ON THE TRAIL: 6 of the world’s greatest new hiking trails

From a desert wonderland to a Canadian epic, as well as a true innovator of adventure travel, these 6 new hiking trails are well worth lacing up your boots and strapping your pack on for…

7 mins

1: The Jordan Trail, Jordan

Hikers on the Jordan Trail (Jordan Trail)

One of the most exciting and diverse new trails in the Middle East, the 400-mile Jordan Trail would take 35 days to complete the full length but can easily be broken down into more easily digestible chunks.

The route weaves through the lush forests of the north to the Dead Sea canyons, into the ancient cities of Karak and Petra, and to the dramatic desert landscapes of Wadi Rum.

Each day is sure to bring something new, as the trail takes you on a journey through Jordan by foot. You’ll encounter ancient sites, walk in deserts, explore canyons, meet Bedouins cooking traditional bread underground, and drink plentiful cups of tea from locals welcoming you to their homes.

The trail is ready and open for people to walk now.

See: jordantrail.org

Click here for: The Ultimate Guide to hiking the Jordan Trail


2: The Great Trail, Canada

View from the High Rockies (Andrew Penner)

The Great Trail is a 15,000-mile nationwide network of trails, showcasing Canadian diversity at its best. This will be the largest network of multi-use trails the world has ever known, connecting 15,000 communities and opening up Canada’s immense landscapes with more than 500 trails to choose from.

The Great Trail, or Trans Canada Trail (Sentier Transcanadien), spans urban, rural and wilderness landscapes on greenway, waterway and roadway. That diversity makes for an unparalleled range of experiences, from Vancouver’s Seawall to New Brunswick’s Bay of Fundy, Alberta’s High Rockies, Ontario’s Niagara-on-the-Lake and Quebec’s fall foliage.

The Great Trail is a national network promoting six activities: walking/hiking, cycling, paddling, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.

The trails that make up The Great Trail are already open, with work underway towards connecting all the trails together. The full connection will be achieved in 2017 to mark Canada’s 150th Anniversary. The 100% Connection Celebration will take place on August 26, 2017.

See: thegreattrail.ca

Click here for: The Ultimate Guide to the Trans Canada Trail 


3: The Transcaucasian Trail (TCT), Georgia and Armenia

Rainbow over the towers of Lakhiri in the Svaneti region of Georgia (TCT)

Winner of Wanderlust’s ‘Innovation of the Year’ award at the Adventure Travel Conference 2017, the Transcaucasian Trail (TCT) is the first and only long distance hiking trail in the Caucasus mountains. Currently covering Georgia and Armenia, with a future extension planned to Azerbaijan, this is a fascinating 932-mile journey, with peaks over 5,000 metres high and churches over 1,500 years old along the way.

The whole trail, when complete, would take three months to complete, though sections of up to 10 days are already walkable, including a section in Svaneti.

The trail will pass through a diverse range of natural and cultural landscapes, from the glaciated peaks and dense forests of Georgia, guarded by ancient defensive towers, to the high volcanic plateau of Armenia, home to some of the oldest Christian churches in the world.

The unspoilt nature, rich cultural heritage, diverse traditions and rituals, unique ancient architecture, cuisine and wine, and incredible hospitality and warmth of the local people will appeal to any hiker looking for adventure.

See: transcaucasiantrail.org

Click here for: Everything You Need To Know About The Transcaucasian Trail


4: The Sinai Trail, Egypt

Passing through canyons on the Sinai Trail (Sinai Trail)

Beginning by the Gulf of Aqaba and ending in the highlands of St Katherine (the so-called ‘Roof of Egypt’), the Sinai Trail is a 125-mile, 12-day sea-to-summit route showcasing the best of Egypt’s iconic desert wilderness. The route takes in Jebel Katherina, the highest mountain in Egypt (2642m), as well as passing through some of Egypt's most iconic desert sights, such as Mount Sinai and the Monastery of St Katherine.

Built by Bedouin guides from three different tribes, with backing from NGOs and help from local volunteers, the Sinai Trail is the first ever long distance hiking trail and passes through three tribal territories: Tarabin, Muzeina and Jebeleya.

The aim of the trail is to give hikers access to one of the Middle East's most beautiful, fabled and iconic wildernesses, and to create jobs. It also aims to create a kind of work that helps preserve traditional Bedouin knowledge, skills and lifestyles.

In early 2017, the Sinai Trail will celebrate its first anniversary. Through 2017 more work will be done on developing hiking circuits in the most spectacular highlight regions of the trail. Some new trail segments will be developed too. Newly trained young Bedouin guides will also start working on the trail in an official capacity. 

Click here for: Everything You Need To Know About The Sinai Trail


5: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail, Australia (South Australia)

Coastal views on Kangaroo Island (Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail)

The 38-mile Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail showcases some of the most iconic coastal landscapes on Kangaroo Island, including Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch. But is also gets you to experience the most remote parts of the Island.

Starting at Rocky River in Flinders Chase National Park and concluding at Kelly Hill caves in Kelly Hill Conservation Park, the trail takes five days to complete and traverses a broad range of habitats, with plenty of opportunity to observe the wildlife for which Kangaroo Island is so well known. Keen observers have the chance to see koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, platypus, fur seals, dolphins, echidnas, goannas, possums and a myriad of bird species.

The diversity of plant life is another big feature, with many of the 52 endemic Kangaroo Island species possible to see along the trail.

See: kangarooislandwildernesstrail.sa.gov.au

Click here for: Everything You Need To Know About The Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail


6: Masar Ibrahim (Abraham Path), Palestine

Hiking the Abraham Path near Jericho (Abraham Path)

Palestine’s 200-mile Masar Ibrahim is part of a larger collective project, the 670-mile Abraham Path that crosses the Middle East from Turkey and through Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Israel. Hiking the Masar Ibrahim over 22 days is a chance to explore historical and archeological sites in Palestine, as well as the diversity of landscapes and views.

Beginning in the agriculture fields and olive groves in the north, passing through the wildernesses and arriving at the desert scenery of the south, you’ll feel the warm hospitality of local people along the way. 

You can have encounters with Palestinian rural communities or stay overnight in one of the Masar Ibrahim homestays or Bedouin tents, experiencing Palestinian traditional food and culture.

This is also a chance to learn about local customs and traditions in an often misunderstood part of the world.

It’s already possible to hike the Masar Ibrahim. The final stages of will be completed in the first quarter of 2017.

Click here for: Everything You Need To Know About The Masar Ibrahim


Main image: Epic views along the Jordan Trail (Jordan Trail)

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