Find a New Newfoundland Trail (pictured)
The Destination: We’ve all seen the views from the Tablelands of Gros Morne National Park — an alpine plateau diving down steep mountainsides into a long finger of water. This rugged region is the northern extension of the Appalachian Mountains and Gros Morne is at the terminus of the International Appalachian Trail, a 1,000-odd-km extension to America’s 3,500-km Appalachian Trail.
The Action: The society that advocates for the IAT wants to extend it further north, linking existing trails on Blow Me Down Mountain and Lewis Hill, on the south side of the Bay of Islands, to the Tablelands Ophiolite on the north side of the bay. But first they need help finding a route through approximately 45 km of tuckamore forest. Hardy hikers who don’t mind a little bushwhacking and wilderness backpacking will join reps from the IAT for this three-day trek. From Trout River Pond’s epic views, the group will work its way over the barrens, past Liverpool Brook Gorge and its abundant waterfalls to the North Arm Ophiolite and back down to the Bay of Islands for a final-night bonfire at a historic fishing house.
The Details: Three days, summer 2015; $1,000; iat-sia.org
The Destination: Despite its small size, New Brunswick is full of good paddling rivers, including the rarely travelled Nepisiguit. Tumbling 100 km through mostly wilderness from Bathurst Lake in Mount Carleton Provincial Park to the town of Bathurst, it feels surprisingly lonely, beautiful and exciting.
The Action: Nature Aventure is the only company guiding this river. Starting on Bathurst Lake, guides and guests review whitewater strokes before disappearing downstream for five days. Slowly leaving the mountains behind, the river varies from calm pools to a rocking Grade IV. The harder stuff can be portaged, but guests should be comfortable canoeing or kayaking on moving water for up to 30 km per day.
The Details: By demand — June and early July have the best water levels; $675;
Guided Fundy Footpath
The Destination: Hugging one of the largest tracts of undeveloped coastline in eastern North America, the 41-kilometre Fundy Footpath backpacking route links Fundy National Park to Big Salmon River, in New Brunswick. Besides watching the tides surge, the reason for the area’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the trail cuts through the cool interior of a rare Acadian forest.
The Action: The trail was the realm of DIY backpackers until only this year, when World Expeditions added New Brunswick to its planet-roving roster of hiking holidays. Along with traversing the Fundy Footpath over four leisurely days, expert guides lead the way to Hopewell Rocks and day-hikes in Fundy National Park during the eight-day tour.
The Details: July through September; $3,190; worldexpeditions.com
Costa Rica’s New Riding
The Destination: None of the millions of tourists who visit Costa Rica every year head to the northern region around Santa Cecilia, just an hour north of Liberia. This sparsely populated region boasts volcanoes, rainforest and even a white desert of volcanic ignimbrite. Various trails and roads wind through it all, and by November work will begin on a mountain bike park.
The Action: This fall, Sacred Rides will be exploring the region with the goal of finding its best mountain biking routes. Single-track trails already exist along the coast and through the desert. In the jungle, there are long rambling routes on double track and rough road. Out of the saddle, guests do yoga, surf or just enjoy the Pura Vida, the Costa Rican motto.
The Details: November; $2,395; sacredrides.com
This article originally appeared in our Fall 2014 issue.