Trans Canada Adventure Trail update

The TCAT offers this, and more. Photo: Fabrice Tremblay

Two and a half years GPS maps detailing a mostly off-road route across Canada were released to the public. The 15,000-km Trans Canada Adventure Trail stretches from Newfoundland to BC and remains enough of a challenge that only a handful of people have finished the cross-Canada off-road route.

Curious to hear how the TCAT’s reception has been since its launch in 2013, we recently contacted Ted Johnson, one of the project’s masterminds with, for some details. (By the way — if you don’t know what the Trans Canada Adventure Trail is, you can find more details in our original write-up here).

Just another day on the TCAT.
Just another day on the TCAT.

Johnson said typically gets around 200 requests per year for the GPS files; however, time and money constraints mean very few of those people have actually completed the entire route.

“I believe  five groups have finished the entire route,” Johnson said. “The majority seem to ride one province or a couple of provinces and  make a one to two-week trip out of it.

“The entire route requires approximately two months of travel to complete and understandably a lot of people cannot afford this much time away from family and work.”

So far, nobody from Canada has done the trip in its entirety, to Johnson’s knowledge; the groups who finished the whole route were from Australia, New Zealand, UK and Germany.

Johnson says has continued to update the GPS maps with information they’ve received from travelers who have done the route (it’s now on version 4.1) such as washouts and closed gates. Thankfully, since the GPS files are provided free of charge, Johnson says that people are keen to do their part and give feedback from their travels.

If you’re interested in doing the ride yourself, Johnson’s advice is the same as it was two years ago.

If you want to ride the TCAT, you need to be ready to change your route if it proves impassible.
If you want to ride the TCAT, you need to be ready to change your route if it proves impassable.

“I think the best advice would be to prepare yourself.  Arranging locations for tires, oil changes, etc for your bike,” he said. “Having the spare parts your bike will likely need for a trip of this duration will make a breakdown something you can recover from, instead of a trip-ending ordeal. ”

He also stressed the need for days off, and to plan for shorter days in the saddle.

“All this adds time, but also enables you to not ride tired, which is usually when accidents happen and morale will suffer.”

You can see one group’s footage from the TCAT on YouTube here, and another look at a sketchy bridge crossing here. The official website for the TCAT is here.

Have you completed the TCAT or done a significant chunk of it? If so, please contact us as we’d love to share your story with the CMG readership.


Check out all the pics that go with this story! Click on the main sized pic to transition to the next or just press play to show in a slideshow.


    • I think that if you can’t spare the $25 for the project, perhaps the TCAT will be too expensive for you. Plus, Ted and the guys put *a lot* of their own money into it, and I certainly am not going to undercut their efforts to fund the work by pirating their files.

      But if you’re just looking for local GPS files, check out They’ve got a Canada-specific sub-forum with lots of that stuff.

    • It’s surprisingly unknown. I think partly because no big name celebrities or even any well-known ADV Riders or journalists have ridden it and done a ride report, to my knowledge.

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