Canada is celebrated its 150th birthday all year by offering free admission to all of its national parks. Make sure to take advantage of this deal because Fall is a particularly good time to visit Canada. The colors of the leaves make the parks even more breathtaking, and the summer crowds have mostly gone home. Here are three of Canada’s best parks, but try to visit as many places as possible before the year ends!
Banff National Park, Alberta
Banff was established as Canada’s first national park in 1885, and for good reason. It has stunning scenery, access to wildlife, and activities for everyone. Banff’s trails will guide visitors through its glaciers and crystal clear lakes, all the way up to its sharp peaks.
While most people associate Banff with its mountains and hiking, it offers so much more. Banff has multiple lakes, and some are so deep that people can scuba dive. Or, try biking through the changing colors on the Banff Legacy Trail. In addition, Banff is particularly great for its wildlife, from birds to elk, even bears and cougars.
At the end of an adventurous day, stop by Banff’s hot springs. Part of why Banff became a national park is the Cave and Basin Hot Springs, which you can still visit today. They’re beautiful and otherworldly, but you can’t swim in these hot springs, as they’re historically and biologically protected. However, Banff Upper Hot Springs is a great alternative to soak and appreciate the mountain views.
We recommend staying at the Moose Hotel and Suites, which is close to the Upper Hot Springs, and within sight of the park’s towering peaks.
Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia
It might be a bit too last minute to travel overseas this year, but traveling to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park is essentially traveling to Scotland. Located on the coast of Nova Scotia, which actually means New Scotland, the park is a combination of rolling hills, dramatic cliffs by the seaside, and sunsets on the beach.
Fishing villages dot the coast, and visitors can learn to lobster boil with lobsters fresh from the sea. Alternatively, drive along the Cabot Trail, which runs through the park along the coast. And don’t miss the often unappreciated part of this national park—enjoying your favorite activities after the sun goes down. Cape Breton offers sunset hikes, night hikes, and lantern hikes.
We recommend staying at the Seascape Coastal Retreat, which is right off the Cabot Trail and is as relaxing as it sounds.
Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba
Summers in Riding Mountain National Park mean cooling off by the lake, and winters mean incredible snowshoeing. Fall in the park combines these scenes to bring perfect temperatures for mountain biking and hiking. One of the best trails to try is the Reeves Ravine Trail, which takes visitors through meadows, lakes, and forests. After all, part of what makes the park special is the three ecosystems within it.
The park is also one of the most promising places to see the Northern Lights. They’re most likely to appear from January-March. However, in the fall, visitors still have a good chance of seeing them without being caught in the cold. Grab a blanket and sit on the beaches of Clear Lake. Worst case, you can lay back on the beach, and see the night sky dotted with stars reflected in the water. Best case, see the Northern Lights in all of their glory as they flicker across the silhouettes of the surrounding trees.
We recommend staying at the Elkhorn Resort. The combination of rustic aesthetics with relaxing spa treatments makes for a perfect place to unwind after a day of adventures.
Your Next Adventure is Waiting
Summer vacations might be the time for beaches and swimming suits, but fall is the time for perfect temperatures, cozy evenings, and jealousy-inducing photos. Even if you can’t get to Canada before the end of the year, weekend escapes are always just a drive away. Wherever you go, book your stay with Reservation Counter.