Camino Training Walks – Canada



Written by Teresa

Are you from Canada and planning to walk the Camino de Santiago? Awesome! To make sure that you can make the most out of that experience, it is helpful to be fully prepared. Of course, that includes packing and planning, but preparing your body is just as important.

Luckily, your beautiful country offers endless opportunities to go out and do lovely training walks in impressive scenery. To help you get started, we have collected some nice day hikes for you, right at home in Canada. This list just has a few to get you thinking, but there are thousands out there! Check out your local National Parks‘ websites and the Canadian Company of Pilgrims for more ideas.

Now tighten your laces, and get training for your Camino de Santiago adventure!

Lake Louise - a popular hiking area in canada

Training Walk Ideas to Get You Started

  • Ontario: Rideau Trail- Desert Lake Section
    • Distance: 10.6 miles (17 km) round trip
    • Duration: 6-8 hours round trip
    • Start: Entrance to Frontenac Provincial Park
    • Difficulty: Moderate 
    • Season: Not recommended in winter

    Explore Ontario on a day section of the popular Rideau Trail, which runs 387 km from Kingston to Ottawa. Its iconic orange triangles mark the trail, so orientation is easy. On this hike, you can look forward to glistening lakes, quiet forests and a true nature experience. If you want more, you can easily extend your hike to a weekend trip or longer.

    This hike is great for people from Toronto and Ottawa.

    More information is available here.

  • Ontario: White River Suspension Bridge – Pukaskwa National Park
    • Distance: 11.2 miles (18 km) round trip
    • Duration: 7 hours round trip
    • Start: Hattie Cove Campground and Day Use Area in Pukaskwa National Park
    • Difficulty: Moderate to challenging
    • Season: May to mid-October

    Explore thick boreal and jackpine forests, wetlands and the rocks of the Canadian Shield. The highlight of this hike is the high suspension bridge over the roaring Chigamiwinigum Falls. On your way to the bridge, you will discover a secluded beach at Playter Harbour, a great opportunity to rest and enjoy the views. This trail is part of the about 60 km long Coastal Hiking Trail, a great destination for a week of adventure.

    This hike is great for people from northern Ontario and Thunder Bay.

    Find out more here.

  • British Columbia: Elfin Lakes Trail
    • Distance: 14.3 miles (23 km) 
    • Duration: 7-8 hours
    • Start: Parking lot at the end of Mamquam Road
    • Difficulty: Moderate 
    • Season: all year, best from July to October

    This classical trail in Garibaldi Provincial Park lets you experience high alpine scenery, while being easily accessible. The nice mixture of steep and easy parts makes it a great training for your Camino. A field of Red Heather Meadows with a gorgeous waterfall invite you to take a break and admire the landscape around you. Along your hike, great mountain views will accompany you. 

    This hike is great for people from Vancouver.

    Read more here.

     

     

  • Alberta: Plain of Six Glaciers – Banff National Park
    • Distance: 8.6 miles (14 km) 
    • Duration: 7 hours
    • Start: Chateau Lake Louise
    • Difficulty: Moderate 
    • Season: all year, best in summer

    Not too far from Calgary, Banff National Park awaits you with awesome options to explore Alberta’s nature. For example, the Plain of Six Glaciers features a popular and easily accessible hike that spoils you with spectacular views. After about 5.5 km, you will reach the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse, a great opportunity to take a break and enjoy the scenery with a hot cup of tea in your hand. Further along the hike, you will see a light blue lake and get closer to the impressive glaciers.

    This hike is great for people from Calgary and Edmonton.

    More information is available here

  • Quebec: Deux-Criques Trail
    • Distance: 9.5 miles (15.3 km)
    • Duration: 7 hours
    • Start: Camping de la Rivière-à-la-Pêche
    • Difficulty: challenging
    • Season: April to October

    Between Montreal and Quebec City, Deux-Criques Trail is a great opportunity to get fit for your Camino. Not too many people know about this a 15.3 kilometer loop trail, so you can easily enjoy a quiet day in nature there. Look forward to a clear lake, bird watching opportunities and the impressive Ruisseau du Fou falls. Waterproof shoes or strong feet are important, as you will have to ford a stream.

    This hike is great for people from Montreal and Quebec City.

    Look here for more information.

  • Nova Scotia: Pennant Point Trail
    • Nova Scotia
    • Distance: 6.8 miles (11 km) loop
    • Duration: 7 hours
    • Start: Crystal Crescent Beach
    • Difficulty: moderate
    • Season: all year

    Beaches, ocean views and impressive rock formations await you on this day hike. The trail can be walked as a loop around the beautiful peninsula, so you will end up at your parked car again. If the whole loop seems to long for you, just go as far as you want to be able to comfortably walk back again. 

    This hike is great for people from Dartmouth.

    Read more.

  • Manitoba: Bluestem Loop Trail
    • Distance: 8.6 miles (14 km) loop
    • Duration: 7 hours
    • Start: between PTH 59 and Provincial Road 206
    • Difficulty: moderate
    • Season: all year

    Located in Bird Hill Provincial Park, this trail offers a great day in nature, not too fat away from Winnipeg. Enjoy the scenic lake, explore an old homestead and climb a viewing tower for amazing views of the area. Don’t want to leave yet? A few other trails nearby let you extend your stay.

    Find out more

  • Saskatchewan: Jorgens Trail (Duck Lake)
    • Distance: 8 miles (13 km) loop
    • Duration: 6 hours
    • Start: Duck Lake north parking lot
    • Difficulty: moderate
    • Season: all year, but: in winter the trail is used for skiing, can get very hot in summer

    Not too far from Saskatoon, Duck Lake has a great variety of trails for your Camino training. While Saskatchewan is mostly dominated by prairie, this trail, with its woodlands and lake, offers something a little bit different. Look forward to beautiful wildflowers and a calm nature experience.

    This hike is great for people from Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert.

    Here is more information.

canadian mountains are great for training for the Camino

Are your feet itching already? Get out and explore! If you live in the countryside, you don’t even need to drive so far. Every region is beautiful and walking is almost possible everywhere. And if you live in a city, beautiful Urban Parks offer a great opportunity for a quick escape from the bustling streets.

When you train for the Camino, your goal should be to walk for about 7 hours a day. But don’t worry, you don’t have to be able to do that right away. Start with half an hour, or an hour, and build up from there. That’s why it’s called training!

hiking in the Canadian Rockies training fro the Camino

Did you know that the Canadian Company of Pilgrims offers some guided Training Walks in Canada as well? Check out their calendar and see if there are any events near you.

COVID NOTE: Due to the current coronavirus outbreak please avoid contact with other people. Aim to walk alone if it is safe to do so. Keep in mind that meetings and activities could be postponed or hosted online. Some parks will be closed. We recommend checking their website regularly to keep up to date. Before going out, please check the health recommendations of your area and stay safe.

If you aren’t able to access outdoor spaces at the moment, you can also keep fit and work out at home! Staying fit is so good for you, so even if your Camino is still months (or years!) away, it is never too early to start training.

Happy hiking and stay safe!

Walk the Camino in 2021!


Join the flow of pilgrims walking the Camino De Santiago in the 2021 Holy Year.

You’ve never experieced anything like it!

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Originally published on 27th March 2020

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