1. Jordan: Jordan Trail (650km)
The Dead Sea canyon, the ancient city of Petra and the timeless Wadi Rum desert are some of the highlights of this recently opened Middle Eastern trail that crosses the entire Jordan from north to south. Conquer it in 36 days or choose to go slower, exploring ancient ruins and indulging in Bedouin culture at leisure.
2. Canada: The Great Trail (25,000km)
Built over a span of 25 years, the world’s longest recreational trail was completed last September. Stretching from coast to coast across the country, with a northern loop to the Arctic, this trail of trails links about 15,000 communities and traverses urban areas, the craggy Tombstone Peaks and the Rocky Mountains. Download The Great Trail app as a handy guide.
3. Rotorua, New Zealand: Redwoods Nightlights tree walk (553m)
Nocturnal outdoor adventurers with a penchant for cool design have all their boxes checked with this tree walk. Come nightfall, the path through Rotorua’s 115-year-old redwood forest, opened in December 2016, is illuminated by night lights, including 30 ethereal lanterns suspended up to 2.5m above ground; these lights were installed by hand so as not to damage the forest.
4. Kangaroo Island, Australia: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail (61km)
Known for its endemic plants and native wildlife species (above), South Australia’s Kangaroo Island is home to the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail. This five-day trek, which takes you past rivers, limestone escarpments and long white beaches, requires pre-booking as the number of walkers is regulated.
5. Chile: Route of Parks (2,414km)
A massive – nearly 4.5 million ha – Patagonian parkland, donated by Tompkins Conservation and the Chilean government, sealed the deal for this epic dirt trail that connects forests, fjords, glaciers and the Alps across 17 of Chile’s national parks. It’ll take about three weeks to cover the full route, from Lake District to the Beagle Channel (below).
– TEXT BY PENNY WATSON
PHOTOS: BILL HEDGES, ALI BARQAWI, TRANS CANADA TRAIL
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.