Five Royal Canadian Geographical Society-funded expeditions will cross much of the country by foot and paddle this year. These explorers are testing themselves on little-known stretches of tundra, tracing nation-linking waterways, reaching the end of the world’s longest trail and showcasing and preserving a First Nation’s heritage.
Les chemins de l’or bleu
Six paddlers will canoe and camp along rivers and lakes linking Montreal and Inuvik, N.W.T., a distance of 7,000 kilometres. From late April to October 2015, their journey will follow traditional First Nations routes, as well as the course of several of the early European explorers.
With their five-year-old son, Mali, in tow, Benoit Gendreau- Berthiaume and Magali Moffatt will canoe 5,000 kilometres between Edmonton and Montreal from early May to late August 2015, educating the public about waterways, watersheds and ecosystems along the way.
Together to the Tundra
The Clark family — Dan, Alice, eight-year-old Koby and six-year-old Ava Fei — will paddle a 1,050-kilometre circuit from the boreal forest around Yellowknife, into the tundra and through the proposed Thaidene Nene National Park in an effort to better understand the tundra biome’s richness and diversity.
Expedition Last year, this eight-person team, which included members of the Tahltan First Nation, completed a 12-day hike over northern British Columbia’s Spectrum Mountain range and Mount Edziza to physically connect with the land. The group then completed a documentary, Colours of Edziza, and is now promoting the film.
The Great Hike
Dana Meise’s Great Hike was the 2014 RCGS Expedition of the Year, and now he’s back to complete the final leg of his eight-year journey to trek the entirety of the Trans Canada Trail. Starting July 1, Meise will travel 1,700 kilometres from Whitehorse to Inuvik, N.W.T., reaching a grand total of almost 22,000 kilometres and touching the last of Canada’s three oceans.