The Amory Adventure Award is presented annually to the Venturer Company that displays the most initiative in conceiving, planning and executing an outdoor adventure activity.
The award plaque is decades old, and the name of the winning Company is added every year. You could say that the Amory Adventure Award is the closest thing Scouts Canada has to a Stanley Cup. In more recent years, the plates added to the plaque have noted not only the name of the winning Company but also the place where the winning Company went on its adventure. A couple of places—the East Coast Trail in Newfoundland and Killarney Provincial Park in Northern Ontario—even appear on the Amory plaque twice.
Roughly from east to west, here are 16 Amory Adventure Award-winning expedition destinations. How many has your Company explored‽
East Coast Trail
The East Coast Trail was created in the 1990s by stitching together a series of well-established paths running between the communities of Newfoundland’s eastern shore. Today, there are over 300 kilometres of trail to trek—and the East Coast Trail continues to grow! The trail offers an exciting mix of natural and anthropological heritage; hikers might be fortunate enough to spot whales and icebergs, and also walk through abandoned fishing villages and from one lighthouse to another.
The Dobson Trail runs from the town of Riverview (near Moncton) to the edge of Fundy National Park. It is part of the Trans Canada Trail and runs through a variety of terrains. Camping is permitted all along the trail, but hikers need to think carefully about the best water sources along the way—just ask the 1stWestfield Venturer Company!
The Allagash Wilderness Waterway in northwestern Maine is a chain of lakes and tributaries surrounding the Allagash River, itself a tributary of the Saint John River. From one end to the other, the Wilderness is nearly 150 kilometres long, and travelling the entire length by canoe can take over a week.
Algonquin Provincial Park
Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park is one of the most famous parks in Canada. Algonquin is a vast wilderness park perhaps most famous as a destination for canoeists—but the park also offers opportunities for hiking treks. In the winter, adventurers can explore the park’s backcountry by snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or even dogsledding!
The Green River is part of a tangle of waterways at the north end of Lake Couchiching in Ontario. Paddlers exploring Ontario’s Lake Country can plan a trip that includes stretches of the Black River, Severn River, and Trent River—as well as any number of surrounding lakes.
The Temagami area in Northern Ontario surrounds its namesake lake and includes countless more smaller lakes. Famous for its old growth pine forests, Temagami offers some of the best paddling in Canada, not to mention some great hiking (including Ishpatima Ridge, Ontario’s highest point), cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and even dogsledding. Finlayson Point Provincial Park on Lake Temagami makes for a great launch point for paddling adventures in the area.
Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park
Okay, it’s probably more than fair to consider Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Parkpart of Temagami, but it’s also big enough to warrant its own mention. Just north of Lake Temagami, Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park offers the same great backcountry scenery paddlers find to the south, but also offers the benefits of being a protected and controlled wilderness. If you’re after a little more solitude, Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park is probably worth adding some kilometres to your trip.
Killarney Provincial Park
Extending north from the shores of Georgian Bay, Killarney Provincial Park is an iconic Ontario wilderness famous for the white quartzite peaks of the La Cloche Mountains, crystal clear lakes and pine forest. Killarney offers both fantastic canoeing and hiking.
Mantario Hiking Trail
Located in Whiteshell Provincial Park in eastern Manitoba, the Mantario Hiking Trail offers rugged wilderness scenery and fantastic opportunities to spot wildlife—such as bald eagles, moose and white-tailed deer. Most hikers take three or four days to cover the 60-kilometre length of the trail.
Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park showcases one of North America’s most famous natural landmarks. Located in northern Arizona, the park offers spectacular scenery and a variety of hiking opportunities for all seasons.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Located in southern Utah, Bryce Canyon National Park showcases the greatest concentration of hoodoos (irregular columns of rock) anywhere in the world. The park has a wide variety of hiking opportunities, and backcountry camping is possible.
Zion National Park
Just southwest of Bryce Canyon National Park is Zion National Park. Famous for its rugged natural scenery, Zion National Park is a great place to go hiking. For a more challenging adventure, the park also offers permits for technical canyoneering outings, which combine rappelling, swimming and hiking.
Located in Alberta’s Jasper National Park, the Skyline Trail is perhaps the most scenic hiking route in the entire park. This popular backpacking hiking trail is almost 45 kilometres in length—nearly 25 kilometres of which are above the treeline.
Juan de Fuca Marine Trail
West Coast Trail
Located in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on the west coast of Vancouver Island, the rugged West Coast Trail (75 kilometres in length) is on many Canadian hikers’ bucket lists. It’s the hike of a lifetime!
The Golden Hinde is the tallest peak on Vancouver Island, reaching an elevation of nearly 2,200 metres. The mountain sits in the middle of the island as well as in the middle of Strathcona Provincial Park. Climbers aspiring to tackle this mountain face the added challenge of reaching it—no road comes close, so climbers face a multi-day hike in to and out from the mountain in addition to climbing the mountain itself.