Ah, the Great White North. The name conjures up images of stunning alpine peaks, dense forests, and icy waters. It's no secret that Canada is rich with natural wonders, and what better way to celebrate its beauty than visiting one (or all) of its prettiest national parks? Better get out there while the weather's nice — we know all too well that it doesn't last.
Pacific Rim National Park
When it comes to nature parks, it's no wonder they call the West Coast the best coast – British Columbia is teeming with all the makings of a paradise for outdoorsy travelers. Pacific Rim National Park is one of the most popular national parks in Canada, and for good reason. The park stretches across 30 miles (50 kilometers) of Vancouver Island’s coastline and is made up of three parts: Long Beach, one of Canada’s top surfing destinations; the Broken Group Islands, consisting of around 100 isles only accessible by boat; and the West Coast Trail, which covers 45 miles (75 kilometers) of the park’s old-growth rainforest.
Banff National Park
Are you really a Canadian if you haven’t been to Banff National Park? Canada’s first national park offers breathtaking views of the iridescent turquoise waters of Lake Louise, flanked by snow-capped peaks. Set up camp in the great outdoors under the stars, or soak in the luxury of a hot spring at one of Banff’s world-class resorts. And keep your camera at the ready for wildlife like chipmunks, mountain goats, deer, and bears.
Prince Albert National Park
Prince Albert National Park is a sprawling expanse of nature in its purest form. The park covers mile upon mile of boreal forest, Aspen parkland and grasslands that make for a colorful palette during the fall season. There are a multitude of outdoor activities, from wakeboarding and skiing for the more physically adept, to fishing and easy hiking trails for those who simply want to enjoy the scenery. Wakesiu Lake is the perfect spot to catch some rays or take in a spectacular sunset.
Riding Mountain National Park
Riding Mountain National Park is a UNESCO biosphere reserve, and while it is significantly smaller than its sister prairie province, it’s by far the best place for spotting wildlife. The park’s ecological diversity and freshwater lakes attract an abundance of animals like moose, bison, bears, and elk. Stay the night to see the sky light up with the glow of northern lights.
Mingan Archipelago National Park
The Mingan Archipelago is made up of around 93 islands that stretch across 95 miles (150 kilometers) of the St Lawrence River. The grottos, limestone stacks, and fossils are the product of millions of years of erosion that are now home to wildlife as diverse and unique as the landscape itself.
Bruce Peninsula National Park
Nestled on the edge of the Georgian Bay, Bruce Peninsula National Park is a hub of natural wonders. A trip to the peninsula isn’t complete without a visit to the famed grotto, a cave carved by the waves of the Georgian Bay over thousands of years. A short 30-minute hike from the Head of Trails parking lot will take you straight to the grotto, where you can swim, set up camp, and enjoy the picturesque views.
Fundy National Park
The Fundy National Park lends its popularity to its namesake, the Bay of Fundy, where you can witness the world’s highest tides and walk along the ocean floor during low tide. A bunch of recreational opportunities are available, such as golf, tennis, and lawn bowling, but the greatest indulgence has to be the heated saltwater pool. Dreamy.
Gros Morne National Park
Newfoundland and Labrador
What’s in a name? Gros Morne National Park gets its title from Newfoundland’s second highest peak, meaning “sombre” in French. Here, sandy beaches meet glacial-carved valleys, with over 100 kilometres of trails to explore.
Cape Breton Highlands National Park
Known as the place where the mountains meet the sea, Cape Breton Islands National Park is home to the world-famous Cabot Trail coastline. The trail winds through a vast expanse of deep river canyons, lush forested plateaus, and steep cliffs. With 26 trails ranging from easy to advanced, there are hiking opportunities for everyone.
Prince Edward Island National Park
Prince Edward Island
Beaches, sand dunes, and trails – what more could you ask for? Prince Edward Island National Park also features the historic site of Green Gables, home to Lucy Maud Montgomery’s classic novel Anne of Green Gables. Settle in for a night of music and stories at an evening campfire on the beach.
Auyuittuq National Park
When we say Auyuittuq National Park is the adventure of a lifetime, we aren’t kidding. The park is aptly named the 'land that never melts', and is a seemingly endless stretch of wilderness terrain, untouched by humans. Not for the faint of heart, the park is only accessible by boat or snowmobile. Upon arrival you'll be greeted by all kinds of wildlife; seals, polar bears, narwhals, beluga whales, and arctic hares.
Nahanni National Park Reserve,
The South Nahanni River is a paddler’s paradise for the more experienced. The river winds through four breathtaking canyons and waterfalls that are as challenging as they are stunning. The limestone caves, hot springs, and various types of wildlife make a trip to the park an unforgettable experience.
Kluane National Park and Reserve
If you’re looking for the thrill of heights, Kluane National Park will take you higher than you’ve ever been. It’s home to Canada’s tallest peak, Mount Logan, which stands at an astounding 5,959 metres, as well as the country’s largest ice field. Whether you choose to go for a drive or hike, the park guarantees views that are nothing less than outstanding.
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