Canada is chock full of provincial parks, both small and large. Sometimes, we forget about our nation’s splendor—including numerous parks that are available for us to use for recreational activities such as hiking, canoeing, and camping. In our continued efforts to promote the benefits of physical activity, we thought it might be worthwhile to introduce some of Canada’s beautiful parks, which are admired for their incredible scenery and abundance of activities.
Great Bear Rainforest
This rainforest is Earth’s largest intact temperate rainforest and is enjoyed by the serious adventurer, casual explorer, or curious tourist1. Experience guided grizzly tours, fishing, heli(copter)-hiking, wildlife-viewing, and even whale watching. Located in Haida Gwaii, a series of islands in the most westerly part of north British Columbia, this is one of the best places to enjoy Canada’s wilderness2. Enjoy the thousand-year-old red cedar trees of the Great Bear rainforest on a beautiful hike. What makes this rainforest unique is that it’s home to a subspecies of black bear with white fur known as the Kermode (Spirit) bear, as well as being a great location for grizzly viewing.1 Great Bear Rainforest is also known for having a vast ecosystem of marine life such as whales, dolphins, sea otters, and sea lions.1 You can enjoy ideal conditions for a brisk Pacific surf—which gained popularity in the 1960s for its not crowded but perfect for surfing “empty waves”—in November to March and enjoy the island’s amazing swell3. Even outside of high season, waves can be enjoyed year-round at Masset’s North Beach. If surfing isn’t your thing, rent a cabin for a weekend and take some time to visit the quaint shops peppered throughout Haida Gwaii, or book a kayak tour and enjoy the islands via the shoreline.
Banff National Park
Whether you’re looking to enjoy a day at the hot springs, hiking, mountain climbing, canoeing, skiing, or fishing, Banff National Park is an outdoors enthusiast’s playground. The park is located in the Canadian Rockies which span the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. It offers much for Canadians who are looking for adventure or relaxation. The park’s vast landscape is open for birdwatching and sightseeing for wildlife such as bears and coyotes4. You can also sit back and grasp the scenic landscape—snap photos of the glaciated mountains or of the crystalline and serene Lake Louise. There is something for everyone. Lovers of winter sports can still hit up ski and snowboard slopes in the summertime on some of the highest peaks! Other great parts to visit include a flower haven at Sunshine Meadows. Finally, the stunning snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies that you can see from Banff National Park are an irresistible part of Alberta that no one can pass up.
Lakeland Provincial Park
Known for their beautiful lakes, Lakeland Provincial Park offers an array of activities, particularly for the water. If you enjoy any kind of water activities from swimming to canoeing to boating, this is the perfect park for you. You can visit Pinehurst, Touchwood, and Seibert lakes to enjoy their beaches, or a participate in a variety of boating activities such as windsurfing, sailing, and powerboating5. Ironwood Lake is a great place for avid paddlers to enjoy a canoe trip, making it the paddler’s paradise5. Patrons can also take pleasure in the vast campgrounds located in all four lakes across the park.
Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park
Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park—spanning the southeast corner of Alberta and the southwest corner of Saskatchewan—is the perfect park for families, couples, and individuals to enjoy recreational activities of all kinds. If you’re looking to venture out for extreme recreation, tours, camping, hiking, or horseback riding, Cypress Hills has much to offer. The park offers paved or single track biking trails for casual and experienced bikers alike as well as mountain bikers looking for a challenge6. Hiking at Cypress Hills can be done on trails located in both Alberta and Saskatchewan, with opportunities for wildlife viewing of white-tailed deer, moose, and elk6.
When exploring new sports and recreational activities, consider visiting your chiropractor prior to your adventure to learn more about how you can be physically prepared for outdoor activities and prevent injuries.
References 1https://www.hellobc.com/great-bear-rainforest.aspx 2https://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/bc/gwaiihaanas/activ.aspx 3https://www.gohaidagwaii.ca/blog/surfing-haida-gwaii 4https://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/banff/activ.aspx 5https://www.albertaparks.ca/lakeland/ 6https://www.cypresshills.com/