Walk from Toronto ON to Halifax NS?
August 7, 2015 2:58 PM   Subscribe

What walking friendly routes exist, if any?

It's a pilgrimage of sorts. I'm fit, and can easily handle 30kms in a day. I've been scouring the www for routes, but no dice aside from Google maps walking route. Are there trails I can do for long stretches? Have you or someone you know done this before?

I'd ideally like to camp where I can, bed and breakfast when it's an option and have lots of pals along the way. I have the luxury of time (up to 3 months).

Have you ever done a really long trek like this? What did you bring, what do you wish you'd known, what made it worthwhile?
posted by crawfo to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
The Trans-Canada trail? It looks like there are some little gaps here and there along the route, but it's a good start.
posted by brainmouse at 3:28 PM on August 7, 2015 [5 favorites]

Contact these folks and meet 'em halfway?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:29 PM on August 7, 2015

The Waterfront Trail will apparently take you up to the Quebec border. For what I've seen of it in the Toronto-area though, a lot of it is just regular sidewalks/sides of roads with Waterfront Trail signs posted every now and again.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 3:51 PM on August 7, 2015

Not a direct answer to your question, but you may enjoy reading Werner Herzog's "Of Walking On Ice: Munich - Paris" either before or during rests on your journey. He naturally waxes philosophical on the experience of walking many weeks to reach one's destination. I think he did more squatting than camping, though...
posted by nightrecordings at 4:16 PM on August 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

I've biked the Waterfront Trail from Kingston to Toronto. Some of it is paved trail, some is sidewalks, some is smaller roads than highway 2 with a good sized shoulder. It was very comfortable bicycle touring, and I imagine it would be decent walking. Lots of cute towns along the way, especially on the Lake, or in Prince Edward County. Camp at Presqu'ile and Sandbanks provincial parks.

I'd say if you're going to be on paved surfaces like the waterfront trail, don't carry anything! Instead, work up some kind of cart. Here's this guy who walked across the US with what looks like a bike trailer behind him. Do this. These guys did it and wrote a book about it.

I didn't get proficient at backcountry travel until I really understood the importance of fluids, food, rest, and navigation. Until it becomes habit, you have to actively, intentionally manage these things. The Forrest Gump method ("when I got thirsty, I drank, when I got hungy, I ate...") will lead you to ruin.

Other ideas:
- If your footwear isn't halfway through its useful life, it shouldn't come on the trip.
- Polyester liner socks.
posted by thenormshow at 7:32 PM on August 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

La Route Verte is a set of cycling trails in Quebec.

Wikipedia says "The Route Verte is not entirely composed of trails, as nearly 61% of the network actually consists of on-road surfaces, whether regular roads with little traffic, wide shoulders, special lanes on highways, or otherwise. The segregated trails are mostly rail trails shared-use with hikers and other users."

Could be worth looking in to.
posted by eisforcool at 9:53 PM on August 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

ohhh all of this is so helpful and exciting!! I have been messaging with that couple who did the reverse route, and busy mapping. Thank you SO much for your thoughtful help!
posted by crawfo at 6:40 PM on August 8, 2015

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