Before you dive into that stuffed Thanksgiving turkey, it’s time to have a toast and give thanks to the incredible opportunities we have here in Canada. Not only are we a diverse, welcoming and peaceful country, but we are also home to some of the best adventures in the entire world.
With over 9.9 million km2 (3.8 million mi2 ) of breathtaking landscapes, it’s no wonder that millions of people travel here from around the world to discover our country’s natural beauty. This Thanksgiving, Backroad Mapbooks is thankful for all the incredible outdoor adventures our country has to offer. Here are a few of our favourites:
1. The Canadian Rockies
Running along the border between British Columbia and Alberta, the wonder of the Canadian Rockies attracts countless visitors from around the world each year, and it’s easy to see why. Incredible hiking trails, pristine campsites, ancient glaciers and a rich history of mountaineering and conservation make this a destination unlike any other. And with four national parks and six provincial parks making up the heart of the Rockies, there is something here for everyone to enjoy, from the tourist-heavy destinations of Lake Louise and Banff to the remote backcountry of Willmore Wilderness Park, there is a lot to be thankful for in the Canadian Rockies!
2. Gros Morne National Park
Gros Morne National Park is well-known as one of the most stunning natural areas in Atlantic Canada and is one of the region’s premiere outdoor adventure destinations. Covering 1,805 km2 (695 mi2) of pristine wilderness on the west coast of Newfoundland, the park is home to massive cliff-lined fjords, cascading waterfalls and barren canyons. This breathtaking landscape can be explored via casual strolls along short, family-friendly trails or challenging multi-day wilderness treks – every type of outdoor explorer will find something to be thankful for here. And no matter how you choose to explore the park, proper planning and good navigational tools will help keep your adventure running smoothly – our Mapbooks, GPS Maps and TOPO Maps are a great place to start.
3. Pacific Rim National Park
Found on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Pacific Rim National Park is emblematic of everything that makes the west coast a globally famous outdoor adventure destination. Lush rainforests, rocky cliffs and abundant wildlife are just some of the natural wonders to be thankful for here. The park is broken up into three units: the Broken Group islands Unit is a world class kayaking and canoeing destination, the Long Beach Unit is world-renowned for aquatic wildlife viewing and surfing and the West Coast Trail Unit is home to one of the country’s most celebrated long-distance hiking trails.
4. Algonquin Park
One of Ontario’s (and the country’s) greatest treasures, Algonquin Provincial Park has been a hot spot for outdoor adventure for generations. Home to over 1,500 lakes, 1,200 km (745 mi) of streams, over 1,900 campsites and 54 species of fish, this is one of the most impressive canoeing tripping and fishing destinations you will find anywhere in the world. There is nothing quite like paddling to a secluded lakeside campsite and cooking a dinner of fresh-caught walleye, then enjoying a night under the stars with your best adventure buddies at your side. If that is not something to be thankful for, we don’t know what is. To help you make your way through this treasured park, be sure to grab a copy of our Algonquin Provincial Park Waterproof Rec Map, designed specifically with the canoe-tripper in mind.
5. Bay of Fundy
Known as one of the 7 Wonders of North America, the Bay of Fundy is truly a sight to behold. Home to the world’s highest tides, which can reach a peak of around 16 m (50 ft) or the height of a five-storey building, the Bay is truly a natural marvel to be thankful for. Whether you come to kayak among the giant flowerpot rock formations shaped by centuries of tidal erosion, take a guided whale-watching tour or just take in the sights from the shoreline, you won’t be disappointed with this maritime masterpiece.
6. Wildlife Viewing
While Canada’s breathtaking geography is impressive in its own right, the wild creatures that call our country home only add to its magnificence. From the orca whales of west coast to the polar bears of Churchill, Manitoba, to the woodland caribou of Newfoundland, we share this country with countless captivating creatures. And with many of these animals living right in our backyards, sometimes you don’t have to travel very far to catch a glimpse of them in their natural habitat. Here are some of the best places to go for iconic wildlife viewing across the country:
Gwaii Haanas Marine Conservation Area – BC
Best Wildlife to See: Humpback Whales
Great Bear Rainforest – BC
Best Wildlife to See: Spirit Bear
Wood Buffalo National Park – Alberta
Best Wildlife to See: Bears, Wolves, Moose, Lynx, Fox
Prince Albert National Park – Saskatchewan
Best Wildlife to See: Bison, Moose, Elk, Bears, Wolves
Riding Mountain National Park – Manitoba
Best Wildlife to See: Moose, Wolves, Lynx, Elk
Churchill Wildlife Management Area – Manitoba
Best Wildlife to See: Polar Bears
Algonquin Provincial Park – Ontario
Best Wildlife to See: Moose, Black Bear, Wolves
Witless Bay Ecological Reserve – Newfoundland and Labrador
Best Wildlife to See: Puffin
Digby Neck Islands – Nova Scotia
Best Wildlife to See: Humpback and Finback Whales
Whichever corner of the country you find yourself in, you can find these adventures worth being thankful for inside our popular Backroad Mapbok Series.
We hope you take some time this Thanksgiving long weekend to get outdoors and enjoy some of what makes Canada such a special place to live! Be sure to share your adventures with us on Instagram using #brmblife for a chance to be featured on our feed and win prizes!