10 Best Things to Do in Canada’s National Parks

Last updated 23rd April 2018



1/10 Go Wild in Jasper

Why Go? Jasper National Park is the largest park in the Canadian Rockies, a wild, untamed place where grizzlies, elk and moose outnumber the people living and visiting here.

Activities: Think rivers, glaciers, soaring mountainous peaks and flower-filled meadows. Jasper is the go-to place for nature and wildlife lovers, with hundreds of miles of trails, over 80 campsites and comfortable lodges.

2/10 Three Bars Ranch

Why Go? Saddle up and learn how to be a cowboy at Three Bars Ranch in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Jasper National Park.

Activities: This family-friendly and family-run ranch specializes in creating bespoke horse-riding programs for kids and adults of all abilities. It also has a diverse activity program for non-riders including rafting and archery.

3/10 Little Point Peleea

Why Go? Tiny by Canada standards, Point Pelee National Park is our recommendation for the ultimate in rare bird spotting. In mid-May, birds flock here to use the park as a natural stop-over: there are over 360 species or warblers, flycatchers and thrushes making the wetland marshes their home.

Activities: As well as using the walking trails, you can take a canoe out to get really up-close and personal.

4/10 Whale watching at Forillona

Why Go? Forillon National Park sits at the tip of Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula, a dramatic, coastal landscape where the Appalachian mountain range gives way to the towering cliffs of the Gulf of St Lawrence.

Activities: Although much of Forillon is forested, the cliff-tops are the perfect vantage point for spotting six different species of whales and porpoise. Alternatively, take a cruise accompanied by an interpreter-guide.

5/10 Bike Kouchibouguac

Why Go? “Kouchibouguac” means “river of the long tides,” a perfect description of this relatively small but enchanting National Park, located on New Brunswick’s eastern coastline.

Activities: Bogs, marshes, tidal rivers and freshwater lagoons, tall forests and gorgeous beaches make this a wildlife haven, but the biggest attraction for families is the 37 miles of dedicated, relatively flat gravel cycle and hiking paths for mix-and-match rides and walks.

6/10 Explore Gros Morne

Why Go? Newfoundland’s Gros Morne National Park is best known for its dramatic landscapes – fjords, lakes, plateaus are all here.

Activities: Take a boat tour to the towering wall of rock found at Western Brook Pond. The kids will feel like they’re walking on the moon at the Tablelands where peridotite rock can be found: usually buried over seven metres below the earth’s surface, this lunar-like terrain is a rare treat for young explorers.

7/10 Paddle Nahanni

Why Go? The Naha Dehé, a spectacular white water river lined by four canyons is the centrepiece of Nahanni National Park, making it a mecca destination for canoeists, kayakers, and any other activity that requires a paddle.

Don’t Miss: The epic Virginia Falls, twice the height of the known Niagara Falls.

8/10 Ski in Banff

Why Go? A powder-lovers paradise and the “world’s biggest playground,” Banff National Park has three major resorts nestled within the parks boundaries: Lake Louise Ski Area, Sunshine Village and Mount Norquay. All three areas have nursery slopes and special ‘slow-zones’ for beginners.

Activities: The ski-season here is the longest in North America, running from November to May and when not hurtling down the slopes, you can be horse or dog sledding, snow-shoeing or taking a wildlife tour.

9/10 Spot Polar bears in Wapuska

Why Go? “Wapusk’”means ‘White Bear’ in Cree language, and, as the name suggests, offers adventurous families one of the world’s best opportunities to spot polar bears as they gather around the shoreline of the Hudson Bay in October and November.

Activities: A tundra buggy tour is a must to get up close to these amazing creatures, but be warned, due to their understandable popularity, these tours get booked up well in advance.

10/10 Get Cultural in Gwaii Hanaas

Why Go? For generations, the indigenous Haida people of Gwaii Hanaas National Park in British Columbia have interacted with the spectacular land and seascapes to create a rich, complex and fascinating culture.

Activities: Get the inside story of a people who have inhabited the “islands of beauty” for thousands of years. See humpback whales and dolphins on a cruise around the islands, visit ancient villages and learn about the culture of the Haida people.