As Strava segments make their way onto the single-track they have become both a motivator and a deterrent for trail runners. Although Strava isn’t for everyone, segments can provide a benchmark for certain workouts on the trails. Whatever is on your running plan this week, we’ve found the most popular trail running Strava segments for your trail run. Whether you are chasing segments, focusing on your specific trail workout, or looking for a new trail segment to run, these Strava segments have you covered. Find out where to explore as well as where to push the pace on our beautiful Canadian trails.
1. For a shorter trail tempo
Quidi Vidi Lake Trail – CW – St. John’s, Nfld.
Tempos are run workouts that feel moderately hard, but can be sustained for greater than 15-minutes. The Quidi Vidi Lake Trail segment is the most popular spot for running in the city. Many runners time themselves for the entire 3.89K segment. Since the city of St. John’s does not have many flat areas for trail running, many ultra trail runners will incorporate this segment into their long runs, as it’s flat and the scenery is beautiful.
2. For a trail tempo
Wolf Trail – Chelsea, Que.
After a good warmup, the Wolf Trail in Chelsea, Que. is a great place to push the pace on the trails. There are segment options for both clockwise and counter-clockwise. The trail provides open rock views of Gatineau Hills and the Ottawa River Valley, and is fairly popular for hikers in the area. Don’t worry about tripping over dogs or being distracted by their cuteness on the Wolf Trail, as dogs must be kept on leash.
3. For runnable trail kilometres
The Loop CW – Orangeville, Ont.
Known to the avid trail runner as the Hockley Loop, the Loop CW is located just past Orangeville in Ontario. The trail consists mostly of the Bruce Trail, with a few road sections and hills (known as “The Bitches”). Last November, local trail runners hosted an unofficial race / FKT event on the segment. The winners, Rich and Heather Pady were awarded with real Strava crowns as their prize.
4. For fast, short intervals
Wellington Path West to East – Winnipeg, Man.
Whether you’re practicing kilometre repeats or 20-second strides, the iconic Wellington Path West to East is your segment. The trail is mostly flat consisting of soft ground and packed gravel. The most popular running segment in Winnipeg, the Wellington Path has views of the Assiniboine River, which may inspire you to push it to the limit.
5. For a bit of everything
Hunt Lake Trail – Whiteshell Provincial Park, Man.
Considered one of the most beautiful and challenging trails in Manitoba, this trail includes features to suit every type of trail runner. For runnable, technical, climbing, and descending the Hunt Lake Trail as a bit of everything. Although the total elevation gain isn’t drastic, the trail has roots, rocks, and compact dirt all into 6K.
6. For kilometre repeats
Chasquis Mile – Edmonton, Alta.
With more than 22,702 attempts on this Strava segment, the Chasquis Mile is both popular and competitive. The segment is in the centre of the well-known River Valley in Edmonton, which is popular to both runners, cyclists, and everyday pedestrians. Elite trail and mountain runner Alissa St Laurent uses this segment as an alternative to track-style speed work. Although it’s a paved bike path, St Laurent crosses the river on a trail run to access the Chasquis Mile for her speed workout.
7. For sustained climbing practice
Range Road 64A Climb – Kananaskis, Alta.
The Range Road 64 A Climb segment is located at Prairie Mountain in Elbow Falls Provincial Recreation Area. Dedicated trail runners head to this segment to practice their climbing and descending skills, since they can climb approximately 700 metres in less than 4K. The vert will be worth the views, as runners top out in the picturesque Canadian Rockies.
8. For power hiking practice
BCMC Trail – North Vancouver, B.C.
Runners and hikers of all kinds will flock to the BCMC 12 months of the year. The trail starts at the base of Grouse Mountain and finishes at the ski lodge. The BCMC parallels the popular Grouse Grind hike, and was once known as the insider’s alternative to the Grind. Nowadays, it is almost just as popular. The BCMC is usually open all year round, and outdoor enthusiasts, and professional trail runners such as Ellie Greenwood often hike the trail daily. Once you reach the top, there is the option to take the Grouse Mountain Skyride tram back to the parking lot, or practice technical descents and head down by foot.
9. For 11K of uphill running
Megacy Climb – Squamish, B.C.
Thanks to the Squamish Off Road Cycling Association (SORCA), the popular Climb Trail now extends for a total of 11K. Trail runners and mountain bikers climb almost 900 metres on one single track trail. On a sunny spring day, you’ll get the chance to encourage other trail runners and cyclists grinding their way to the top. If you don’t want to run all the way up, there are endless options to explore other trails along the route. As an uphill only trail, be sure to pick another route down.