Author Topic: Trans-Canada Trail V The Great Trail  (Read 754 times)

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Offline Mark Manley

Trans-Canada Trail V The Great Trail
« on: September 07, 2016, 01:31:23 am »
Can someone explain to me the difference between the two above trails or are they the same thing? I have looked both up and find conflicting information ranging between a great way to cross Canada mostly or entirely on traffic free trails to a dreadful commerical scam, yes that word was used, where you have to pay for maps and some of it is on busy and dangerous roads or trails that are shared with motorcycles and atv's.
Any links to ride reports or people's first hand experience would be appreciated, as with many things there seems to be a lot of opinion out there from keyboard warriors who have not actually ridden it which is basically useless.

Offline geegee

Re: Trans-Canada Trail V The Great Trail
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2016, 02:16:56 am »
They are the same thing. "The Great Trail" is just the Trans Canada Trail organization's new branding. It sort of puzzles me why they did this because it just confuses people.

The Trans Canada Trail is misunderstood conceptually, it isn't a great way to cross Canada, it's a way to connect Canadians. People need to understand the semantics of that — it's a shared facility that is imagined to stretch out to every province and territory. It is impossible to ride it end to end because significant portions of it are water trails. It's an idea that someone cycling a pathway in Ottawa is connected to someone kayaking in Thunder Bay or hiking in Banff or dog-sledding in Whitehorse because it is (or will be) a contiguous (but terribly meandering) line. You kinda have to be Canadian to get it :) Maybe that's why they're focusing on calling it the "Great Trail" because "Trans Canada" implies you can ride it coast to coast.

If you're bike touring, stick to the tried and true routes like the Yellowhead, the Trans Canada Highway, Route verte, etc., and when you stumble across part of the Trans Canada Trail from time to time, hop on and off at your convenience, but don't expect it to be all suitable for touring.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2016, 02:23:52 am by geegee »

Offline Mark Manley

Re: Trans-Canada Trail V The Great Trail
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2016, 03:12:56 am »
Thanks for your reply geegee,
Good information that is not plain to see elsewhere, I will look up your alternative suggestions as I am considering a long tour in North America.

Offline canalligators

Re: Trans-Canada Trail V The Great Trail
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2016, 03:12:23 pm »
I do wish some organization would map out a cycling route across Canada.  I hear that parts of the TCH are magnificent, and parts are suicidal.  I understand that it's a big undertaking, but I'd seriously consider a cross-Canada tour.  As it is, I'm very wary of very busy roads with no shoulders.

Offline Storming

Re: Trans-Canada Trail V The Great Trail
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2016, 06:34:36 am »
Have you checking in Endomondo? There are so many trails marked which I've used in Europe.
Ride en' joy

Offline canalligators

Re: Trans-Canada Trail V The Great Trail
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2016, 12:59:31 pm »
No, haven't looked there, but since it's first a fitness tracker, I wouldn't expect it to have a coast-to-coast route with services.  Something like AC provides.

I could put  together a route using Google Maps and checking things with street view.  Then cross check it against existing travelogues.  I enjoy creating routings, but doing the job right would be a LOT of work.

Offline geegee

Re: Trans-Canada Trail V The Great Trail
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2016, 07:00:53 pm »
From British Columbia to Saskatchewan good routes are easy to plot because most of the highways in BC, AB and SK have good shoulders. Manitoba is tough, I'd pick the small prairie roads with the least traffic and avoid the main highways. Northern Ontario offers little choice if you want to stick to Canada, as there is only one road between Thunder Bay and Nipigon. Highway 17 can be a tough ride with barely a shoulder in long stretches. Traffic isn't super busy but the trucks can be unnerving. I've ridden from BC back to Ottawa twice, and the last time I figured I'd go down through Michigan's UP which is a flatter but less scenic route (blog here). Quebec is the most organized for cycle touring with Route verte routes. New Brunswick has good secondary highways with shoulders. With the rest of the Atlantic provinces, the highways you see on the map are pretty much your only choices and there are very few restrictions on cyclists (mainly within Halifax), but traffic is generally light and the drivers are mostly courteous.