Safety first - It's Your Responsibility
Be careful. Be smart. Be prepared.
Remember you are hiking on a coastal wilderness trail system. Expect cliffs, steep climbs, and uneven trail bed. Exercise extreme caution in fog, storm and winter conditions.
In storm conditions where there are high waves and potentially ocean surges, caution should be exercised in low lying areas.
Fog may cover a particular area for short or longer periods of time. Be prepared.
Consider your abilities and the difficulty rating and length of the path before finalizing your hike plan. Choose a hike you are able to complete before sundown. Hike with a companion and stay together. If you get lost, stay put. Be prepared to spend the night outdoors.
Tips for a safe hike
- Bring your ECTA path map and other navigation/communication aids such as other maps, a compass, GPS and cell phone.
- Be prepared by planning your hike and taking what you need.
- Tell others your plans, where you are going and when you expect to return. Be sure to check in when you return from your outing.
- Wear sturdy footwear. Hiking boots with ankle support are recommended. Sneakers are unsuited to wet terrain or rock-hopping and offer no ankle support. Sandals are not advisable.
- Carry an adequate backpack to carry water, fruit juice or other fluids (we suggest 300 ml per hour per person). Snacks and a lunch, sweater, wind and water proof jacket, insect repellent in season.
- A walking staff helps with balance and reduces the risk of falls and sprains.
- Keep in contact with your hiking party.
Take the required equipment for your hike
- First Aid Kit containing: moleskin, bandaids, tape, tensor bandage, gauze pads, tweezers and needle, 50 metres of rope, pain medication and any other required medication, matches, candles, fire starter, rescue poncho/blanket
- Working flashlight with extra batteries
- Extra food and water (1L per person)
- Rainwear, sun protection, a hat
- Pocket knife
- Fresh water along the trail must be filtered or treated to be potable.
For other smart tips visit
Maps and phones are advised
The East Coast Trail Association provides the GPS coordinates for each trailhead on the individual path detail pages, hikers are advised to purchase our detailed maps. There are long stretches without roadway intersections. Cell phone coverage is intermittent along the trail.
Emergency number: 911
2016 Hunting Season
The 2016 hunting season is upon us. Dates to be aware of:
- Bow Hunting Moose opens September 17
- Shooting moose opens on October 1
- Coyote opens September 10
- Hunting season for different bird species is ongoing from mid-September
Our developed paths extend 300 km. You may encounter such wild animals as moose, caribou, coyotes and a variety of birds.
The presence of these animals also attracts other recreational activities such as hunting and trapping. Licensed hunters and trappers are permitted to hunt and trap in certain areas that may be on or near the trail. Key safety practices during the hunting season are to always wear bright clothing, carry a whistle to communicate with hunters and as always hike with care.
For dates and details on hunting and trapping please visit the provincial government's website on hunting and trapping..
Respect the rules of the trail
Leave no Trace
Hiking onlyNo bikes, motorized vehicles or heavy animals (horses). Dogs are welcome but must be kept under control. Be prepared to stoop and scoop on or near the trail.
No open firesCarry a backpacking stove if you wish to "boil-up".
Hike on the trail bedPlease hike on the developed trail to protect vegetation and prevent erosion.
No woodcuttingwithin 50m of the trail.
Respectthe peace and quiet of the wilderness and the privacy of people who live near near the trail.
Dispose of Waste ProperlyPack it in. Pack it out! Clean up all trash and leftover food and properly dispose of human waste. Leave the areas you enjoy as good, if not better than you found it. Remember we are a wilderness trail. Restrooms may be found in many communities before you start your hike.
Our public hiking program
Whether you are a seasoned hiker or just starting out the East Coast Trail Association's public hiking program is a great way to get on the trail with a group of other hikers. Our scheduled hikes are volunteer-led and run from early Spring to late Fall.
The East Coast Trail Association respects the environment we pass through on the trail.
"Leave No Trace - if you take it in, please take it out"