Canada’s Lesser Known National Parks Are Perfect for Scenic Hikes
From grasslands to rainforests, Canada has a total of 46 reserves and national parks spread all over the country. Now, if you ever tried to camp in Prince Edward Island or Jasper National Park, you probably know that Canada’s green treasures are quite a popular summer attraction for tourists of all kinds. People come from all over the world to enjoy the serenity and wildness of the landscape.
Still, some National Parks are more visited than others, and if you want to avoid the crowd and enjoy camping in a peaceful place with an awe-inspiring scenery and landscape, we suggest visiting Canada’s lesser known natural wonders.
Waterton Lakes, Alberta
It’s a place where flat prairies meet the heights of the Rocky Mountains and Aspen-like forests that are home to black bears, wolves, coyotes, grizzlies and cougars, so it’s really important that you stay on the trail in the park. If you follow the rules, you’ll get the best camping experience of your life.
The park is nestled only 3 hours from Calgary, in an unusual place of diversity, where the rivers clash with 191 miles of safe trails and short strolls. Exploring the Waterton Lakes will keep you busy for days! For instance, if you make this trip starting from Lethbridge, you’ll see spectacular scenery and views, with wildlife viewing from the top of one of the hikes as well as when walking through Waterton town.
The village will remind you of a storybook small lake community, with lots of little houses and cabins. Everything is relaxing and easily accessible with lots of things to do in order to have a great weekend. Still, if you want to be alone with your thoughts, all you need is the best solo tent money can buy and some essential camping items to enjoy the nature. You don’t even have to drive since the beautiful scenery is everywhere.
Point Pelee, Ontario
This international mecca for birdwatchers and hiking enthusiasts can be reached by a 4-hour drive from Toronto . With its famous birder Festival (mid-May song-filled northward migration), this is the place where you’ll see the rarest birds, from lark sparrow, ivory gull and warblers to sharp-tailed sandpiper.
The accommodation here is pretty nice with reasonable prices. You can book a typical Day’s Inn or go a little further inside and stay at the Colonel Butler Inn and enjoy the delights of the local wine.
According to many satisfied tourists, the park has various stopping points along the route and is beautifully green with boardwalks and beach areas. It is a great way to spend time for all who are into hiking, camping, and bird watching!
Glacier National Park, British Columbia
Situated at 2-hour drive from Banff, in the Western part of Canada, Glacier National Park is the place to be for all those camping fans that are keen to check glacier-spotting off their bucket list. As the name says it, this is a place where glaciers sneak their way between peaks of mountains and create an epic skyline that will delightfully make your stay. With towering mountains and brilliant turquoise glaciers, each season provides a different landscape. During the warm summer the landscape is lush and rich, in the fall you can see a colorful forestry, spring brings bubbling rivers, and winter means snowier, whiter mountains.
You’ll also learn that, with each visit and experience, the area gets more beautiful than ever before. You also have access to a mountain guide from Switzerland and there’s some pretty rich history built around the Canadian Pacific Railway. This means you won’t get bored since the place offers a little bit of fun for everyone.
Gros Morne, Newfoundland
Waterfalls, jagged mountains, gorges and fjords are what makes this place one of the most exciting parks in Canada. This UNESCO World Heritage Site provides a rare opportunity to see the rocks of the earth’s mantle exposed and the deep ocean crust. It’s a place where campers and hikers can experience lush green valleys protected by towering cliffs, dwarf trees, caribou and moose, glacial lakes and magnificent tundra.
The place also has over 200 traditional camps with most having installed electricity. However, if you really want to get back to basics, there are some “primitive” ones with pit toilets, wooden tent pads and bear-proof food lockers (that if you feel adventurous).
The scenery is gorgeous and awe-inspiring with great hiking trails which make you want to visit the place again. You will be amazed by the untouched-looking lands and glacier-carved valleys, but there’s also an interesting fauna to observe. If you hike through the Western Brook Pond you’ll see different bird species, while the Tablelands (which is definitely worth doing in May) give you access to the raw beauty of nature.
And there you have it: a fragment of Canada’s lesser known National Park gems. But don’t let our list confine you as there are plenty of amazing, jaw-dropping parks all over the country!
About the Author:
Rebecca lives in USA, but loves hiking all over the world. Her favourite is Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal. It usually takes 16 days, but she likes to slow down, enjoy mountains, company of other adventurers and take more pictures, so it took her 28 days last time. Another of her passion is the ocean, so all short and long hikes along the ocean shore bring a lot of joy. She also writes for hikingmastery.com/.