Canada is home to a number of world-famous national parks, but the country’s provincial gems are often overlooked. For your next adventure, consider one of these stunning spots instead.
From Banff and Jasper in the west to Saguenay-St. Lawrence in the east, Canada’s national parks are legendary, attracting millions of visitors a year. However, they aren’t the only places to see beautiful scenery and historic sites. The country’s numerous provincial parks can be just as spectacular. From coast to coast, here are six provincial parks always worth planning a trip to.
Mount Robson Provincial Park, British Columbia
Mount Robson is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, and this provincial park that bears its name is just as spectacular. The park was created in 1913, the same year mountaineer Conrad Kain led the mountain’s first ascent. It protects the headwaters of the mighty Fraser River and makes up a portion of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Kananaskis Country, Alberta
Kananaskis Country is actually a collection of multiple provincial parks, wildland provincial parks, provincial recreation areas, and ecological reserves. It was formed in 1978 and named for the Kananaskis River that runs through it. The area is well-loved for its numerous outdoor recreational activities, including camping, hiking, and rafting. It also includes the Canmore Nordic Centre and Nakiska Ski Resort, both designed for the 1988 Winter Olympics.
Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario
Established in 1893, Algonquin Provincial Park is the oldest provincial park in Canada. Being located closely to both Ottawa and Toronto also makes it one of the most popular provincial parks in the country. The area covered by the park contains an astounding 2,400 lakes and 1,200 kilometres of waterways. Unsurprisingly, fishing is one of the top activities here, in addition to hiking and birdwatching.
Pingualuit National Park, Quebec
Though not the most accessible provincial park in the country, Pingualuit National Park is certainly one of the most interesting. Located in the far north of Quebec, 100 km from the nearest Inuit village, Pingualuit National Park was established to protect the Pingualuit crater. The crater is the site of a meteorite strike thought to have occurred about one million years ago. The best months to visit are July and August, when the temperature is mild.
Mactaquac Provincial Park, New Brunswick
Protecting the woodland along the gorgeous Saint John River, Mactaquac Provincial Park has a wide variety of year-round activities for outdoor enthusiasts. This riverside playground offers endless walking trails, refreshing freshwater beaches, and many family-friendly events at the recreation centre. A golf course, a campground, two marinas, and a treetop aerial adventure are just some of the many more exciting opportunities available for park visitors.
Cabot Beach Provincial Park, Prince Edward Island
Cabot Beach Provincial Park on Prince Edward Island is a stunning spot right on Malpeque Bay. It is the largest park in the western part of the province and offers a host of family-friendly outdoor recreational activities. Take a nature walk guided by an experienced naturalist, go for a supervised swim in the bay, check out the large playground in the day-use area, or even book one of the excellent campsites.
Provincial parks offer some of the most beautiful, unique, and interesting sites across Canada. Don’t let the chance to visit any one of these incredible national treasures pass you by.