Welcome to GravelTravel.ca
Enjoy exploring out of the way places, travelling long distances and visiting remote places, meeting people that are genuine salt of the earth folks that are less succeptable to the modern world and it's "sameness"? We are, and I suspect if you ended up here you are too. Overland travel isn't for everyone but for may of us it's a way of life, a hobby or a full time gig. We hope this site provides Canadians a way to see a different side of their country and to expose folks from other countries to come and see what Canada has to offer. Safe, diverse and remote as a destination. With endless non paved roads, Canada is a unique location for overland travellers.
Over the years we have heard many people ask what the best way is to cross Canada, or how to explore this country without travelling on the main highways. Well, we decided to do something about it. Over many beers in the garage an idea was hatched. Why not create a navigational route across the widest country in the world? Seemed like an easy and exciting endeavour that fateful evening. Being the stubborn people that we are, we decided to do it. Waking up in the morning the thought crossed our minds, seriously...how the heck to you even begin such a project. As we looked into different avenues to take it became painfully obvious that this was to become more than a quick undertaking. The other realization we had was that there was a reason no one had done this yet, Canada is freaking huge!
We bit the bullet and decided all journeys start with some sort of beginning. We created a thread on Advrider called The Making Of A Cross Canada Route. With input from the general public (the inmates at the asylum) the route started to take shape. We intially thought of the route as being a series of trails for enduro bikes, it soon became obvious that this was not viable as not every part of Canada has trails availble. Based on feedback we also realized that this is not quite what people want. The route became "more gentle" and in turn became more useable for a larger audience. We asked the public what the route should be called. Some interesting names were proposed and in the end the route became known as the Trans Canadian Adventure Trail (TCAT).
Several folks jumped on board to help out and adopt a section of the route. This was invaluable to the project as local knowledge became a huge asset to the TCAT. To these folks I tip a glass as each and everyone of them bought into the dream of creating the cross country route. Each of them live in very different parts of the country but each share a common passion, to ride motorcycles in the backcountry, to enjoy the feeling of exploring and getting something out of the constant concentraion that free's your mind of all external thoughts and demands that you focus on the moment. To Ross, David, Chris, Jimmy, Fab, Kelly, Anthony and Skibum I raise my glass and thank them each of you for wanting to share your stomping grounds. The TCAT started to gain attention on the web. The making of thread got cross posted to other internet sites, Expedition Overland and Horizons Unlimited to name a few. Based on input from these user communities it became apparent that the route could easily be adapted to suit four wheeled vehicles as well as bikes. A decision was made to let the route evolve based on the user community. Some hard feedback made this choice easy as it became apparent that what we originally had in mind wasn't practical. No one or no machine could undetake an expedition with challenging terrain for 15, 00 kilometers. We came to the conclusion that you'd either be too exhausted too enjoy it or your bike/truck would breakdown and this in turn would ruin the experience. We aimed to create something that people would travel so that we could share our country and the side of it that we enjoy and most people never see.
TheTCAT got underway and people from across Canada began to voice an opinion that there were possibilities for other routes in Canada. This hatched the idea of creating this web site to offer up a multitude of overland routes from across the country. Different people began expressing an interest in creating a route, and the rest is history. We sincerely hope the site becomes useful to people and that folks enjoy riding/driving the different routes that have been put together. If you have something you want to share, let us know. This site is a collection of routes made by several people, it's built on people wanting to contribute. We aren't out to make a living from this "hobby" but rather to share what we think Canada has to offer. Long, remote gravel roads. Exploring the parts of Canada that most folks never see from the highway is the driving force behind this site. Mountains, grasslands, prairies, forests and everthing in between is what is out there to experience. The salt of the earth people that you'll meet while travelling the route, the variety of geographcial features, the different cultures and languages, the abundant wildlife and the mass wilderness all combine to make Canada a fantastic place for overland travel. Enjoy!