Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) - Interactive Map
What is the difference between Operational and Proposed trails?
The Trans Canada Trail (TCT) is still not connected from coast to coast to coast. Operational trails represent all connected and existing trails on the ground officially recognized by the TCT. On the other hand, proposed trails represent future sections not currently connected, meaning that those sections are not built or officially recognized by the TCT.
What information can I find on the interactive map?
- Trail Information: Clicking on an individual Trail section will give you access to basic information on that section such as its name, length, environment, surface, permitted activities and trail type (see What are some useful tips and shortcuts for using the interactive map? for instructions on how to interact with trail sections and open the pop-up window). You can use filters (“Activities”, “Environment”, “Type” or “Surface”), located under the “Explore” tab, to find specific trail information (see How do I know what activities I can practice on the Trail? for instructions on how to use the filters).
- Other Information: You will find other useful information under the “Explore” tab, such as:
- Featured Trails: see What are Featured Trails? for more information.
- Pavilions: see What are Trail pavilions and how can I find them? for more information.
- Visitor Centres, Accommodations, and Cultural, Historical and Natural points of interest: see How can I select the Visitor Centres, Accommodations, Cultural and Historical options on the Explore tab? for more information.
- Weather: This layer shows weather information for major centres, such as Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, etc.
- Other Users’ Shared Content: To see other users’ shared content, select the “Share” tab and check the appropriate boxes to view “Stories”, “Photos”, “Activities” or “Events” from other members of the Online Community (including your own shared content). To show only your content, check “My content only” along with any category of shared content you want to see. To delete your own content, hover your mouse over any shared content icon to open the pop-up window and click the red “X”.
How do I create my own map of the Trail?
Follow these steps to create your own map:
- Click “Create Map” on the right-corner of the interactive map screen (this will open a window dialog). Click the white “X” in the blue circle in the upper right corner to close the window and start again.
- Choose the location you wish to display on your map by using the pan or zoom
- Choose your base map by clicking “Map”, “Satellite”, Hybrid” or “Canvas”
- Fill in the form by entering a title and a description, and by choosing a page size and an output format. Click “Submit” to create the map.
- Once the map is created, open it by clicking the flashing “Open” button. The map will open in a new browser tab. You can save it to your computer.
How do I download data of the Trail as KML, Shapefile or GPX files?
Follow these steps to download data of the Trail:
- Click “Download Data” on the right-corner of the interactive map screen – a plus sign will appear with the word “Start” next to it
- Click on the location where you want your line to start. Once you’ve selected a starting point the cursor will automatically change from “start” to “end”. Click on the location where you want your line to end and a dialog window will open. Click the white “X” in the blue circle in the upper right corner to close the dialog window and start again.
- Select a download format: KML (Google Earth), Shapefile (Mapping Software) or GPX (GPS device). Note that only data for operational trails will be downloaded. Shapefile and GPX data will be downloaded as ZIP files.
- Click “Download”. You may close the dialog window while you wait for the file to be created. A “Save As” dialog window will open once the file is ready to download and save to your computer.
How do I measure a section of the Trail?
Open the “Share” tab and follow these steps to measure a section along the Trail:
- Use the “Pan and zoom” to find the desired location along the Trail
- Click on “Draw a line” – a plus sign will appear with the word “Start” next to it
- Click on the location where you want your line to start. Once you’ve selected a starting point the cursor will automatically change from “start” to “end”. Click on the location where you want your line to end and a window will open with the “Line Length” in kilometres
- Click the white “X” in the blue circle at the upper right to close the window and start again
How can I find the section of Trail nearest me?
Open the “Search” tab. In the box marked “Search for the Trail near”, type an address, city, province and/or postal code. Select the location from the menu that appears while typing to find it on the map.
What is the Online Community and why should I join?
Access to the Trans Canada Trail Online Community is free and we encourage you to join and share your Trail stories with us. When you join our Online Community, you are lending your voice to a collective, positive and unified forum for everyone – government, businesses and individuals – to do their part in promoting and using the Trail. For more information, see our Terms & Conditions.
Once you’ve logged in, you will gain access to additional features such as: sharing your own content (“Stories”, “Photos”, “Activities”, and “Events”); you will also be able to “download” trail data and “bookmark” your current location; and you will have access to our “Walk the Trail” tool, which allows you to take a virtual walk across Canada, one step at time.
It only takes a couple of minutes to set up an account. You will find the option to “sign in” at the top right of the page and in both the “Share” and “My Trail” tabs on the map. If you already have an account, enter you username and password. If you’re a new user, click “Create an account” and fill in the required fields.
How do I know what activities I can practice on the Trail?
Open the “Explore” tab and look under “Activities” to find a list of Trail activities. Select the “activities” you are interested in; those Trail sections where the activities may be practiced will be highlighted in yellow on the map. You can then zoom in to get more information (see What are some useful tips and shortcuts for using the interactive map? for instructions on how to interact with trail sections and open the pop-up window).
You can also use the “Explore” tab to search the Trail according to “Environment”, “Type” or “Surface”. If, for example, you want to go “cross-country skiing” in a “rural” area, simply check the appropriate boxes on the list; Trail sections that match your search will be highlighted in yellow.
How can I select the Visitor Centres, Accommodations, Cultural, Historical and Natural options on the Explore tab?
In order to access these features, you must zoom in until you can check the boxes. Hover your cursor over any “Visitor Centres”, “Accommodations”, “Cultural”, “Historical” or “Natural” icons and a pop-up window will appear with basic information, such as: address, phone number and website link (if available)*.
* The information for “Visitor Centres”, “Accommodations”, “Cultural”, “Historical” and “Natural” is provided by DMTI Spatial, a third-party organization. The Trans Canada Trail does not manage the information provided by DMTI spatial and therefore cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies.
What are Featured Trails?
Featured Trails are sections of the Trans Canada Trail that have been identified as must-see destinations. They are featured with additional information.
What are Trail pavilions and how can I find them?
There are 86 Trail pavilions along the Trail across the country. These structures feature name inscriptions and messages that have been sponsored by donors.
To locate a pavilion, open the “Explore” tab and look for “Pavilions” under “Other information”. Check the box next to “pavilions” to display them on the map (if not shown on the map, zoom in until they are displayed). Hover your cursor over any pavilion icon and a pop-up window will appear with a photo of the pavilion and directions on how to get there.
What are some useful tips and shortcuts for using the interactive map?
- Interact with trail sections: Hover your cursor over the Trail (green or blue lines) and a pop-up window will appear with basic information (name, length, environment, surface, activities, trail type, etc.). You can expand the pop-up window by clicking on the arrow and close it by clicking on the “x”.
- Navigation: Hold the left button of your mouse to drag the map in any direction.
- Zoom in/out: There are four different ways to zoom in or out:
- Scale Bar: Use the Scale Bar arrows on the right side of the map to zoom in or out. Zoom to a specific level by clicking anywhere on the vertical bar.
- Mouse Wheel: Roll your mouse wheel forward to zoom in or backward to zoom out.
- Double-Click: Double-click anywhere on the map to zoom in to that location.
- SHIFT Key: Hold down the SHIFT key and draw a square zone with the mouse to zoom in on a particular location.
- Base maps: Switch the base map by clicking on “Map”, “Satellite”, “Hybrid” (Satellite with labels) or “Canvas” (grey background with labels).
- Legend: The legend is located at the bottom-left of the map and can be shown or hidden by clicking on the “arrow” on its right-hand side.
- Full-page map: To see the map full page in your browser window, click on this icon in the top-right corner of the map. Click on this icon to return to the normal view.
How can I share or place a photo, or look for other users’ content, on the Trail?
You must be signed in to access this feature. See What is the Online Community and why should I join? for instructions on how to sign in.
Open the “Share” tab and follow these steps to share your photos and stories from the Trail:
- Use “Pan and zoom” to find the desired location along the Trail
- Click on “Place Pin”: a plus sign will appear with the word “Select” next to it
- Click on the location where you want to add your content: a window will open with different options. Click the white “X” in the blue circle in the upper right corner to close the window and start again.
- Under "Create a Story", click on "Choose File" and browse to select your photo. You will have the option to add text once your image is uploaded (maximum 250 characters); this gives you the opportunity to share the story behind the photo! Click “Save” to share the photo.
How can I find a particular Trans Canada Trail section?
Open the “Search” tab. Type any part of a Trail section name in the “Search by section name” box. As you type, the list in the “Highlight a trail” box will refresh in real time to show trails that match your search. Click a “trail name” to zoom in on it and see the basic information.
Did you find what you were looking for?
Do you have a question that wasn’t covered in our FAQ section? We would love to hear from you! Send your questions to email@example.com. We will do our best to answer your questions and to update this help section to reflect the needs of our users. Thank you in advance for the feedback!
Disclaimer and Copyrights
The Trans Canada Trail (TCT) “Explore The Trail” interactive map is intended as a navigation tool for Trail users as they plan their journey. The TCT is working hard to ensure the accuracy of Trail information to the best of its knowledge. The TCT makes no warranties, either expressed or implied, and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the data presented on the map. The Trail user assumes the entire responsibility and risk as to the use of any or all information presented on the map. It is suggested that other resources be consulted, such as Provincial and Territorial Partners or provincial tourism agencies’ websites.
Please contact the TCT if you intent to use any data as TCT is the owner of or has rights in the data. Some agreements might need to be obtain in order to use TCT data.