The Trans Canada Trail is the world’s largest network of interlinked paths, with around 17,000km completed to date. Although it would take several years to hike along the whole Trail, it can be tackled in small sections. The Trail is intended to be finished by 2017, be 23,000km long and will stretch from the Atlantic to the Pacific and Arctic Oceans. The trails along it are multi-use and can be explored by bike, on skis, on horseback, canoe, snowmobile or on foot. It is a community-based project, maintained by a membership of 1.5 million volunteers and built by local groups of Trail Builders.
The salmon spawning season along the west coast of Canada takes place in August and attracts a variety of marine creatures wanting to feed on the schools of fish. Among these are pods of around 250 killer whales, also known as orcas. Organised cruises are available to view the creatures, as well as kayaks for hire for those who desire a closer look. The Vancouver Island bay of Robson Bight is a sanctuary where killer whales can be seen rubbing their stomachs along the pebble beach. Other animals such as porpoises, sea lions and bald eagles can also be spotted nearby.
One of the most visited ski resorts in the world, Whistler hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics with Vancouver. It features the highest vertical drop in North America, at a staggering 1600m. Ruby Bowl, behind Blackcomb is said to have the best slopes which go on for a continuous 600m. However, the resort also offers increasingly popular activities in the summer, including mountain biking and hiking. The resort is named after the marmots which can be heard whistling in the mountains of the surrounding area.
The lower 30km of the Shubenacadie River experiences tides, resulting in a tidal bore twice a day. This is where tides of up to 15m from the Bay of Fundy meet with the mouth of the river. Visitors can enjoy a white water experience with organised rafting trips, on high-powered Zodiac Hurricanes. Some bores reach heights of up to 3m, depending on the phase of the moon. Daredevil sea kayakers can also surf the tide, however this is not recommended for anyone inexperienced. Shubenacadie was nominated one of the top five white water rivers in Canada.
The west coast of the island sees some of the most awe-inspiring storms in North America throughout the winter months. Enormous waves travel across the Pacific Ocean from Japan and crash into the shore, a result of a low-pressure system in the Gulf of Alaska. The storms can be experienced from the beach, or from the cliffs along the Wild Pacific Trail. Storm-watching tours leave from the town of Tofino. Of course, for those who would rather not be blown around by the high winds created by the storms, they can also be seen from inside.