A famous waterfall, one of the biggest mountain ranges on earth, on and off piste-skiing, hot springs, unique wildlife, glacier lakes, an Atlantic and Pacific coastline, hiking trails and 40 national parks. Canada is not a country that lacks natural beauty and should be on the bucket list of every traveller who loves to awe at the earth’s wonders.
This blog post only covers 10 of the reasons why Canada is a must-visit for nature lovers which is perhaps slightly insulting because the country has more natural wonders to offer than just this. We’ve also included pictures because words alone cannot do this beautiful stretch of land justice.
1. A world-famous waterfall
The holy grail of Canadian natural wonders: the Niagara Falls. Sitting on the USA-Canada border between New York and Ontario it consists of three separate drops with the largest one, Horseshoe Falls, situated mostly on the Canadian side. With several observation decks, and a boat that takes you right up the falls, a trip to Canada isn’t complete without this stop.
2. A chance to see the Northern Lights
Up in the northern parts of Canada, the natural phenomenon that is the Northern Lights sometimes makes an appearance. Whitehorse in Yukon, Yellowknife in Northwest Territories, and Churchill in Manitoba are all popular with northern lights tourism.
3. One of the richest dinosaur fossil sites in the world
Whether you’re a palaeontology buff, or just a big fan of Jurassic Park, Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta is where you’ll find one of the highest concentrations of fossils in the world. The park is situated in the valley of the Red Deer River and 40 dinosaur species have been discovered within its proximity.
4. A Rocky Mountaineer train ride through one of the largest mountain ranges
While you don’t necessarily have to take a train (you can fly over or trek along one of the trails) the Rocky Mountaineer train journey is a popular (and more relaxing way) to admire the beauty of the Rocky Mountains.
5. The highest tide in the world
Depending on the time of day, visitors to the Bay of Fundy can either walk on the drained sea bed or stand as far back as possible from the 16 metre deep tide. The erosion from the sea has created oddly formed rocks that you can admire when the tide is out.
6. Get up close to some unique animals
Canada is home to an array of interesting wildlife. Some of them are cute enough to get up close to, such as raccoons, beavers and the Arctic hare. Others such as sea lions, humpback whales and belugas require a trip out to sea. Then there are bears (Churchill in Manitoba is the polar bear capital of the world) and wolves, which you should probably only look at from the car.
7. An endless amount of hiking routes
Explore Canada the natural way along one of its many hiking trails. There is a lot to choose from, such as the two routes in Cape Breton National Highlands Park, or the challenging trails towards the highest peaks of the Rocky Mountains.
8. Stand under 1,000-year-old trees
If a relaxing walk through a forest, breathing in the scent of pine, is one of your favourite outdoor activities, the Cathedral Grove located in MacMillan Provincial Park offers something above and beyond your regular Saturday stroll. Covering 157 hectares, the forest is home to trees that are 1,000 years old.
9. Listen to the sound of sand
You might have stood on a beach and listened to the sea, but have you ever walked across the beach listening to the sand?
The beaches of Basin Head in Prince Edward Island omit a whistle-like sound with every footstep. This phenomenon can be found in a few beaches across the world, and scientists still aren’t sure what causes it.
10. Visit a ringlike lake
Sometimes known as the ‘Eye of Quebec’, the Manicouagan Reservoir is an annular lake created by an asteroid. It covers an area of 1,942 km² and is the fifth largest reservoir by volume in the world.