More than 10,000 Canadians took up the national challenge and participated in the inaugural Great Canadian Hike.
They hiked for a combined total of 108,000 kilometres between Oct. 1 and 31, according to Trans Canada Trail (TCT), the non-profit organizers of the event.
With 27,000 kilometres of trails spanning the country that means participants hiked the equivalent of four full lengths of the trail, or 2.5 times around the circumference of the globe.
“We launched the Great Canadian Hike this year because we wanted to invite Canadians to explore the Trail – and their communities – particularly in the context of COVID-19,” said Eleanor McMahon, president and CEO of TCT.
“The pandemic period has meant that Canadians are on trails in increasing numbers, seeking access to nature and opportunities to recreate safely.
“We are thus delighted to see that thousands of people took time to experience the incredible, scenic outdoor landscapes our country has to offer by participating in the Great Canadian Hike.”
McMahon said the Great Trail of Canada is the “perfect place to hike, walk, jog, cycle, paddle and explore.
“These are activities you can do by yourself or with family and friends because you can be together socially while following public health and safety guidelines.”
Participants who shared their adventure on social media were eligible to win weekly prizes, as well as two grand prize winners:
• Joanna Verano of Victoria, who said the “Great Canadian Hike challenge was such a great way to encourage everyone to spend time outdoors and to enjoy the beautiful nature that surrounds all Canadians in every community. It was also a wonderful reminder that in a country as vast as Canada, we are all connected and that there are safe spaces to connect with others in this time of uncertainty and social isolation;
• Cheryl Morreale of Toronto, who said she “had an amazing time taking part in the (hike). Winning is truly icing on the cake.”