Wells Gray Provincial Park (15 minutes from Clearwater, B.C.)
Wells Gray occupies about 5,250 square kilometres, made up of mountains, forests, rivers and lakes. Located between the coast of B.C and the Rockies, it is the perfect midway stop. The park holds 39 different waterfalls, including Helmcken Falls, Canada’s fourth highest waterfall. Camp at one of Wells Gray’s 220 forest-covered campsites, or paddle to Murtle Lake’s sandy beach, which can only be reached by canoe. The park is a prime hiking destination, with trails that reach both Trophy Mountain, known for the largest alpine flower meadow in Canada, and the top of an extinct volcano, Pyramid Mountain. The park also offers activities like whitewater rafting, horseback riding, kayaking and fishing. It also offers shelter to wildlife like wolves, moose, bears and 250 different species of birds.
Algonquin Provincial Park (3 hours from Toronto)
Spanning more than 7,600 square kilometres, the park is located between Georgian Bay and the Ottawa River. Algonquin is home to all kinds of wildlife, including birds, reptiles and even moose, so make sure to take advantage of your surroundings and do some wildlife watching. The park offers different types of camping depending on how adventurous you’re feeling, with options for both backcountry camping, which you can reach by hiking or canoeing, or campsites that are accessible by vehicle. The park also offers programs like guided walking tours, wildlife watching, biking, fishing and canoeing. As one of Canada’s largest parks, Algonquin is about one and a half times the size of Prince Edward Island, so you can spend days exploring all there is to see.
La Mauricie National Park (2 hours from Montreal)
Named after the Saint Mauricie River, La Mauricie National Park is located in the Laurentian mountains and covers 536 square kilometres. The park has many places to visit and explore, with over 150 lakes, plus many ponds and rivers. Spend your days on mountain bike trails, in natural pools or on an expedition out to Waber Falls, a beautiful waterfall in the park. For a stunning view, take a picnic to Bouchard Lake, where you can eat beside the tranquil water. They offer normal campsites as well as canoe-camping, where you can portage to your campsite on the lakeshore. The park is also open in the winter for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.