Robert Frost, one of the greatest poets who ever lived, once remarked,
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by
And that has made all the difference.”
While Frost’s well-known work, The Road Not Taken, was written well before the concept of modern off-roading, taking the road less travelled is a concept that’s known to many people who partake in this adventurous activity. The paved roads that stretch across Canada are meant to ensure a safe and secure journey for travellers. However, the path less travelled that takes us off the pavement and on an adventure is what we’re here to discuss today. If you find yourself looking at a Jeep Wrangler for sale and imagining getting away from civilization to embrace the world of off-roading, then this article has you in mind. Canada has a fair amount of areas ideal for off-roading, and we’re here to highlight six of them.
#1 – Whistler Loop, British Columbia
Canada has a rich history from its formative years when mountain men and trappers roamed the untamed wilderness and sought riches in gold, silver, and fur. While time travel is still relegated to the realm of science fiction, you can retrace the steps that these early adventurers took. Many of the off-road trails around southern British Columbia mirror the routes that were taken by those in the Hudson’s Bay Company to transport furs and supplies to outposts such as Fort Vancouver.
Located near the town of Whistler is the beginning of an off-road loop that stretches for 680 km, with many shorter trails located nearby. Despite its length, this trail is recommended for beginners and occasional off-roaders and is a great place to stretch the legs of a brand-new Wrangler. As with any trail, it’s important to exercise caution at all times, but none of the obstacles are particularly challenging. While you don’t have to tackle it all at once, this trail will allow you to take your time and enjoy the natural beauty of British Columbia.
#2 – North Copper Logging Road, British Columbia
As we continue to explore the off-road attractions in Canada, we’ll stay in British Columbia for the time being but increase the difficulty level. Before we go any further, we should stress that this trail is for experienced off-roaders only. If this is your first rodeo, or you have an unmodified Wrangler, you should start out with a less arduous route. North Copper Logging Road is an affair that tends to take even the most experienced driver a full day to complete.
Stretching over 70 km in length with two km of elevation changes, we advise you to get started as early as possible and take your time. However, North Copper Logging Road features breathtaking scenery and will allow you to tread the same paths many prospectors did in an attempt to seek fortune. There are a lot of areas with loose rocks and creeks. To take on this trail, we would suggest using a vehicle with at least the capability of a Wrangler Rubicon.
#3 – Cape Spencer Trail, New Brunswick
As we leave British Columbia, it is time to travel to the opposite side of Canada and explore the picturesque wilderness of New Brunswick. We can’t recommend Cape Spencer Trail enough. If you’re an off-roader who enjoys combining off-roading and camping, then this is the location that’s perfect for you. While the trail is just over eight km in length, it passes along the Bay of Fundy, and there’s much to see and experience. Many campers frequent this location all year round, and following the trail to the coast is ideal for sightseeing and whale watching. Attractions such as the Cape Spencer Lighthouse are sought after by many tourists, and if you need to stretch your legs, William’s Trail is a wonderful hiking experience that will be the icing on the cake during your off-road adventure.
#4 – Thetford Mines, Quebec
Thetford Mines in Quebec is primarily known for two things. The first is that it was once the asbestos capital of the world, sitting on rich deposits of the controversial mineral. The second is that it’s one of the most popular off-road attractions in all of Canada. Depending upon when you go, it’s best to expect a considerably large crowd. What time of year you decide to traverse this landscape should spend entirely on your level of experience. The area is most popular during the spring and summer months due to its serene landscapes and agreeable weather. If you’re still new to the world of off-roading, this is the ideal time to visit.
If you’re an off-roader who considers yourself an expert and needs adventure, visiting this area in the winter can give you an experience that will last a lifetime. Heavy snowfall, frozen bodies of water, and breathtaking views of frozen landscapes are all in store, but you need to make sure that you and your vehicles are equipped to handle it. With a wide variety of trails that stretch for an incredible 435 km, you’ll be able to choose your own adventure.
#5 – North Star Trail, Manitoba
Similar to Thetford Mines in Quebec, the North Star Trail in Manitoba offers a unique experience depending upon which time of year you decide to visit. When visiting by Jeep, the 25 km trail takes about two hours to complete, that is, if you don’t stop to enjoy the scenery and wildlife. Visiting during the spring and summer will give you a chance to get up close to some of the animals that call the area home, as long as you don’t make much noise.
If you want to make use of the trail during the winter, it is open all year round. However, during the winter months, it is part of the Snoman snowmobile trail system. Navigating during the winter will also present more difficulty, so use caution if you don’t have a lot of experience. The North Star Trail is also used for biking and hiking, so keep an eye out for other people. The trail itself is 25 km long and a great way to spend a day.
#6 – Gros Morne, Newfoundland
We conclude our list of Canadian off-road adventures by travelling to Newfoundland, home of one of our national treasures, Gros Morne National Park. Gros Morne is an experience worth visiting for any off-roader. Like many of the sites we’ve looked at today, we recommend you exercise discretion if you decide to explore this rugged area. There are plenty of trails to explore and travel down, but not all of them are meant for off-road vehicles like the Wrangler. Several trails around Gros Morne are strictly for hiking and biking, so do your research when planning your trip. There’s much to do, and one day might not be enough. With travel, trails, and much more, we recommend you put a whole week aside to take full advantage of the area.
A Wide Variety of Off-Road Options
As we’ve seen, Canada offers a wide variety of options for your off-road adventures. One of the things that make off-roading in Canada so enjoyable and exhilarating is the almost never-ending amount of land that stretches across the entirety of the country. Some of the trails and locations we’ve shared here today are ideal for adventure, but we cannot stress enough the importance of exercising caution and discretion before you undertake any journey. Off-roading isn’t a game, and there are accidents every year. Before picking a trail, consult local resources so you can properly decide if a location agrees with your level of experience, and make sure your Wrangler is up to the task. Preparation is the key to having an adventure that’s safe as well as enjoyable. Have fun, explore, and revel in your time off the beaten path.