I had never really given Canada’s National Parks much thought until this year. With the 150th anniversary of Confederation and the park admission fee waived, this was the year to change that. Here is a rundown of the parks we had the opportunity to visit in alphabetical order, and just to warn you, there will be LOTS of photos. Most of them will be of the dogs #sorrynotsorry.
Banff National Park, Alberta (September 16, 2017)
Banff is THE national park in Canada.
Bruce Peninsula National Park, Ontario (July 3, 2017)
The stunning waters of the Bruce Peninsula can rival any tropical ocean, in colour at least. These waters are cold. Nearby Tobermory is a tourist hot spot but nearby Katemma’s serves up the best burger I have ever eaten. Lone Wolf Fish n’ Chips is renowned for their fish, caught from the nearby Lake Huron.
Cape Breton National Park, Nova Scotia (July 18, 2017)
The renowned Cabot Trail alone makes this park well worth the trip.
Elk Island National Park, Alberta (September 11, 2017)
It may be called Elk Island but the bison that we saw outnumbered the elk.
Forillon National Park, Quebec (July 15, 2017)
Forillon blew my mind with the scenery on the Gaspe Peninsula. It is well worth a visit and I will be going back.
Fundy National Park, New Brunswick (July 20, 2017)
Come for the tides, stay for the seafood.
Georgian Bay Islands National Park, Ontario (April 10, 2017)
I’m counting this as a technical visit since we didn’t get to the park proper but we did go to the area around the office which is still part of the park. The biggest hiccup with going to this park is the fact that the main park area can only be accessed by boat. The park has a ferry but it only transports people, not camping equipment or dogs. I could have taken a water taxi but at a cost of $120 for a round trip, it was a bit beyond my budget.
We made the most of the visit by wandering around nearby Midland before driving home through some horrendous rain.
Glacier National Park, British Columbia ( September 18, 2017)
Unfortunately the rain kept us from exploring the park both times we drove through.
Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan (September 21, 2017)
The sheer amount of wildlife we saw guaranteed that I will be coming back again. The prairie has a certain appeal and given that you can go anywhere in the park, it makes it unique.
Jasper National Park, Alberta (September 15, 2017)
Since Jasper is directly north of Banff, it shares the same topography and wildlife with fewer people.
Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia (July 19, 2017)
An inland park, it lacks the view of the oceans but for some reason I was quite taken by it. A canoe would be one of the best ways to explore this park.
Kootenay National Park, British Columbia (September 17, 2017)
A small park with only one road, you’re surrounded by the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. The town of Radium Hot Springs at the south border is almost like stepping into the Alps.
Kouchibouguac National Park, New Brunswick (July 16, 2017)
A flat park, this is one of the best biking areas in Atlantic Canada with over 60 km of bike paths.
La Mauricie National Park, Quebec (July 22, 2017)
Dogs are allowed but they are only allowed in picnic areas which is too bad because what I saw was lovely.
Mount Revelstoke National Park, British Columbia (September 18, 2017)
The scenic highway that leads from the town of Revelstoke to the summit of Mount Revelstoke is one of the big draws for this park.
Pacific Rim National Park, British Columbia (September 19, 2017)
We played in the Pacific Ocean. Piper especially liked the waves.
Point Pelee National Park, Ontario (November 6, 2017)
A stopping point for migrating birds and monarch butterflies, this is the farthest point of mainland Canada and rests at the same latitude as California.
Prince Albert National Park, Saskatchewan (September 10, 2017)
We were able to watch an elk walk by us into town and then played on one of the few dog beaches we could find in a national park.
Prince Edward Island National Park, Prince Edward Island (July 17, 2017)
A narrow park that stretches across the east coast of the island, the colour of the red sand is unlike anywhere else. A must-visit for any Anne of Green Gables fans. Unfortunately dogs aren’t allowed on the beaches.
Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario (September 26, 2017)
The area around Lake Superior is some of my favourite land through Canada. We didn’t have a chance to really explore but it is only 12 hours away…
Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba (September 9, 2017)
The first park on our westward journey and it was a total shock to me since I expected flat and boring prairie.
Rouge National Park, Ontario (July 30, 2017)
Easily accessed as it is on the eastern side of Toronto.
Thousand Islands National Park, Ontario (October 23, 2017)
A small park between Ottawa and Kingston, this park is on the shores of the Saint Lawrence River.
Wood Buffalo National Park, Alberta/Northwest Territories (September 13, 2017)
This park was significant because it was the farthest point that we have ever been. The fact that I often shared the roads with bison was fun.
Yoho National Park, British Columbia (September 17, 2017)
I’m surprised that this park doesn’t get more attention seeing as Emerald Lake and Takakkaw Falls are found within it’s borders.
Parks we missed (by region):
These are the parks that we couldn’t get to visit. There are a few reasons as to why we weren’t able to get there. A couple of parks don’t allow dogs, particularly Sable Island because of the wild horses that call the island home. Some parks are so remote they cannot be accessed by roads. A few parks, while they do have roads, I just didn’t have the time to visit. Having said that, if there are roads, we will visit.
Sable Islands (dogs aren’t allowed because of the wild horses)
Torngat Mountains (no roads)
Mingan Archipelago (dogs aren’t allowed)
Wapusk (no roads)
Waterton Lakes (closed because of wild fires)
Vuntut (no roads)
Qausuittuq (no roads)
Naats’ich’oh (no roads)
Tuktut Nogait (no roads)
Aulavik (no roads)
Ivvavik (no roads)
Quttinirpaaq (no roads)
Sirmilik (no roads)
Ukkusiksalik (no roads)
Auyuittuq (no roads)