Hiking enthusiasts walking cross-Canada while encouraging youth to connect with nature

Avid hikers from down south are hiking cross-country along the Trans Canada Trail, and just recently made the trek to Northern Ontario.

Sonya Richmond and Sean Morton started their four year journey on June 1, 2019.

"We started hiking in Cape Spear Newfoundland which is the eastern most point in North America and from there we’ve walked west, we’re hoping to reach British Columbia by the end of next year and then after that we will hike up north to the Tuktoyaktuk in the Northwest Territories," said Richmond.

The couple says it took roughly a year to prepare for their adventure.


The pair say they are hoping to encourage youth and people of all ages to connect with nature. Aug.8/2020 (Molly Frommer/CTV News Northern Ontario)


"Part of that was selling the house, quitting our jobs, sort of putting our lives on hold a little bit and we also spent quite a bit of time looking at the trail, learning about it and where it goes," said Richmond.

Since last year the pair has hiked 5,000 kilometres and say they still have 19,000 to go. They say the highlights along the way vary from region to region.

"We’ve seen amazing wilderness in Newfoundland, amazing cultural experiences in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. We had challenges in Fundy Footpath and of course the culture of Quebec has been incredible. The rail trails of Ontario have been wonderful especially as we got to Northern Ontario," said Morton.

"It’s been a long journey," said Morton.

"There have been several challenges along the way. We’ve encountered bears, we’ve seen amazing animals, we’ve had to walk along the Atlantic Ocean and we’ve walked through snow storms and we’ve gone through intense heat."

The pair say they are hoping to encourage youth and people of all ages to connect with nature.

"There’s a concern within a lot of outdoor recreational clubs, trail associations, and nature groups and even things like cross country ski clubs that the membership is starting to be a little older and that no one will take over the legacy of what these groups do," said Richmond.

"So, we need the next generation to kind of know what’s out there and to fall in love with these activities and become the next generation of stewards for the wonderful environment that we have."

Richmond and Morton say their next stop after Sudbury will be in Sault Ste. Marie and say they hope to finish their journey in the fall of 2022.