Parks Canada has a new mandate: cuddle up and get romantic! Outdoor (wintry) romance is trending in Canada, and the Canadian government wants you to get in on the action. I recall the oft-quoted words of our late Prime Minister, the Honorable Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who said, "There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nations." Parks Canada is definitely sticking to that belief – they're more interested in helping you take your romantic intentions well away from the bedroom – and into Canada's national parks and historic sites. The amorous staff at Parks Canada, in what must have been a true labour of love, have compiled a list of The Top 10 Romantic activities in Canada's National Parks and National Historic Sites. What can I say? If you're looking for a destination for a passion-filled escape, or maybe you're just looking to get your mojo back, look no further than Canada's great outdoors. Here's our own list of 5 Most Romantic Outdoor Spots in Canada: 1. Banff Upper Hot Springs Will appeal to: skiers, outdoorsy folk and people wishing to relax after a day on the slopes. Romance rating: **** (4 stars; extra points for that mountain view)
(Photo courtesy of Parks Canada)2. La Mauricie National Park Why splurge for mirrored ceilings and vibrating heart-shaped beds when you and your other half can get cozy in one of Parks Canada's oTENTiks. I describe them as tent-meets-yurt-meets-portable-cottage. There's no electricity, but every oTENTik is equipped with a wood-burning stove. Then again, you and your mate could decide to generate your own heat. Parks Canada will gladly advise on how to operate the stove. As for generating your own heat, that's up to you and yours. Parks Canada only supplies the romantic setting. Will appeal to: adventuresome couples who want to spend the night in a quiet setting with nothing but the crackling of wood-burning to lull you to sleep. Romance rating: **** (four stars)
(Photo by Doug O'Neill)3. Pacific Rim Reserve This National Park has three appealing sections: Long Beach, the Broken Group Islands, and the West Coast Trail. Will appeal to: active types who want an outdoorsy workout with their partner. Romance rating: **** (four stars). The rainforest trails and sandy beaches of Long Beach will leave you breathless. (As for the West Coast Trail: if your relationship survives this challenge, you'll survive anything!) 4. Rideau Canal National Historic Site Skating the full length of the Rideau Canal with the Parliament Buildings in the background is a rite of passage for every Canadian. Will appeal to: urbanites and couples with kids in tow Romantic rating: *** (three stars; dining out in Ottawa's up-and-coming foodie scene could bump it up to ****). 5. Fundy National Park of Canada Assuming your love doesn't ebb and flow like the Bay of Fundy tides, this too is a must-visit for every Canadian. Will appeal to: anyone who's never witnessed the miracle of the Bay of Fundy Tides. Romantic rating: *** (three stars; go at the right season in time for the sea food will boost the experience up to 5 stars) Which of these Parks Canada destinations would leave you love-struck?