots. The island may not have all the guest services you’re accustomed to, but it more than makes up for it with its natural beauty, complete with an amazing variety of both flora and fauna – along with one of…

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Visiting Machu Picchu is high on the list of travelers from around the world. Not only was it awarded UNESCO World Heritage site status in 1983 but Machu Picchu made the list of Wonders of the Modern World in 2007. What that means today is that visiting Machu Picchu is never going to be a solitary experience. In fact (too many) travelers see it as a rite of passage leading to visitor numbers exceeding 5,000 people per day. Every day is now a wildly busy day at Machu Picchu. The backdrop at Machu Picchu everyone wants – just after 6…

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AB

Last updated:August 8, 2022 The day trip from Calgary to do the Bourgeau Lake hike along with Harvey Pass and Mount Bourgeau is well worth the considerable effort for the magnificent views, spectacular alpine flowers and the gorgeous area around Bourgeau Lake, Harvey Lake and the lakelets. The Bourgeau Lake hike is a popular one, especially in summer. Plan to be at the parking lot early (by 7:30 AM on a weekend) to avoid disappointment as it’s illegal to park on the highway. The elevation gain to Bourgeau Lake is 749 metres (2457 feet) but to get to Harvey Pass…

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The Cascade Amphitheatre hike is not the prettiest hike you’ll do in Banff National Park. Nor is it the most interesting one, but it does provide a workout and I did enjoy seeing another side of Cascade Mountain – the big in your face mountain you can’t miss when you’re in Banff. I did the hike solo with my dog in the third week of July, and I was shocked at both how busy it was and how bad the bugs were. You are going to want to keep moving.  The hike starts at the Mt. Norquay parking lot. You…

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“Newfoundland’s East Coast Trail is a national treasure” declares Jackie Petrie, an expert on Newfoundland and Labrador dogs and friend of Elke Dettmer, one of our B&B hosts. She adds that “you can make the East Coast Trail experience into whatever you want it to be – whether it’s simply a few hours of easy walking on a path, a day hike or the full trail over two to three weeks.” The East Coast Trail weaves along the eastern edge of the Avalon Peninsula, connecting 30 historic communities along the way from Topsail Beach to Cappahayden. It’s both a coastal…

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In May I took delivery of a box of 200 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta – The Best Parks, Conservation Areas and Wild Places, co-authored with my friend Debbie Olsen. Unfortunately, they took a while to show up in stores and on Amazon so I am penning this post to let you know the book is out and its now widely available. And once again, I swear it’s my last book. It wasn’t nearly the amount of work as the first one, which was a Globe and Mail bestseller, but Debbie and I updated the whole book, added new photos…

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There aren’t many mornings I wake up at 10 AM, roll over and think to myself, I have no agenda, no must do’s or phone calls, so I’ll just sleep for as long as I want. The backstory to my late morning wake up was a direct flight from Calgary to Halifax, followed by a two hour wait for a shuttle and finally a three hour shuttle to Yarmouth in western Nova Scotia. I was in town for a travel media conference, but since nothing was happening until evening, I had a delicious day where I could do whatever I…

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Camping in Kananaskis is one of the great pleasures of summer in Alberta. Camping is a great way to enjoy a nature fix and step back from the hectic pace of normal life. It allows families and friends to reconnect and make new memories. Many campsite locations in Kananaskis offer easy access to some of the best hiking in Kananaskis, along with opportunities for biking, birding, paddling and even swimming. The term Kananaskis can be a bit confusing. Kananaskis Country refers to a huge swath of land on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, west of Calgary that is…

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John and I spent a couple of days at a lovely Airbnb near Le Havre and that’s where we found out about the must do Hirtles Beach Gaff Point Trail hike. The owner exclaimed that “the trail was varied, and the views were fantastic, especially when the Atlantic Ocean got a little moody.” So, after a lazy half day at the SENSEA Nordic Spa in Chester, we headed to Hirtles Beach for a late afternoon hike. The Hirtles Beach Gaff Point Trail hike delivered in spades. It offered a bit of everything from beach walking to forest hiking along with…

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Athabasca Falls, Jasper National Park Bighorn Falls near Sundre Blakiston Falls, Waterton Lakes National Park Bow Falls, Banff  Bow Glacier Falls, Banff National Park Cameron Falls, Waterton Lakes National Park Crescent Falls in David Thompson Country Edworthy Falls – one of the lesser-known Alberta waterfalls Grotto Canyon Falls near Canmore Johnston Canyon Falls, Banff National Park Lower Bertha Falls, Waterton Lakes National Park Lundbreck Falls, southern Alberta Mistaya Canyon Falls, Banff National Park Panther Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, Banff National Park Ram Falls Ribbon Falls – a long hike to one of the impressive Alberta waterfalls Sheep River Falls,…

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If you paddle the Powell Forest Canoe Route, you will cover 57 kilometres, via eight lakes and five portages over the course of between four to six days. We did it in five days but could have knocked it off in four as the wind was calm on our second to last day. It’s not a full-on wilderness adventure, though make no mistake – there are plenty of sections that feel wild and far from humanity. The reality is that there is a network of logging roads, some that even cross the portages, so you might hear the odd logging…

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Historic Reesor Ranch showed up on my radar a decade a go. I was on a solo trip to Grasslands National Park and had considered breaking up the drive back to Calgary with a stop for the night somewhere. I don’t remember where I read about the ranch – perhaps in a pamphlet at The Convent in Val Marie where I spent a couple of nights. I was intrigued by what I read and the pictures I saw, but I can’t believe how long it has taken me to visit. The ranch is run by Scott and Theresa Reesor with…

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I had never heard of Redmond, Oregon before I visited. I knew I was flying to central Oregon as part of a travel adventure conference but didn’t appreciate how close Redmond was to Bend – an outdoor adventurer’s kind of town that has been on my radar for some time. Once I got out a map, everything fell into place. Redmond as it turns out has a small airport – but with plenty of flights from the big airlines like America, Alaska, Delta and United so it’s an easy city to access. I also learned that there is lots to…

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My inspiration for doing the Porcupine Ridge hike came from a post I saw on Instagram in early May – a time when most Alberta hikers are chomping at the bit to get into the mountains. The photo showed a little snow up high, but most had melted because of the south facing exposure. Fast forward three weeks, and John and I did the hike. It’s a challenging one – but a rewarding one with truly exceptional views after you break through the trees, about an hour into the hike. The trail is better than I expected and darned obvious…

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If you live in the Calgary – Banff corridor chances are pretty good that you already know how fantastic the hiking is along the Kananaskis Trail (Highway 40). But out of town visitors largely have no idea that the hiking here is on par with much that is available in nearby Banff National Park. Most of the hikes on the Kananaskis Trail don’t see anywhere near the number of people you see in the national park. And nor is there a need for a park pass. Described are 12 Kananaskis trail hikes with a view I have done over the…

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Looking for the newest gear, perhaps even a high quality waterproof musical instrument or the latest in outdoor clothing? I’ve had numerous companies reach out to me with a selection of their re-imagined outdoor clothing along with gear for outside use in the last few months. Here’s a sampling of what I’ve really liked so far in 2022. What I’d like to also point out is all the clothing I’m featuring in the 2022 outdoor lovers spring product guide are pieces that you can use for years and not months – slow fashion versus fast fashion! There is a massive…

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Cottage Grove in Lane County, Oregon is a historic former gold mining hub that is now home to some 10,000 residents and a whole lot of covered bridges. In fact, Lane County is home to more covered bridges than any other county west of the Mississippi River. It’s a great destination if you’re into cycling because of the Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway – a route that follows the well-signed Cottage Grove Bridges Tour. All it takes is half a day to bike the 38-mile loop – or less if you’re speedy. There are also options to do and out and…

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The Horseshoe Canyon hike near Drumheller, Alberta can be done as an easy day trip from Calgary though the Drumheller area is full of interesting things to do and worthy of an overnight trip. The canyon is a stunning, one-of-a-kind hiking destination year-round, but it’s best explored when its not too hot or too cold.  Horseshoe Canyon is a large u-shaped canyon and quite an unexpected sight when you’re driving on the prairies. One minute the landscape is either pancake-flat or full of gently rolling hills and then in the blink of an eye you’re in front of this canyon…

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Last updated:May 2, 2022 Victoria and the Gulf Islands are known for their mild temperatures, sunny days, and low rainfall, especially in the summer. Cycling the Gulf Islands in British Columbia on dedicated bike paths on Vancouver Island and generally quiet side roads in the Gulf Islands provide visitors with a fun way of actively enjoying the pastoral countryside. Frequent ocean views and the drama of the mainland mountains can be appreciated by all. Off the bike there are plenty of diversions including visiting artist’s studios, wine tasting, farmers markets, and spas, dining and enjoying picnics on one of the…

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The Sulphur Mountain hike beneath the Banff Gondola is a Banff classic though it took me over a decade of living in Alberta to do it. It’s not a wild or even pretty hike since a good part of the trail is under or near the Banff Gondola. Also, most of the trail is in the trees, except for a pretty view part way up and of course the summit. You can expect to run into a lot of people at the top of the gondola so people who love solitude on a hike should give this one a pass.…

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The Sulphur Mountain hike beneath the Banff Gondola is a Banff classic though it took me over a decade of living in Alberta to do it. It’s not a wild or even pretty hike since a good part of the trail is under or near the Banff Gondola. Also, most of the trail is in the trees, except for a pretty view part way up and of course the summit. You can expect to run into a lot of people at the top of the gondola so people who love solitude on a hike should give this one a pass.…

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If you’re looking for a spring hike with some elevation gain, I’d recommend driving to Longview, Alberta and then turning southwest onto Highway 541 and taking it into Kananaskis Country. Close to the park boundary is the trailhead for the Grass Pass hike – an easy and surprisingly pretty hike you can do from April through to late October. From the pass there are several options if you want a full day of hiking. Do the short out and back hike up Boundary Pine Peninsula and then continue to the Bull Creek Hills. From there you can do a loop…

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Four Fenix products were provided to me to test. They included two Fenix headlamps – the HM65R (a dual light source magnesium headlamp) and the HM65R-T (a high performance trail running Fenix headlamp), an E-Lite (a multi-purpose super mini light) and the E35 – a super high performance EDC (everyday carry) flashlight. Described in some detail are the features of each flashlight and head lamp. The Fenix lights I tried Lumens  Lumens are a unit of brightness. One lumen is equivalent to the brightness of one candle. The higher the number of lumens, the brighter the light. Many traditional headlamps…

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Summertime means camping season! And while most people think of sunny skies and roasting marshmallows when they think of camping, sometimes Mother Nature has different plans. And some of those plans are not that sunny and dry. So, if you find yourself stuck camping in the rain, don’t despair! With a little preparation, you can still have a great time. Planning and packing the right equipment or clothing will go a long way toward making your trip more comfortable. No one ever said that camping was easy, but it’s especially difficult when the rain starts pouring down. If you’re not prepared,…

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I lived in Vancouver, a world-class, culturally vibrant city, for close to 10 years and enjoyed a wide variety of the sights, attractions, and things most visitors want to see and do. Most people don’t spend a week in a city these days, but if you even have three days, you can cover off a huge selection of my picks of top things to do in Vancouver. A week will give you enough time to include a variety of activities in Whistler as well.  Vancouver is truly a wonderful city to visit but access between the north shore and downtown,…

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Waterton Lakes National Park, A UNESCO World Heritage Site in southern Alberta, is an absolute gem of a place to visit in summer and fall. It’s the smallest of the Rocky Mountain National Parks, with drop-dead gorgeous mountain scenery that’s easily accessible. That means you can cover a lot of ground in the national park if you’re short on time. If you’re not, explore the wide variety of things to do in Waterton at a more leisurely pace, described below. Or do something epic like knock off as many of the hikes in the park as time allows. Waterton is…

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New Brunswick is home to the 30-kilometre-long Fundy Trail Parkway. It took decades to go from concept to completion – but the end result is a world-class drive that some think is on par with Nova Scotia’s Cabot Trail. Not only does the parkway showcase some of the best views of the Bay of Fund but it also offers access to hiking trails, waterfalls, beaches, and other points of interest like the sea captain’s burial grounds. There are three ways to access the parkway now that it’s been completed. It’s open at either end so start in St. Martin’s, Sussex,…

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Do you want to know where the best campsites in Alberta are located? Over the last 10 years I have been hiking and backpacking in the Canadian Rockies with an eye to noting the location of the most beautiful and best laid out campsites. They are surprisingly rare considering the landscapes one enjoys in the mountains. Too often, campsites are stuck off in the woods, away from any views whatsoever. Even worse, are the times when you’re practically sleeping on your neighbour – and can literally hear every snore they make all night long. Or when the campsite is situated…

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The Horseshoe Canyon hike near Drumheller, Alberta can be done as an easy day trip from Calgary though the Drumheller area is full of interesting things to do and worthy of an overnight trip. The canyon is a stunning, one-of-a-kind hiking destination year-round, but it’s best explored when its not too hot or too cold.  Horseshoe Canyon is a large u-shaped canyon and quite an unexpected sight when you’re driving on the prairies. One minute the landscape is either pancake-flat or full of gently rolling hills and then in the blink of an eye you’re in front of this canyon…

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Alberta’s Kananaskis Country has grown in popularity since COVID reared its ugly head. People are discovering that the hiking is on par with what you’ll find in nearby Banff National Park. The best Kananaskis hikes described below are literally found all over Kananaskis Country – an area encompassing six provincial parks and three wildland provincial parks in an area covering 4,000 square kilometres. There is a wealth of hiking for every level of hiker – much of which I’ve written about in previous blogs. Easy Kananaskis hikes everyone will love is covered in this blog. But I wanted to showcase…

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When you think of Fernie, BC in the winter, you likely think of all the great downhill skiing and boarding available at Fernie Alpine Resort. On every other winter visit to Fernie, John and I have made a beeline for the hill – always hoping for one of their epic powder days. However, when you have a few dogs with you, including one that can pick locks and get out of rooms, your focus changes. We decided to spend two nights and three days checking out five Fernie winter hikes.  In mid-February, the weather in Fernie can be snowy, rainy,…

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The Rae Lake hike in Kananaskis Country, specifically in Elbow-Sheep Wildland Provincial Park, flies under the radar. Part of the reason is that it is an unofficial trail, and it isn’t signed. A cairn at the side of the trail can be seen when you’re heading to the Tombstone Backcountry Campground, but you’d have to be looking for it and know that it takes to Rae Lake. Once you’re on the trail, its boot-beaten and easy to follow. We did the Rae Lake Kananaskis hike as part of a 3-day backpacking trip to the Tombstone Backcountry Campground. We also included…

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The Grotto Canyon Trail, just outside of Canmore, is becoming increasingly popular in winter and for good reason. It’s easy and a lot of fun – plus it’s one of those rare hikes that is perfect for all ages. Accessibility is excellent with the trailhead about an hour’s drive from Calgary. The downside is that parking on winter weekends tends to be at a premium unless you visit early or late in the day. On the Grotto Canyon Trail, you can expect to be wowed by impressive canyons, frozen waterfalls, an icy creek bed and ancient pictographs. You might even…

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If you’re after a short, easy hike that is like no other, certainly that I have done in Alberta, check out the Heart Creek Bunker trail near Canmore. The easy hike ends at a bunker built into the mountain below the slope of Mount McGillivray. It’s a mostly non-descript, somewhat noisy hike to get to the bunker, but once there it’s extremely interesting. The Heart Creek Bunker goes by a lot of names including the Bow Valley Bunker, the Vault and The Cold War Bunker. The intent of building the bunker was “to provide a vault storage area in the…

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The Bow Valley Parkway is a 48-kilometre stretch of road between Banff and Lake Louise that parallels the Trans-Canada Highway. It’s been called the alternate scenic route between Banff National Park’s most beloved towns. On the drive you are treated to first rate views of Castle Mountain and Morant’s Curve – a gorgeous section of highway near Lake Louise that is perfect for train spotting. And for anyone looking for unique accommodation, you’ll find a collection of historic cabins that harken back to the era of 1920’s and 30’s motor bungalow camps along with a wealth of natural attractions.  The…

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