The building of a coast-to-coast national recreation trail began in July 1992 as part of Canada's 125th birthday celebrations. When completed, the Trans Canada Trail will wind its way through every province and territory, linking thousands of communities along its 15 000 km route. It will follow existing trails, newly constructed trails, abandoned railway lines, public and private lands and rivers.

It is primarily intended to be a "shared use" trail accommodating such activities as walking, cycling, horseback riding, SNOWMOBILING and CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING. The trail was born out of a long-standing dream for a national trail developed by the National Trail Association. Much of the trail will be funded by citizens purchasing a part of the trail at $36/m through the Trans Canada Trail Foundation, a nonmembership, nonprofit charitable organization. The trail was officially launched to the Canadian public on 1 June 1994.