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10 Amazing (And Under-The-Radar) National Parks To Visit In 2017

CALEIGH ALLEYNE

photo credit: destination canada

This summer, nature lovers will be flocking to Canada to uncover the beauty that is Parks Canada. To celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation, as you may already know, all of Canada’s national parks and national historic sites will be free for visitors in 2017. As you start to make your summer long weekend plans, we’ve rounded up 10 of the coolest, and under-the-radar, national parks to visit all over Canada this year.

 

Kluane National Park  (Yukon)

Find Canada’s highest peak at Kluane National Park. Kluane National Park is where forest, mountains, glaciers and the tundra meet and where adventure seekers find a new extreme. The glacial and icefield landscapes and grizzly bear, caribou and Dall sheep habitat was also named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979 to help preserve this natural wonder.

Kluane front ranging. #skitouring🎿#skimountaineering#kluane#exploreyukon

A post shared by Ben Horowitz (@benjh2727) on

 

Elk Island National Park (Alberta)

Only a short 40-minute drive along the Yellowhead Highway outside of Edmonton, Elk Island National Park is just far enough from the city that it transports you to a serene park away from the lights and noise. Known for being a refuge for such local animals like bison, elk and over 250 bird species; this park was also responsible for bringing the bison back from near extinction.

Suspiciously devoid of elk…

A post shared by Eric Newby (@ericdouglasnewby) on

Torngat Mountains National Park (Newfoundland and Labrador)

Set on the stunning Labrador Peninsula at the most northern tip, Torngat Mountain National Park is the largest national park in Atlantic Canada stretching across 9,700 square kilometres from Cape Chidley south to Saglek Fjord. Torngat is set in the subarctic mountain range and is home to such local wildlife as caribous, polar bears and peregrine falcons. Travel through this park either by boat to see the majestic fjords, whales and icebergs or hike across the vast tundra.

Le rêve #studentsonice #gopro

A post shared by Zacturgeon (@zacturgeon) on

 

Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve (British Columbia)

One of the most remote National Parks, the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve is also a National Marine Conservation Area and Haida Heritage site only accessible by air or boat. The remote landscape has been preserved to protect both the natural beauty of the region as well as the cultural heritage of the Haida who have been inspired for many generations by lush rainforests, moss-draped cedar and Sitka spruce and wildlife in the land where they have lived for many generations.

 

Georgian Bay Island National Park (Ontario)

Inspiring the work of the Group of Seven, and numerous travellers after the fact, Georgian Bay Islands National Park is a short drive from Toronto and is part of the world’s largest freshwater archipelago. A perfect spot for those in search of campsites or cabins in the warmer months, Georgian Bay is a picturesque area of Ontario cottage country filled with looming pine trees along the granite shores of the Canadian Shield.  You can access to the park by boat only and can plan your trip by heading here.

Actually went home this homecoming weekend 🌲 #mecnation #loveyourgreats #natureforall #parkslife

A post shared by Megan Harvey (@megan_harvey) on

 

Mingan Archipelago National Part Reserve (Quebec)

Made up of over 1,000 islands and coastal islets stretching between Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan and Aguanish, Quebec, Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve is best known for having the largest concentration of erosion monoliths in Canada. Spanning 150 km from east to west, the unique terrain carved out by the sea has transformed this area into a haven for rare plants and a wide variety of marine birds. This park is only accessible by boat so be sure to make your reservation early with one of the marine transportation companies, or bring your kayak to explore.

Découvrir de nouveaux horizons ⚓️ #magnifiquecotenord

A post shared by eve la 🌷 (@eve.dl) on

 

Kouchibouguac National Park (New Brunswick)

Set on the east coast of New Brunswick, Kouchibouguac National Park is the perfect place to explore in the summer months with, sand dunes, lagoons, salt marshes and forests all within reach. The 238 square kilometres of the park can accommodate a number of recreational and adventurous activities from swimming at Kelly’s Beach, kayaking, hiking and cycling to seal watching excursions on a voyageur canoe and Mi’kmaq cultural programming delivered by Indigenous interpreters.

#kouchibouguac @parks.canada @parcs.canada #landscape #nationalpark #bog #trail #explorenb

A post shared by André Audet (@andreaudet) on

 

Riding Mountain National Park (Manitoba)

Sitting along the Manitoba Escapement, the boreal trails are a stark contrast to the arid Prairie lands often found in Manitoba. With over 400 km of trails to hike, explore the three unique ecosystems (grasslands, upland boreal and eastern deciduous forest) that all meet in this unique natural area. The Riding Mountain Biosphere Reserve was also named a UNESCO site which has help preserve the ecological beauty of flora and fauna found in this area.

DAY5

A post shared by Julie Randriamose (@malgachinoise) on

 

Grasslands National Park (Saskatchewan)

Experience the solitude of the wide-open plain as the prairie wind ripples a sea of grasses beneath the clear blue sky. Grasslands National Park, nestled in the cowboy country of rural southwestern Saskatchewan, encompasses the unexpected Prairie Grassland natural region. Discover the varied landscapes of the West Block’s Frenchman River Valley and observe some of Canada’s rarest wildlife, including Plains bison and Black-tailed Prairie Dogs. Explore the East Block’s breathtaking badlands and discover astonishing dinosaur fossils exposed in the eroding layers of earth. This park has also been declared Canada’s darkest dark-sky preserve and best night sky observing place.

 

Auyuituq National Park (Nunavut)

Nunavut is the newest territory, and one of the most remote areas of Canada to explore. Auyuittuq National Park is located in the rugged Arctic in the Baffin Island’s Cumberland Peninsula. Discover this region by land on one of Adventure Canada’s ocean expeditions, or with a local outfitter to catch a glimpse of the fjords, glaciers and ice fields of the Arctic up close. The most common route through this park is the Akshayuk Pass that follows Weasel River to Summit Lake.

 

Looking for more options? Check out our summer 2016 National Park recommendations here. 

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