Cycling the Trans-Canada Trail

The TransCanada trail is a long-running dream. Since the idea first came up in 1992, volunteers have been striving to create over 21,000km of traffic-free travel, running from sea to shining sea. Sounds great, eh?

Rail trail One of the better parts of the Trans-Canada Trail: on the way to Prince Edward Island from New Brunswick.

Some parts of the trail are, indeed, as fantastic as they sound. From Rivière-du-Loup in Quebec, the 135km-long Petit Témis trail leading to Edmundston, New Brunswick is pure joy: well maintained, with campsites and water along the way.

Unfortunately, the trail doesn’t always live up to expectations.

Many times we tried to ride it in New Brunswick, only to find the surface covered in huge rocks. This did have the unique effect of making our bicycles feel like jackhammers but it wasn’t enjoyable cycling and forward momentum was nearly impossible to achieve.

In Prince Edward Island, the surface was much better but in that province, ATV riders also zip up and down the trail so it hardly qualifies as traffic-free.

The lesson to remember here is don’t come to Canada and expect to be able to use the trail to get from one coast to the other. While it might be feasible for some sections, in others it’s either very hard work or totally impossible.

The official website for the TransCanada Trail gives general information on the trail but falls short on the finer details needed to plan a trip.


  1. val soehner
    20th March 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    my son is biking from kitchener ontario to halifax nova scotia and wondering if you have a paper map of the trans canada trail that he could take with him to help keep him off the busy roads! thx

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