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Sonya Richmond - 42 year old Canadian who is currently hiking across Canada on The Great Trail - 24,

Sonya Richmond - 42 year old Canadian who is currently hiking across Canada on The Great Trail - 24,000km!

Sonya is a 42 year old Canadian who is currently hiking across Canada on the longest multi-use recreational trail in the world with her partner Sean. The 24,000 km long Great Trail stretches from Cape Spear, Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia, and from Edmonton, Alberta to Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. They began their journey in Cape Spear, Newfoundland on 1 June 2019 and hiked just over 3,000 km to Riviere-du-Loup, Quebec before the winter arrived. They will head back to the trail in spring, and estimate they will complete their journey in fall of 2022.

Sonya's love of hiking, camping, and the outdoors began as child during multiple school trips into the wilderness. She built on these experiences in university, where she studied Conservation Biology and Forestry, and spent as much time as possible outside, doing field research on forest songbirds. Her love of long-distance hiking began with Ontario's 900 km long Bruce Trail, and grew when she hiked the 800 km Camino Frances in Spain with Sean in 2016. Together Sonya and Sean hiked across France on the Via Podiensis (GR 65) in 2017, and along Newfoundland's East Coast Trail in 2018. After that they decided to make hiking a more central part of their lives, and after selling the house, donating most of their possessions, and leaving behind Sonya's desk job, they did a warm-up hike along the Camino Portuguese in early 2019 and then began their adventure on the Great Trail.

As they hike, their goal is to share positive images and stories of their travels across Canada to showcase the amazing and diverse people, places, history, and landscapes that make up this country. By sharing their passion for birds, hiking, and nature in person, on their blog, and through social media they hope to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds, but especially youth, to get outside, explore, and connect to nature through birding and Citizen Science.


Listen to Sonya Now!

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Show notes

  • Who is Sonya

  • Growing up in Canada

  • Getting into hiking and nature

  • The Bruce Trail, Canada

  • Accommodation on the Bruce Trail

  • Walking the Camino’s in Europe

  • GR65

  • Her love of hiking

  • The Great Trail in Canada - 24,000 km

  • Their reasons for walking the Great Trail

  • Planning to hike the trail

  • How long would it take?

  • Starting in the East

  • Breaking it down into sections

  • Time and money

  • Walking for a cause

  • Having a passion for birds

  • Selling their home

  • Being ready for a change

  • The reactions of friends and family

  • Concerns before the start

  • Dealing with Hurricane Dorian

  • Problem solving while on the trail

  • Day to day life on the trail

  • The highlights so far

  • Bird watching on the trail

  • Getting fit for the trail

  • Taking it slower at the start

  • Budgets and accommodation

  • Stating section 2 in March 2020

  • What happens during the winter months

  • Advice and tips for you to undertake your own challenges

  • Why you need to try things out first


Social Media

Website: (has links to blogs for our hikes across Canada, the Camino Frances, Via Podiensis, and East Coast Trail)


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