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World’s longest hiking trail becomes more accessible3 min read

March 19, 2021 2 min read

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World’s longest hiking trail becomes more accessible3 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The longest green trail in the world, the Great Trail in Canada, is a 27,000 kilometre long greenway for hiking, biking and cross-country skiing. Created over 25 years by the Trans Canada Trail and other partners, the Trail consists of smaller, interconnected routes that are safe and accessible to hikers.

Now, a new partnership with Canadian Paralympic Committee and AccessNow is helping TCT in making the trail more accessible for people with different abilities (Remember the footwear brand that made accessible shoes?).

Owliver Mulls…
In today’s world, it is preferred to replace the word disability with the phrase different ability. As people, time and again, have proved, having different bodies does not come in the way of ability, and the use of the word disability assumes that ability is withheld. Language plays a very important role in how we read our world, and how we make people feel. Little alterations can make a world of difference to our perceptions of ourselves and each other!

AccessNow, a Canadian social enterprise, allows people to identify accessible areas on a worldwide map, and also mark areas that need improvement on the accessibility matrix. The AccessMap map on the Trail will help hikers with different abilities identify areas without access barriers, and also help identify those areas where work is needed to remove barriers.
The program is supported by volunteers from the Canadian Paralympic Committee. Their opinions add an experiential dimension to the project making it stronger.

Trans Canada Trail and AccessNow partnership for AccessOutdoors / Trails for All project. Mapping day at Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver, British Columbia with Richard Peter. Alexa Fernando. Sourced from EcoWatch

COVID-19 proved to accelerate this project as reports indicated that more and more Canadians needed access to natural spaces to stay active, and take care of their mental health. Studies from Spring 2020 indicated that mental health in Canada had worsened as a consequence of social-distancing protocols due to the pandemic.

Canadians have told us that during these difficult times, they value access to natural spaces to stay active, take care of their mental health, and socially connect with others while respecting physical distancing and public health directives. This partnership is incredibly important especially now as trails have become a lifeline for Canadians.”

Eleanor McMahon, ceo of TCT, for Ecowatch

A visitor to the Trail, who started Wellness Walks, writes,

Each time I set foot on a trail, I was taken by the beauty of the trees, streams and rivers. The negative thoughts that would usually occupy my mind would instantly disappear. Hiking became my therapy; it became a part of my leisure lifestyle.

Melissa Waterman, for the great trail

This endeavour will not only increase access to the Trail but will also ensure mental and health benefits for all!

Sourced from EcoWatch

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