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Canada is known for its massive outdoor spaces and its comparatively small population. That’s just two of the reasons why it’s the perfect place to visit for those who are worried about travelling in a post-COVID-19 world as there are so many places you can visit if you are looking to get away from the crowds.
There are lots of self drive Canada holidays on offer meaning you can easily keep to yourself and still see all the wildlife, mountains and other natural wonders that make the country so popular.
Our ‘How big is Canada’ post shows you the sheer size of the country and its provinces and in this article, we take a look at some of the best large outdoor spaces and peaceful locations you can visit in Canada:
•Bon Echo Provincial Park
•The Canadian Rockies
•Great Bear Rainforest
•Kejimkujik National Park
Bon Echo Provincial Park
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Bon Echo Provincial Park in South Eastern Ontario is home to lots of spectacular lakes, the most famous of which is Mazinaw Lake. Mazinaw Lake is one of the deepest lakes in the province and it is here where you can see the Mazinaw Rock which features the largest collection of native pictographs in Ontario – there are over 260 pictographs!
These indigenous rock paintings are found on the escarpment and at more than 100 metres high, the Mazinaw Rock dominates the landscape of Bon Echo.
Stuart Forster, the travel and food blogger behind Go Eat Do based in north-east England, tells us why he would recommend heading to Canada on holiday and why Bon Echo Provincial Park is a great place to visit.
“Canada’s vastness means you don’t need to travel far from major cities to enjoy outdoor spaces with fabulous views. In addition to beautiful and rugged national parks, Canada is dotted with provincial parks offering great walking.
“I really enjoyed hiking in Ontario’s Bon Echo Provincial Park, three hours’ drive from Toronto, because of its sense of remoteness and woodland scenery reflecting in the placid lakes.”
There is so much to do if you are visiting the Bon Echo Provincial Park with hiking trails from 1km in length to 17km, canoeing, boat trips and the Friends of Bon Echo Art Exhibition just some of the things you can do.
The Canadian Rockies
British Columbia (BC) is a great place to visit if you want to experience Canada’s great outdoors and due to its size, it is a place you can visit with confidence. BC is larger than New Zealand and there are plenty of stunning places and large outdoor spaces that you can visit in the province.
The Canadian Rockies is a must-visit. Located between the Interior Plains of Alberta and northern British Columbia, the Canadian Rockies is one of the most iconic sights in Canada with dramatic peaks and stunning glacial lakes.
The Rockies iare home to some spectacular hiking trails and Brigid, who runs the Rocky Mountain Scrambler site and is known for her outdoor photography of Canada, talks about some great hikes you can do around the town of Jasper.
Talking about the Valley of The Five Lakes trails she says: “Want a nice undulating trail that visits five lakes that are different colours of blue? Starting from the sizeable parking lot 10km south of town on the east side of the Icefields Parkway, this trail has a variety of lengths that you can adjust depending upon your timeline or fitness level. I enjoy doing the large loop clockwise to take advantage of a longer hike (around 5km and 75-90min).”
There are so many places to see and things to do in the Canadian Rockies and below are just some ideas:
- Explore Banff
- Take a photograph at Lake Louise
- Drive the Icefields Parkway
- Visit the Athabasca Glacier
Make the most of your visit to the Canadian Rockies by picking up a car hire in Vancouver giving you the chance to explore at your own leisure, taking in the sights along the way.
The Yukon is a blissfully untouched province in Canada that is brimming with wildlife and natural landscapes. It is the perfect holiday destination for an outdoor adventure and with it being around the same size as Spain and with a population of around 40,000 people, it is one of the most peaceful locations you can visit in the world.
The Yukon is a great place to visit year-round as during the winter months the snow-covered landscapes are breathtaking and the opportunities to ski and snow-shoe are endless. You can also see the world-famous Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis from October to April or try your hand at husky sledging.
Summertime is when the days are long and the sun could be shining for around 20 hours a day. Hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, wildlife watching or horse riding across the plains are some of the activities you can do and if you are into your photography you can snap away at some of the best views in Canada.
British-based travel blogger Stuart Forster tells us why he loved visiting the Yukon: “Few places feel as remote as the Yukon. Driving the Alaska Highway from Whitehorse to Kluane National Park and Reserve redefined my understanding of a wide-open road. I thoroughly enjoyed the landscape and sense of getting away from it all.”
Great Bear Rainforest
A land of forests, waterfalls and the rare Kermode bear, The Great Bear Rainforest is a tranquil and remote region which is, in fact, the world’s largest temperate rainforest.
Stretching along the central and north coast of British Columbia, here you can navigate your way through forested islands and waterways and see not only the iconic Kermode Bear or Spirit Bears as they are also known but grizzly bears, black bears, humpback whales, orcas and wolves to name just a few.
The forest is the territory of 26 First Nations and during your visit here you could head to First Nations villages that are believed to date back as far as 10,000 years.
Talking about her experience on her blog, she says: “In the spring, when I visited, the grizzlies, along with some black bears, come out of hibernation and the females bring their cubs down to the Glendale River. Here the bears, lean from months without eating, feed on the nutrient-rich sedge, grasses and crustaceans along the shoreline.”
Kejimkujik National Park
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Kejimkujik National Park in Nova Scotia is a great place to go to get away from it all with its picturesque lakes, rivers and forests.
There are ample campsites you can stay at within the park with some serviced with electricity or if you are after a wilder experience there are sites where the only light at night will be from the stars.
Stuart Forster has visited the national park during his time in Canada and he highly recommends making the effort to visit it.
“Kejimkujik National Park, in Nova Scotia, is a great place to unwind with a canoe tour. Paddling brings opportunities to spot wildlife, see First Nations’ rock carvings known as petroglyphs and view the dark sky preserves incredible star-dusted night sky.”
If you have been inspired to plan your next trip by reading this guide, you can look at all the different self drive Canada holidays we have on offer.