Courtesy of The Great Trail/Cedric and Magee

It crosses 13 different provinces and territories. 

September 14, 2017

The world’s longest recreational trail, which spans a staggering 14,913 miles, has finally opened after 25 years in the making. Known as The Great Trail, it's an intricate network of paths that meander from coast to coast across Canada, and link together 15,000 different communities and 13 territories across the country. 

The idea of creating the longest trail in the world was one that three Canadians — Pierre Camu, Bill Pratt, and Paul LaBarge — dreamt up back in 1992.

Now, 25 years later, the attraction is open for outdoor enthusiasts from across the globe.

Courtesy of The Great Trail/Actif Epica

Individual trails that allow for hiking, cycling, horseback riding, and snowmobiling can be found all along the path. And nearly 26 percent of The Great Trail allows visitors to travel across waterways (think: serious kayaking opportunities) according to The Smithsonian.

Courtesy of The Great Trail/Cedric and Magee

The Mackenzie River Trail, for example, takes visitors through nearly 950 miles of backcountry paddling terrain that passes through forests, sub-arctic landscapes, and the tundra barrens of the Northwest Territories.

You’ll also find areas like the Newfoundland T’Railway Trail, which follows an old rail line from Channel-Port aux Basques to St. John's. Travelers on this path can explore fishing villages, inlets, meadows, and secluded forests along the way.

Courtesy of The Great Trail/John Sylvester

Many of the trails weave through major cities such as Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto, among others, giving people the chance to experience the country's varied urban culture. After a few days hiking and camping on The Great Trail, for example, you can refuel at a popular bar or brewery.

Related: Here Are the 47 National Parks in Canada You Can Visit for Free in 2017

The trail was officially completed and opened to the public on August 26, and has been touted as the largest volunteer project to have taken place in the country, with more than 470 volunteer groups coming together from across Canada, according to the The Globe and Mail.

Visitors may also want to note that some trails pass alongside highway shoulders, and may require additional caution when using. 

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