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Trail running routes on the fly

A quick guide to Canada's top urban trails

Canada’s wilderness is a playground for many trail runners. Even in the city, trail runners can quickly escape to some of the best running trails in the world. If you are stuck in the city and eager to get your trail fix, here is a quick guide to the best urban running trails across Canada.


RELATED: Six trails for city slickers

British Columbia


  • Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park – 15 minutes from downtown; 10K loop around the lakes with 85 metres of elevation.
  • Mount Doug Regional Park – 15 minutes from downtown; 4K round trip with 250 metres of elevation to the summit.  
Mount Doug Regional Park, Victoria


Metro Vancouver 

  • Stanley Park trails – located downtown alongside the Stanley Park Seawall; over 27K of rolling forest trails. 
  • Pacific Spirit Regional Park – 15 minutes from downtown; dozens of kilometres of rolling forest trails
  • Baden Powell trail – 15 minutes from downtown; 48K technical trail with over 4,800 metres of elevation connecting Vancouver’s North Shore mountains. Run sections or race the entire route in the Knee Knacker ultra in July. 
Sunset on the Baden Powell trail at Cypress Mountain



  • Nose Hill Park – located downtown; 11 square kilometres of rolling single track trails. 
  • Baker and Bowmont Park – 15 minutes from downtown; 12.7K loop with 239 metres of elevation in the Bow Valley. 

RELATED: Calgary’s most popular running trails

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The seasons are starting to change…

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  • River Valley – located downtown; 160K of single track trails and is the largest urban park in North America. 

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I belonged to the mountains long before I started running but Edmonton, you are the city that made me a runner. And I know how much the Edmonton running community loves our river valley trails. 32.59 km of these diverse urban trails belong to @thegreattrail, a 24,000km continuous trail that connects across Canada. This week Salomon is generously giving $1 to The Great Trail for each time you post on Instagram with the tag #TimeToPlog Which brings me to your contribution. While you’re out on the trails this week please be a little more intentional about picking up trash. Get your friends, your running groups involved. Connect here with #TimeToPlog. (Plogging is Swedish from “plocka upp” and has become a global initiative to combine running and picking up trash.) Canada this is our turn to show some love to the places we love. Thank you for participating! @salomon and @MEC have teamed up to bring events to communities across Canada. Calgary…I was supposed to come hang out with you guys on Thursday but I’ll let you sort out your winter situation and we’ll get back to you! I’ll keep you posted when we reschedule because there will be prizes and free stuff for everyone that attends 😘 TLDR: Go for a run. Pick up some trash. Brag about it. #TimeToPlog #TheGreatTrail 🇨🇦

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  • East Bank Trails – located downtown; 12K stretching along the South Saskatchewan River starting at Circle South Bridge.
  • Elbow Trail – 15 minutes from downtown; 6K one way from Tufts Bay along Lake Diefenbaker as part of the Trans Canada Trail.


  • Wascana Valley Trails – 25 minutes from downtown; 15K of well marked trails open all year.  

RELATED: Canada’s 8 best national parks for running




  • Seine River Trails – 18 minutes from downtown; 4K out and back with minimal elevation.
  • Wellington Crescent – 5 minutes from downtown; 7K one way with minimal elevation and part of the Trans Canada Trail. 



  • Don Valley Trail – 15 minutes from downtown; 13.8K one way of easy terrain.
  • Moore Park Ravine – 15 minutes from downtown; 6.1K loop with 93 metres of elevation. 


  • The Bruce Trail – 18 minutes from downtown; 890K of forest trails on Canada’s oldest and longest marked footpath connecting Niagra to Tobermory. 


  • Pine Grove Trail – 15 minutes from downtown; 18.4K of trails in natural forests.
  • Shirleys Bay Trails – 25 minutes from downtown; 7K of rolling trails part of the Trans Canada Trail.
  • Gatineau Park – 15 minutes from downtown; trail network through Ottawa and Quebec connecting the Canadian Shield and the St. Lawrence Lowlands.



  • Lachine Canal – located downtown; 14.5K one way of easy terrain.
  • Mont-Royal Park – located downtown; 25K of rolling trails including 233 metres of elevation directly to the summit. 

RELATED: Why we need to stick to the trails


Québec City

  • Mont Wright – 25 minutes from downtown; 1.2K steep trail with 483 metres to the summit. 
  • Plains of Abraham – located downtown; 4K loop on easy terrain.



St John’s

  • Sugarloaf Trail – 10 minutes from downtown; 8.9K one way with 150 metres of elevation on the famous East Coast Trail.

RELATED: Gary Robbins begins epic East Coast Trail


Prince Edward Island


  • Winter River Trail – 15 minute drive from downtown; 4.3K loop with 51 metres of elevation.

RELATED: St. John’s, Newfoundland most popular trail runs

Nova Scotia 


  • Beechville Lakeside Timberlea Trail – located downtown; 13K part of the 123K Rum Runners Trail connecting Halifax to Lunenburg. 
  • Point Pleasant Park – 10 minutes from downtown; 39K of rolling trails on the Halifax peninsula.

RELATED: Watch for this world-famous runner on the trails while he visits Canada


Trail running doesn’t need to take you far away from the city. Quickly escape to nature and get off the road with these popular urban trails across Canada.