Try these accessible hiking trails across Canada

woman in a wheelchair on a hike Reshetnikov_art/Shutterstock

The outdoors are for everyone, and there’s no shortage of trails across the country with accessibility features. From a salt marsh on the East Coast to a winding boardwalk through coastal rainforest, here are some must-do accessible hikes across Canada.

*Please keep in mind that some of these trails may not be as accessible (or at all) in the winter or early spring months.

Before you head out

  • In most provincial and federal parks, interpretive signs have braille. However, this may not be the case for every trail. Using the Open Government Portal, you can search “tactile maps” for an extensive library of maps that include accessibility features. 
  • Parks Canada also has detailed information on accessible camping, broken down by National Park—each link gives more details about the accessibility features at each park.
  • There are organizations across Canada that facilitate outdoor experiences for people living with disabilities, such as Rocky Mountain Adaptive or Recreation Nova Scotia
  • Both the Ontario Trails Council and Parks Canada keep an extensive list of accessible trails and central services, like BC Disability, Champlain Health Line (Ontario), or the Active Living Alliance (national). These provide information about local chapters and groups that facilitate outdoor recreation for people with disabilities. 


Visa Trail at Dundas Valley 

Partial wheelchair access—Mostly soil surface

Located in Hamilton Region’s beautiful Dundas Valley Conservation Area, Vista Trail delivers on views, as per its name. An admission fee covers the other 40-plus kilometres of trails available.

Humber Arboretum & West Humber River Valley

Complete wheelchair access—Paved surface

Part of Toronto’s larger Discovery Walk, this 10-kilometre section of trail takes you through the beautiful Humber Arboretum, some ornamental gardens, and ecologically sensitive forests protected by the Toronto Conservation Authority. 

Rockwood Conservation Area Trails near Guelph

Partial wheelchair access—Soil and boardwalk surfaces

Located in Guelph Region, visitors love this area for the beautiful, diverse views on a network of well-trodden trails. In the winter, the trails are usually free (as the gatehouse is often closed), but in spring and summer, there’s a fee of $7 per person. 

Spruce Bog Boardwalk in Algonquin Park

Complete wheelchair access—Soil and boardwalk surfaces

A boardwalk trail means no worrying about muddy, wet, or otherwise unfavourable conditions to trod through—no wonder this trail is a favourite in Algonquin Park. This 1.5 km loop shows off—as per the name—two typical Northern spruce bogs.

Balsam Lake Lookout Trail in the Kawarthas

Partial wheelchair access—Soil and boardwalk surfaces

A lovely trail in the Kawarthas, Balsam Lake is popular for the fact that it shows off several landscapes: a cedar swamp, a deciduous forest, and an open meadow that’s breathtaking in the spring. Please note that this trail is subject to seasonal closures if the conditions become too difficult; check before you go. 

Millenium Trail

Complete wheelchair access—Soil and boardwalk surfaces

Known for its “emerald” forest and lake scenery, the Millenium Trail near Petawawa in the Ottawa Valley packs a punch. Interpretive signs along the way and some unique traditional structures make this a great outdoor museum-style experience.

Western Canada

Sundance Canyon Trail in Banff

Partial wheelchair access —Soil and paved surfaces

With the majority of this trail being on a paved road, it’s a great option of decent length in the heart of Banff National Park. It’s wheelchair accessible until you approach the canyon, where there’s a short, steeper loop that involves some climbing and brings you closer toward it.

Lake Annette Loop in Jasper National Park

Complete wheelchair access—Soil and paved surfaces

Jasper National Park is home to some of the most stunning nature in Alberta, and Lake Anette is no exception. This short, mostly paved path offers a great view of Lake Anette, and hikers also love it as a picnic spot. 

Elbow Falls Loop & Recreation Area in Kananaskis

Complete wheelchair access—Paved surface (*on main trail)

While crowds flock to Banff National Park, Kananaskis often has fewer people, and locals love the area for its quiet, rugged beauty. Elbow Falls is a great spot for a picnic, with a path along the river with views of the rushing water.

Inland Lake Trail in Powell River

Partial wheelchair access—Paved, soil and boardwalk surfaces

Best used in the late spring or summer, this lovely 12-kilometre trail in beautiful Powell River winds around a gorgeous lake. The trail features many spots to dip in and cool off and can be made as long or short as you like. 

Grasslands Loop in Kamloops

Partial wheelchair access—Soil and gravel surfaces

The unique topography of this region often flies under the radar compared to the sea and soaring mountains of B.C., but there’s a unique beauty in the more arid areas of the province, as showcased in this short Kamloops trail. Note that the terrain can get muddy when wet, and some parts can be grown in with weeds and tall grasses. 

Shorepine Bog Trail in Tofino

Partial wheelchair access—Boardwalk surface (*boardwalk can be narrow and uneven at points)

Beautiful Tofino has no shortage of stunning views, and the Shorepine Bog Trail—which has boardwalks constructed throughout to keep you off the perpetually wet ground—is a great option! At just under one kilometre, this easy trail dips you right into the unique coastal rainforest environment of the area. 

Valley Trail in Whistler

Complete wheelchair access—Paved and boardwalk surfaces

An excellent way to see both the village of Whistler and its surrounding beauty, the Valley Trail is a dedicated car-free path looping through the area that is paved, with some bridges and boardwalks along the way. 

Northstar Rails to Trails, Kimberley to Cranbrook

Complete wheelchair access – Paved and soil surfaces

A 25-kilometre adventure between the cities of Kimberley and Cranbrook, this trail is an awesome bucket-list item that offers unmatched views. Popular with hikers and cyclists, the trail gets its name from the fact that it makes use of decommissioned railway lines to connect the two mountain towns. 

East Coast

The Bog Trail in Cape Breton National Park

Complete wheelchair access—Boardwalk surface

The Cabot Trail is a bucket list item for the East Coast, and this boardwalk is a great go-to loop. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a chance to see some unique wildlife in the region, such as colourful dragonflies, green frogs, and even moose.

Salt Marsh Trail in Cole Harbour

Complete wheelchair access—Paved and boardwalk surfaces

Popular in this region, the Salt Marsh Trail will have you feeling like you’re part of this unique habitat, with a paved road and boardwalk that gives you a panoramic view of the marsh. 

North Beach at Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park

Complete wheelchair access—Ramp/boardwalk surface (*does not encompass whole beach area)

Getting to sea level to be among the stunning Hopewell Rocks was once only possible by a long staircase, but a wheelchair-accessible ramp was built a few years ago, allowing users to enjoy the natural beauty up close.

Gulf Shore Way East & West in Prince Edward Island National Park

Complete Wheelchair Access—Boardwalk and paved surfaces

These trails encompass a 10-kilometre paved pathway that offers unparalleled views of the North Shore of P.E.I., where you’ll catch sights like the red sandstone cliffs of Cavendish, the Covehead lighthouse, and numerous beaches that are popular for swimming. 

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