The shortening days and crisp evening breezes might signal the end of summer, but it also heralds in a new, exciting season for many Canadians: autumn hiking! We might take it for granted how diverse and lush Canada’s landscapes can be, but every province offers unique environments to hike through with different sights to check off your hiking bucket list from peat bogs, tundra landscapes, to a sea of golden trees. Our brand of hiking and performance socks, J.B. Field’s, offers many different types of socks suitable for any kind of hike you can imagine – proud Canadian made socks fit for proud Canadian hiking trails. Read on to see what we suggest!
Miscou Island Peat Bog Trail, New Brunswick
One of the most unique hiking trails on our list is the Miscou Island Peat Bog Trail in New Brunswick. A peat bog is a wetland that forms when peat – dead plant materials – are accumulated. It makes for a soft, spongy ground, like moss! When autumn rolls around, the peat bogs take on a vibrant vermillion colour. This is an easy trail – only about a ten minute walk to complete the entire boardwalk trail! The flight up to Northeastern New Brunswick would definitely be worth it for those colours, though. For this hiking trail, we recommend J. B. Field’s Hiking “Mesh Air GT” 75% Merino Wool Sock. This sock is a lightweight, year-round sock, featuring a mesh top to help your feet breath. They’re soft, warm, and will fit into any shoe – including running shoes! This versatile Merino wool sock is great for New Brunswick autumn weather, and will keep your feet dry around the bogs. Just try not to get submerged in the bogs. Funny things happen to people who get lost in peat.
Restoule Provincial Park, Ontario
Ontario isn’t often thought of as having as much diversity in its landscape as, say, British Columbia or Alberta, but Restoule Provincial Park challenges that idea. The main hiking trail here is the “Fire Tower Trail”, a 4.1km long trail that takes between 1.5 and 2 hours to complete. This trail will take you through sprawling mature forests, scenic boardwalks, and rocky ridges. The trail passes along a historic fire tower (as the name would suggest! Although, no, it’s not actually on fire, though the changing fall colours might make it look like it is) and culminates in a lookout point on a bluff where you can gaze out over the beautiful fall Ontarian landscape and try not to think about the fact that now you have to hike back down. Since this trail is a bit more challenging and includes multiple different landscapes, we recommend the J. B. Field’s Hiking “Backpacker” Light-Weight Merino Wool Sock. This sock was made specifically for rugged outdoor activities in spring, summer, and fall. It features 70% merino wool to keep feet dry and help prevent blisters, and also has double cuff, arch and ankle support to make sure your feet are comfortable for your entire hike – no blisters, and therefore no excuses, to prevent you from reaching that famed fire tower, eh? The reinforced impact support zones ensures this sock is as durable as you need for all your longer hikes.
Confederation Trail, PEI
This hiking trail is built along a decommissioned railway, and the main part of the trail spans 273 kilometres – just a little bit longer than the other trails on this list, huh? In the fall, hikers along this path will get to experience the full range of autumn colours, foliage, and scenery. The gradient along the path never exceeds more than 2%, so it’s ideal for walkers, hikers, bikers of all levels – anyone that wants to see what Prince Edward Island has to offer, including the province’s famous red dirt, which you can see intermittently along the trail. Since this hiking trail includes long, leisurely walks, we recommend J. B. Field’s Athletic Lite Walker Coolmax Sport Sock. This sock is made of 70% Coolmax, a textile engineered to increase breathability and wick moisture. This sock will help cool your feet down and evaporate sweat – perfect for those leisurely autumn days when there’s still warm sunshine during the daytime.
Tombstone Territorial Park, Yukon
Some of the best hiking in this country can be found up north in the Yukon. Tombstone Territorial Park boasts rugged mountain peaks, permafrost land, rivers and lakes, and abundant wildlife – over 2100 square kilometres worth! The tundra in the autumn turns a dazzling array of fall colours – an incredible sight in the pass between the mountain ranges. The best part about visiting the Yukon in the fall? It’s the start of aurora borealis season – it’s entirely possible that after a day of traversing the multicoloured tundra and potentially watching caribou migrate, you could catch more than a glimpse of mother nature’s most impressive night time light show. Yukon is one of the best places in the world for northern lights viewing! In order to prepare you for cool daytime hikes and chilly lights-gazing evenings, we recommend the J. B. Field’s Icelandic “Thermal Hiker II” Merino Wool Thermal Sock. This sock is made to withstand temperatures up to -25 degrees Celsius, making it perfect for fall and winter hiking activities in more extreme environments like the Yukon. They are made with 64% Merino wool to ensure warmth and comfort, but are also slightly thinner with a tighter fit than our other thermal socks – ensuring they’ll fit into almost any shoe. With these socks, you can leave your 20lb extreme-Canadian-weather-boots at home and wear them with your favourite hiking shoes, making for a much more comfortable outing.
Banff National Park, Alberta
Banff is one of the most well-known national parks in all of Canada. I think I saw more photos of Banff and Lake Louise on Instagram this summer than just about any other holiday destination – and when I’m abroad and mention that I’m Canadian, it’s guaranteed someone will say “Oh I’ve been to Banff and I loved it!!” (That’s usually where I say oh, haha, that’s about four days drive from me… and then they get confused. Canada is big, friends!). So why not beat the summer tourists and the winter sportspeople and head to Banff in one of the most gorgeous seasons – autumn? One popular activity in the fall in Banff is “larch viewing”. Larches are deciduous trees that turn a stunningly vibrant burnished gold colour in the fall and can be found in Larch Valley in Lake Louise. It’s a challenging 11km hike, but you’ll be rewarded with a valley full of treasure (-coloured trees, anyway!). For this slightly challenging and lengthy trail, we recommend J. B. Field’s “Hiker GX” Colourful 74% Merino Wool Hiking Crew Sock. This is an all-season, multi-purpose Merino hiking sock designed for outdoor activities. They’re perfect for this autumn hike because of their arch support, half-cushion padding, and impact support zones, which all work together to ensure your feet are comfortable and supported for the entirety of your hike. And once again, Merino wool – that magic material that keeps in warmth while also wicking away moisture, keeping your feet dry, and preventing blisters. Go make everyone on Instagram jealous by wearing these socks to witness the golden larches! You won’t be able to make it if your feet hurt.