Canada is known around the world for its spectacular natural beauty. BC’s wild coast, the towering Rocky Mountains, the vast prairies, Ontario’s legendary lakes and the Maritimes’ unique charm – the country is full of iconic landscapes, from one end to the other. To celebrate all these one-of-a-kind outdoor opportunities, the Backroad Mapbooks team has put together a list of Canadian bucket list adventures. Whether you are a local or are visiting from across the globe, a first-time outdoor explorer or a seasoned backcountry veteran, these are the country’s absolute must-see destinations and must-do adventures. Here is our backcountry bucket list.
Sleep Under the Northern Lights
While you don’t necessarily have to go THAT far North to see the Northern Lights, you will certainly get the best view traveling up to the Yukon. Though it may take some time and patience for the perfect viewing opportunity, the breathtaking experience of seeing the Aurora Borealis flicker across the night sky will make you happy you made the trip. From fall to spring you have the best chance of catching some aurora activity, either on a guided tour or on a casual outing, so start planning your bucket list adventure to see planet Earth’s greatest light show – Canada’s famous Northern Lights.
Northern Lights in Whitehorse, Yukon. Photo Credit: Christina Etcell @travellingmindfully
Soak It All in at the Takhini Hot Pools
Found just outside of Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory, the Takhini Hot Pools are one of the province’s most popular attractions. There are two pools here, with the hotter one measuring an average of 42° C (108° F) and the cooler pool at 36° C (97° F). The water is all-natural and rich in minerals, and even lacks the sulphury smell that you will find at many other springs. A campground and hostel are found next to the springs, and the adjacent café serves local, organic crepes and gourmet poutines. If you find yourself in the Yukon, you won’t regret a stop at the Takhini Hot Pools.
Takhini Hot Pools. Photo Credit: takhinithotpools.com
Go for Gold Along the Chilkoot Trail
This historic trail, which stretches between Dyea, Alaska and Bennett, British Columbia, was the main route into the Yukon goldfields for thousands of prospectors during the gold rush of the 1890s. The prospectors had to brave the 1500-step Golden Stairs, which were cut into the ice and snow leading up to the pass. While some made it to the goldfields and indeed struck it rich, others never even made it past these steps. These days, the trail is a popular summer hiking route, with the 53 km (33 mi) trek normally taking about a week to complete. Campsites and shelters are found all along the trail, which constitutes the largest National Historic Site in Canada. While you aren’t likely to find any actual gold, completing this scenic trail will be just as rewarding.
Chilkoot Trail. Photo Credit: canadaxperience.com
Heat up in the Springs of Hot Springs Cove (Ramsay Hot Springs)
Only 37 km (22 mi) from the famous West Coast town of Tofino, a famous bunch of hot pools attracts adventurers from around the world. Hot Springs Cove, also known as Ramsay Hot Springs, is an incredible destination despite the slight challenge in getting there. To reach the pools on Southern Vancouver Island you will have to book a trip on a float plane, hop on a powerboat, or paddle a kayak, but however you get there, it will be worth the journey. The springs rest on the very edge of the Pacific Ocean, with their steaming water flowing in from a 3 metre (10 ft) waterfall. A trip to Hot Springs Cove is definitely one to remember!
Hot Springs Cove. Photo Credit: blog.hellobc.com
Get Pitted While Surfing in Tofino
Known as the surfing capital of Canada, Tofino boasts numerous long, sandy beaches within minutes of town where you can find beginners and pros alike enjoying the breaks of the open Pacific ocean. There are numerous local companies that offer surf lessons for first-timers and Tofino’s coast is breathtakingly beautiful, creating lifelong memories before you even step in the water. Just be prepared for cold water and a steep learning cove – surfing takes a while to pick up, but the hard work makes it all the more rewarding when you do get the hang of it.
Long Beach, Tofino. Photo Credit: wildretreat.com
Chase the Beauty of Backcountry Waterfalls
Among the adventure wonderland of Strathcona Park on Vancouver Island, Della Falls is a waterfall chaser’s dream catch. With a total vertical drop of 440 meters (1443 ft), many consider it to be the highest waterfall in Canada. It is a 35 km (21 mi) boat trip to get to the trailhead to the falls, followed by a 15 km (9 mi) hike, but the breathtaking views of the cascading waterfall are more than worth it. With several campsites available at the falls, you can rest up and get a second chance to enjoy the Della Falls the next day, one of Canada’s must-see bucket list waterfalls.
Della Falls. Photo Credit: Galen Humber @galenhumber
Get Away From It All on the West Coast Trail
Stretching for 75 km (47 mi) along a traditional First Nations pathways in present-day Pacific Rim National Park on the west coast of Vancouver Island, the West Coast Trail is a must-hike route for any serious outdoor adventurer. With three separate trailheads, the 7-day trip can be broken up into smaller sections, but hiking the entire length will give you the full experience of oceanfront camping, steep ladder climbs through the rainforest, cable cars that run across inlets and channels, whale watching, isolated shipwrecks and epic sunsets.
West Coast Trail. Photo Credit: Sooke to Port Renfrew Tourism Association sooke-portrenfrew.com
Visit the Incredible Islands of Haida Gwaii
Found off of British Columbia’s Pacific Coast, Haida Gwaii is the most remote archipelago in Canada, consisting of over 150 islands of which only two are developed. The rest are occupied by some of the most biologically diverse assortment of wildlife you can find anywhere in the country, along with massive old-growth trees and both current and historical First Nations camps. Orca whales can be seen swimming the waters, while seals sun themselves on rock islets and bald eagles and ravens soar overhead. There are boat-access hot springs to visit, and the small towns that do exist here are full of local artists and craftsmen. This is as authentic as a west coast adventure can get.
Haida Gwaii. Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Go Grizzly Viewing in Khutzemateen Provincial Park
There are around 40 grizzlies who call Smith Inlet home, and eco-friendly tours are available for getting an up close and personal look at these majestic animals. While the pristine inlet and the surrounding old-growth rainforest are impressive in their own right, little compares to seeing the bears in their natural habitat, feeding on fish and going about their bear business. While it is not safe to get off the boat and wander around the inlet, there are wooden viewing platforms set up for visitors. Be sure to bring your camera on your bucket list adventure to Khutzemateen Provincial Park.
Khutzemateen Provincial Park. Photo Credit: Philip Lott phillipsnaturalworld.com
Experience the Evergreens of Golden Ears Park
At 55,590 hectares (137,310 ac), Golden Ears Park sizes in as one of the largest parks in BC. Although most recreational use of the park occurs around its southern portion near Alouette Lake, there are a number of trails that lead adventurers deep into the park, including the popular Golden Ears Trail and the route to Hector Ferguson Lake. With multi-use and hiking-only trails available, anyone and everyone can dive into the deep evergreens and towering pines of Golden Ears. Whether you are looking for a thrilling overnight backpacking trek or a lazy weekend by the lake, put Golden Ears Park on your bucket list.
Golden Ears Park. Photo Credit: Tyrell Johnstone @tyrelljohnstone
Sled the Slopes of Revelstoke
Well-known as a winter wonderland for skiing and snowboarding, Revelstoke, BC is also one of the country’s top destinations for snowmobilers. With hundreds of kilometers of groomed trails, including trails along Frisby Ridge and Sale Mountain, and opportunities for backcountry riding on Mount McCrae and Turtle Mountain, a cruise through the slopes of Revelstoke is sure to be the sledding trip of a lifetime. For more info on some of the country’s top snowmobiling adventures, check out this BRMB blog.
Frisby Ridge. Photo Credit: Danny leBlanc @dangerleblanc
Brave the Berg Lake Backpacking Trail
Resting on the Northern tip of the Thompson Okanagan, the Berg Lake Trail is 23 km (14.3 mi) of pure backcountry beauty. Following the Robson River, the trail will take you through meadows, along teeming river beds and past incredible waterfalls. The world-renowned trail guides you through three biogeoclimatic zones and there are a variety of backcountry campsites to choose from along the way. Once you reach the icy, turquoise-blue waters of Berg Lake, dotted with icebergs even in the middle of summer, you will see why the Berg Lake Backpacking Trail is definitely a bucket list adventure.
Berg Lake. Photo Credit: Emily Jean Lytle @lytlelady
Hunt in the Wilds of Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Provincial Park
Located in the heart of the Northern BC wilderness, Spatsizi is a world-class hunting destination for big game including sheep, moose and caribou. Limited Entry Hunts draw outdoor adventurers with the lure of bagging a trophy beast, and the camp at Cold Fish Lake offers deluxe (by backcountry standards) accommodation with warm water, wood-heated cabins and an electrified meat locker for successful hunters. While you are here, you might as well fish for the plentiful rainbow trout as well. For more on this bucket list hunting adventure, check out this blog written by Backroad Mapbook founders Russell and Wesley Mussio.
Wesley Mussio in Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Provincial Park. Photo Credit: BRMB
Climb the Mountains of the Canadian Rockies
Sprawling across the southern border of BC and Alberta, the Canadian Rocky Mountains attract millions of tourists and visitors every year. While some of the Rockies’ most impressive sites can be seen simply by stopping along a major highway, others require challenging hikes, horseback rides or plane rides to access. However, dramatic views and unique adventures can be found anywhere in this world-famous mountain range. Whether you plan to take in multiple parks on your Rocky Mountain adventure or focus in on one in particular, you’ll want to reserve a few spots on your bucket list to see the best parts of the Canadian Rockies.
Mount Assiniboine. Photo Credit: Celestine Aerden @celestineaerden
Cruise the Iconic Icefields Parkway
Looking for the road trip of a lifetime? The only answer is to take a drive along the Icefields Parkway. Also known as Highway 93 North, the Icefields Parkway showcases many of Banff National Park’s most captivating views. The entire highway can be driven in three hours, but with iconic Canadian Rocky glaciers, lakes, waterfalls and wildlife in all directions, you will want to spend more time than that. The Parkway is rated as one of the top destination within Banff National Park, and we rank it as one of the best road trips you will go on in your life!
Icefields Parkway. Photo Credit: @laurrhobbs
See the Wonder of Waterton Lakes National Park
With over 190 km (120 mi) of multi-use trails, beautiful azure lakes for fishing and paddling and 3,250 meter (10,660 ft) high mountain peaks to climb, Waterton Lakes National Park in Southern Alberta is a haven for adventurists. One highlight in the park is the trail to Crypt Lake, which leads you through subalpine valleys, along cliff edges, through narrow rock tunnels and past cascading waterfalls to the hanging lake. With hundreds more adventures to discover, Waterton Lakes National Park should be on every Canadian explorer’s bucket list.
Waterton Lakes National Park. Photo Credit: @juanjoselagos_photography
Travel Back in Time at Alberta’s Dinosaur Provincial Park
Recognized as the richest fossil dinosaur site in the world, there have been more than 400 dinosaur skeletons found here since 1889, representing 55 individual species. Dating back some 75 million years, these skeletons were preserved in the mud and sand deposits of the massive rivers that once ran through the area. Visitors can take a guided tour and search for bones and fossils of their own, then spend the night at the park’s spacious campsite. Even if you don’t find any prehistoric remains, the dramatic Badland hills and hoodoos are a treat to see. The park is also home to a wide variety of non-fossilized plants and animals, including 160 species of birds. For more on fossil hunting across Canada, check out this BRMB Blog.
Dinosaur Provincial Park. Photo Credit: Csocsán Gyula
Roam the Hills of Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park
Rising 200 metres (656 ft) above the surrounding prairie, the Cypress Hills plateau is the highest point of land in Canada between the Rockies and the Labrador Peninsula. This is also the country’s only interprovincial park as it straddles the Alberta and Saskatchewan borders. Featuring a mix of grassland, lakes and forest, the park creates a vibrant habitat for over 700 species of plants and animals, including 14 species of orchids. In the summer, you can explore the hills on foot, horseback or bicycle, or take to the lakes and streams in a canoe or kayak, while wintertime brings some incredible snowshoe and cross-country ski opportunities. No matter the season, Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is definitely a bucket list adventure.
Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. Photo Credit: tourismsaskatchewan.com
Do the Athabasca Sand Dunes
Situated in the North West of Saskatchewan, the Athabasca Sand Dunes stretch over 100 km (62 mi) and are the largest active sand surface in all of Canada. The sandy oasis can only be accessed by float plane and there are no facilities available, and this ensures the fragile environment will be preserved for years to come. Featuring rare plants and even more extraordinary adventures, a trip to the Athabasca Sand Dunes is a once in a lifetime experience that you will want to repeat again and again.
Athabasca Sand Dunes. Photo Credit: @travelcanada_
Drop a Line in Lake Diefenbaker
For new or seasoned anglers, a good fishing trip can really be the experience of a lifetime. Saskatchewan has fishing opportunities of all kinds with its hundreds of lakes and rivers, but one world-class fishing destination is Lake Diefenbaker. Home to species such as walleye, rainbow trout, northern pike, lake trout, sauger, yellow perch, lake whitefish, burbot and goldeye, the variety is endless! For an even more fantastic fishing experience, Lake Diefenbaker even hosts three major fishing derbies each year! Whether you are heading out for a first time fish or attempting to get a prize catch, Lake Diefenbaker is an angler’s paradise!
Lake Diefenbaker. Photo Credit: @geologistfrederick
See the Bison in Prince Albert National Park
Although they once numbered in the millions, bison became nearly extinct in North America in the late 1800s. Today, Prince Albert National Park is home to one of the few remaining populations of free range bison that still exists within their historic range. There are over 400 of these animals found in the park, and you can safely get within 100 metres (330 ft) of them while exploring the park on foot, bike or horseback. These are the largest mammals in North America, and seeing them in their natural habitat is especially impressive.
Prince Albert National Park. Photo Credit: wheels.ca
Hunt for a Delicious Wild Fall Turkey
Though it may be easier to just head out to the local grocery store to purchase your Thanksgiving or Christmas Turkey, how exciting would it be to enjoy a turkey that you caught yourself? In Manitoba you will have your fair share of poultry pickin’ in the Southern part of the province as you try your hand at wild turkey hunting. While there are many different techniques and skills to catch the best bird, our Hunting Wild Turkey in Manitoba blog will teach you everything you need to know to catch a gobbler of your own.
Awe at the Amazing Polar Bears of Wapusk National Park
The northern tundra that surround Churchill, Manitoba is an incredible adventure destination for backcountry explorers. Though the soil of Wapusk National Park is permanently frozen and covered in blankets of snow, the northern park still makes for a bucket list adventure. Not only will you get the chance to see caribou and arctic fox, but you can even hop on a guided tour to see wild polar bears in their natural habitat. Take your sightseeing to water as you canoe the chilling waterways, go on a guided hike to archeological sites or take an aerial tour via floatplane. You’ll want to pack your parka for a cool bucket list adventure in Wapusk National Park.
Wapusk National Park. Photo Credit: @canuk.images
Swim with Beluga Whales in Churchill
In the northern city of Churchill, Manitoba, every July and August a massive influx of beluga whales occurs, with around three thousand of these majestic beasts found in the waters that surround the town. It is possible to take a zodiac out on the water for a ride among the pod, and even touch them from your boat. However, for the most memorable bucket list adventure possible, suit up and grab a snorkel to swim with the whales yourself – you’ll get a view of the many hundreds of whales below the surface that you wouldn’t see otherwise.
Beluga Whales Near Churchill. Photo Credit: manitobahot.com
Paddle and Fish the Legendary Lakes of Algonquin Provincial Park
One of the most sought-after canoeing destinations in the world, Algonquin Park features over 2,000 km (1,600 mi) of canoe routes and portages that span hundreds of unique lakes and rivers. Backcountry campsites are found throughout this route network, so you can make your bucket list adventure last as long as you like. And as you make your way deeper into the park, the fish get bigger and bigger, so be sure to bring your rod for some of the best brook and lake trout fishing you will find anywhere. Algonquin Bound Outfitters are a great resource for first-time visitors to the park, offering everything from guided tours to canoe rentals and drop-offs. You can also check out these BRMB Blogs for an insider’s look at an Algonquin adventure.
Algonquin Park. Photo Credit: algonquinbound.com
Kayak the Clear and Beautiful Georgian Bay
With crystal clear azure waters, unique vegetation and captivating caves and rock formations, Georgian Bay is a kayaker’s paradise. The North Channel stretches 160 nautical miles down the coast of Georgian Bay and is the perfect place for a paddle of any kind. With plenty of calm water and breathtaking 360 degree views, you can spend days exploring here. Georgian Bay contains 59 of the world-famous Thousand Islands (world’s largest archipelago) and is surrounded by the diverse terrain of the Canadian Shield. A kayak through the sparkling waters of Georgian Bay will leave you with crystal-clear lifelong memories.
Georgian Bay Islands. Photo Credit: @sarah_macinnes
Find Incredible Fall Views on Top of the Giant
While Canada’s backcountry is full of beautiful places to catch some Fall Foliage Views, some of the best sightings are in Northwestern Ontario. For unobstructed views of trees bursting with bright orange, striking red and shining yellow, Top of the Giant Trail in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park is the place to go. After a 2.7 km (1.7 mi) climb, and numerous switchbacks, you’ll reach a vantage point featuring colourful fall flora as far as the eye can see. You’ll feel like you’re on top of the world during this bucket list adventure along the Top of the Giant Trail.
Top of the Giant Trail. Photo Credit: @waqonthewildside
Peer at the Petroglyphs at Petroglyphs Provincial Park
Home to the largest concentration of First Nations rock art in Canada, Petroglyphs Provincial Park contains over 900 carvings cut into a single slab of marble over multiple generations. This is a sacred place for the Ojibwe people, and not just the carvings but the rock itself holds great spiritual importance. Animals, people, reptiles and religious figures are all depicted among the art. Today, the carvings are contained within a protective building with interpretive plaques and guides to explain their significance. For a fascinating look into Canadian First Nations Culture, be sure to cross Petroglyphs Provincial Park off your bucket list.
Petroglyphs Provincial Park. Photo Credit: shorttrips.ca
Take a Ride on the P’tit Train du Nord
This 200 km (125 mi) trail leads cyclists through Quebec’s scenic and charming Laurentian region. Lush Quebecois countryside, quaint villages and restored train stations are a few of the highlights along the ride, which is fairly deluxe as far as long-distance cycles go – B&Bs are found all along the route, and a shuttle drops off your luggage at each destination. While the ride is most enjoyable in the summer, cross-country skiers can follow the trail in the winter as well. There is no better way to explore rural Quebec than on a leisurely bike or ski along the P’tit Train du Nord.
P’tit Train du Nord. Photo Credit: quebecoriginal.com
Snowmobile Along Quebec’s World-Class Trails
Quebec has tens of thousands of snowmobile trails, making it a sledder’s paradise once the snow falls. Ride up to a seaside lookout along the Gaspé Peninsula, explore the dense forests and former railways of the Haute Gatineau or cut into some untouched powder in the Laurentians – snowmobiling in Quebec is second to none. After a full day of sledding, kick back with your fellow riders at a local pub with some craft beer and poutine for a full taste of Quebec’s winter. Charging through the province’s snow-covered backcountry is a winter adventure unlike any other.
Gaspé Peninsula. Photo Credit: Studio du Ruisseau
Paddle Among the World’s Highest Tides in the Bay of Fundy
Twice a day every day, around 160 billion tonnes of seawater flow into and out of the Bay of Fundy, creating the highest tides on planet Earth. Water levels change as much as 16 metres (56 ft) throughout the day, or roughly the height of a five-storey building. This variation in water levels exposes some incredible coastal rock formations and sea caves, and the best way to see these up close is by paddling up to them in a kayak. Just be aware that the tides can create some difficult currents, so it is best to join in on a guided tour (there are many to choose from). Kayaking along this dramatic coast will leave a lifelong impression on any explorer, making this a true bucket list adventure.
Bay of Fundy. Photo Credit: New Brunswick Tourism
Tackle the Terrain of the Fundy Footpath
While this trail is best left to experienced hikers, as the route can be rough and there are significant elevation changes along its 41 km (25 mi) length, those that rise to the challenge will be rewarded with an incredible wilderness experience. The Footpath leads you through the longest continual undeveloped stretch of coastline south of Quebec. Sandy beaches lie below towering, forest-lined cliffs, endless ocean views stretch out to the horizon and numerous backcountry campsites offer accommodations under the stars.
Fundy Footpath. Photo Credit: redrockadventure.ca
Fly Fish the Famous Miramichi River
Fly fishing is one of the most exciting ways to fish, and there are few places in the world that compare to the fly fishing opportunities on New Brunswick’s Miramichi River. The river produces more wild Atlantic salmon than any other, and has been a fabled destination for anglers for over a century. Atlantic salmon are known as the “king of game fish,” and catching one of these on a fly is an experience you will remember for the rest of your life. And there is no better place to do it than on the mother of all salmon rivers.
Miramichi River. Photo Credit: Old River Lodge
Sleep in a Goutte d’O
As if camping in Canada’s beautiful backcountry wasn’t special enough, Parks Canada has implemented many new and unique camping alternatives. This includes the Goutte d’Os installed in Fundy National Park, New Brunswick. These extraordinary sleeping pods are built in the shape of a water droplet, and feature an interior of 6 m² (64 ft²) with a sofa bed on the main level and a hammock hanging in the loft above. These cozy creations can fit a family, or a couple, and are the perfect place for a refreshing night’s sleep in beautiful Fundy Park.
Goutte d’o. Photo Credit: @lauraharris.nb
Take a Wild Ride on the Grand Falls Zipline
Grand Falls are found along New Brunswick’s Saint John River and plummet for an impressive 23 metres (75 ft). These are Canada’s biggest falls to the east of Niagara, and are worth the trip just to look at, but ziplining across them is a whole other story. Ziplining doesn’t require any special skills, but the feeling of gliding over the river canyon through the waterfall’s spray will be unforgettable. A well-trained crew is on hand to make sure your crossing goes smoothly, and chances are you are going to want to zip across again and again.
Grand Falls. Photo Credit: canadianbucketlist.com
Cycle Across PEI Along the Confederation Trail
Running for 435 km (270 mi), from one tip of Prince Edward Island to the other, this former railway offers a unique hiking and cycling experience of rolling hills, quaint villages and sprawling seascapes. With a maximum gradient of just 2%, the trail is suitable for outdoor explorers of all fitness and skill levels, and there are accommodations found all along the route so you can stop and sample some of PEI’s culture and cuisine. And if you find yourself here in winter, the trail becomes a designated snowmobile corridor once the snow falls, so you can cross off this Canadian bucket list adventure no matter the season.
Confederation Trail. Photo Credit: welcomepei.com
See the Scenic Cape Breton Highlands
Spanning 950km² (366 mi²), Cape Breton Highlands National Park offers some of the most incredible Atlantic Ocean views you can find anywhere. With plunging canyons, cascading waterfalls, soft sandy beaches, dense forests and, of course, the famous Cabot Trail to explore, there is a new adventure around every corner. The park is open year round and there are plenty of backcountry and serviced campsites available for a five star rest in Cape Breton’s backyard. Whether you are heading out with your family, friends or solo, a trip through the World renowned Cape Breton Highlands needs to be on your adventure bucket list this year.
Cape Breton Highlands. Photo Credit: novascotia.com
Say Hello to the Wild Horses on Sable Island
Canada is certainly home to some unique destinations, but one of the most surprising is Sable Island, found some 200 km off the coast of Nova Scotia. The island, comprised entirely of sand, is home to over 400 wild horses, along with extensive breeding colonies of seabirds and seals, and is considered an international ecological treasure. The island’s sandy makeup causes it to shift and transform, and it is surrounded by many shallows and shoals that have caused hundreds of shipwrecks throughout the years. While there are many restrictions and regulations for visiting this ecologically sensitive area, setting foot on Sable Island will be worth it all.
Sable Island. Photo Credit: Bella Waterton @bwaterton
Gaze at the Grandeur of Gros Morne
Stretching for 1,805 km2 (697 mi2), this is the second largest park in Atlantic Canada. Home to a diverse landscape of towering mountains (up to 806 m/2,644 ft), unique rock formations caused by eroding oceanic crust, sprawling valleys and beaches, Gros Morne is a natural wonder. The park is also home to Western Brook Pond, which is actually a 30 km-long freshwater fjord fed by Pissing Mare Falls, the highest waterfall in eastern North America. Dozens of hiking trails lead you through both the coastal and interior portions of the park. Taking a walk through this enchanting park is an experience worthy of every serious adventurer’s bucket list.
Gros Morne National Park. Photo Credit: Julia Endicott @juliaindica
Drive the Viking Trail
Stretching along Newfoundland’s west coast for a total distance of 489 km (304 mi), the Viking Trail is known as Canada’s most scenic drive. Leading you through Gros Morne National Park, past historic fishing villages and charming small towns all the way to Saint Anthony, The Viking Trail is a must for any backroad explorer. Towering cliffs, forests, peaty bogs and wide-open skyline create incredible views, and there is no shortage of hiking trails along the way to stretch your legs. The trail terminates at L’Anse Aux Meadows, the site of a Viking settlement that dates back some 1,000 years, long before Christopher Columbus made landfall in the Caribbean. Mixing fascinating history, stunning scenery and contemporary Newfoundland culture, the Viking Trail is a one-of-a-kind road trip experience.
Viking Trail. Photo Credit: twitter.com/VikingTrail
Scope Out Some Icebergs at Iceberg Alley
From the southeast coast of Newfoundland all the way up to Labrador, you can enjoy the best iceberg viewing in Canada. Known as Iceberg Alley, this area sees a huge influx of these ice formations each spring as they break off the glaciers of western Greenland and float towards Canada’s coast. The icebergs come in all shapes and sizes, ranging in colour from pure white to deep blue. While you are here, you can sample some local spirits distilled from water harvested from the icebergs, and even try some iceberg beer. For the best iceberg viewing, take a ferry to one of the region’s smaller islands or hire a tour boat. You won’t want to miss catching a glimpse of one of these 10,000 year-old ice giants.
Iceberg Alley. Photo Credit: Greg Lock/Reuters
Chill Out and take a Polar Bear Swim
From Calgary to Kelowna, Oakville and Steady Brook, polar bear swims are becoming more and more popular across the country. Although taking a dip in a freezing lake or river may not seem that appealing at first, it offers a number of health benefits that include boosting your immune system and producing a surge of endorphins for an all-natural buzz. Plus, it’s a great way to get out and socialize and to raise some money for a good cause, from food banks to Habitat for Humanity. For more information on polar bear dips across Canada, take a look at this BRMB Blog.
Polar Bear Swim, Vancouver. Photo Credit: red-leaf.com