hiking in Canadian mountains
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Updated 5 months ago

In Canada, it is easy to have fun with friends or family. You just need to decide what kind of activity you want to do for a day or even for a weekend. If you are done with restaurants, movies and bars, Canada offers a lot of interesting places to visit like zoos, amusement parks, national and provincial parks, waterfalls, rivers and mountains.

In Canada, except for the West Coast, winters are long. However, this does not prevent Canadians from going out. You will find ski resort close to main roads, even outside the Rockies. You can also go hiking with snowshoes or snowmobiles. Do not forget to get dressed properly, to keep your head, hands and feet warm and to respect the regulations on hiking trails. Canadians are rather active: you will find a lot of gyms, swimming pools and sports complexes.

Wandering into the wild

There are for now 40 national parks in the country as well as provincial parks created to protect their ecosystems. The visitors can discover their extraordinary richness. You will find welcome centres with professionals who will guide you during your walk, as well as camping and picnic grounds. Some of those parks are close to cities.

In cities, you will find leisure parks where you can spend a day with your family, have a picnic or do sports. During the winter, you can put your ice skates on and train, even in the city-centre! Because of the access to a lot of water points in Canada, a lot of cities have beaches, near the ocean, a lake or a river.

Different kinds of parks

National parks are marked on road signs with a white beaver over a brown background. Most of them are not open all year round, according to the weather. You must double-check it before going. A lot of provincial parks close from mid-October until mid-May and others have reduced activities during this period. The entrance to some parks may not be free.

If you are lucky and quiet, you may see a bear but most frequently, a deer or a moose. It is recommended respecting the wildlife during your visit and it is forbidden to smoke, to cut plans, to litter and to feed the animals.

If you prefer adrenaline-packed activities, you can check an amusement park. In Montreal, you can visit "La Ronde" which attracts every day a lot of visitors coming to enjoy its merry-go-rounds. If you like rollercoasters, you should try the Goliath, with a speed over 100 km/h. There are also traditional merry-go-rounds for children, fast trains and a pirate ship.

Here are a few amusement parks you can visit in Canada: Atlantic Playland in Nova Scotia, Calaway Park in Alberta, Dinotown in Vancouver, Ontario Place and Paramount’s Canada Wonderland in Ontario.

Zoos

Toronto is the home of one of the biggest zoos in the world with around 5.000 species in a natural environment inspired by the different continents. In addition to that, the Calgary zoo hosts a lot of species, a botanical garden and a historical park with life-size dinosaurs reproductions. You will also find zoos in New Brunswick, Quebec and Manitoba. In Montreal, you can visit the "Biodôme" which hosts various animal species like penguins and otters.

Trekking

If you feel like going on a hike for a few days, you can try trekking in the Rockies on the Great Divide Trail. Tackle this 1.000 km hiking trail and discover various and unforgettable landscapes. You will be able to explore on foot natural wonders, observe animal wildlife and even try rafting and other tourist activities offered by the park. Along the trail, you will find camping grounds and hostels. It is recommended visiting the Rockies from June until September.

If you like road trips, you can consider crossing Canada East to West. You will need at least three weeks to go from Montreal to Vancouver. If you have enough time, you can stop in Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina and Calgary and even visit the USA.

On ads websites or specialized Facebook groups, you will often see people selling converted vans for 2.000 to 3.000 CAD that you will need to cross Canada. This solution will allow you to save money on hotels during your trip. If you are alone, you can even post an ad to find a trip partner.

The Northern Lights

Canada is a number one destination for northern lights. They can be seen everywhere, even close to big cities. However, certain periods and places are more favourable for this phenomenon. The more northern you get, the more chance you have to see northern lights. Keeping that in mind, the best places to witness this amazing natural show are the Northwest Territories, Yukon, the "Nord-du-Québec" (the northern part of Quebec Province) and Nunavut. If you want to know when and where you can see northern lights, you can check the online tool provided by the University of Alaska.

 Useful links:

Expat.com - Canada business directory
Expat.com – Leisure activities in Quebec
Official Website of Toronto
Tourism Ottawa
Tourism Saskatchewan
Travel Alberta
Tourism New Brunswick
Travel Yukon
Tourism Newfoundland and Labrador
Tourism in Canada
Keep Exploring - Canada

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