Ile-Bonaventure and Roché Percé Provincial Park, Québec
Authors: Yan Desjardins, Founder & Executive Director
Are you looking for your next travel adventure? Have you thought about applying for a Canadian tourist visa? At Northern Road, we strive to bring you the genuine Canadian experience through the eyes of Canadians, so we thought about all the nature lovers out there!
Canada’s national parks are right for you. With 48 National Parks spreading over 30 regions around the country, it is an absolute must-see during your visit!
Let’s take a closer look!
Canada’s landscape has been forged over billions of years. Over time, landscape changes were driven by forces of nature: water and wind erosion, the different climates, volcanic eruptions, and more.
But in Canadian history, one primary geological process helped define and shape some of Canada’s most famous landscapes: the movement of tectonic plates!
Continuously over 3 billion years, the plates on each side of Canada moved inwards, adding pressure to the rock-filled land, therefore pushing it on itself. The result? A large chain of rock mountains erupted from the ground, known today as ‘The Canadian Rockies.’
But let’s get back to Canada’s national parks. There are 3 types of parks:
- Canadian National Parks: they are administered by the federal government and regulated by federal legislation;
- Provincial parks: parks administered and regulated by each Canadian province;
- Regional parks are often included in a region (ex: the capital of Canada region) and administered by a commission.
Canadian National Parks consist of large ecosystems filled with many land and marine habitats to be discovered. In addition, each National Park has its own cultural significance based on the region where it is located, making it a different and unique experience each time you visit one.
Additionally, each province has their provincial parks that just keeps on adding to Canada’s beauty and offers more experience to thrill-seekers. Your 10 years Canada visa will serve you well if you want to discover more of Canada’s national parks.
Be sure to take the opportunity to learn through the educational programs at the National Park you intend to visit. Learn about protected heritage sites, the culture & history of the park, and the different preservation programs that aim at preserving the ecosystems. We highly recommend booking a guided tour.
In November 1885, an Albertan sulphur mountain was the first area to be declared the official Canadian national park system made for public use. Tucked away in a hot springs cave was the first declared national park, Banff National Park.
The hot springs were discovered by the first British settlers who worked on the Canadian Pacific
Railway in 1883. Given its unique and prestigious beauty, the federal government decided the area should not be granted as private land and be preserved for the benefit of all Canadians.
As more and more National Parks were discovered, the federal government established and introduced a bill in the Canadian House of Commons to protect the most remarkable beauties to ensure large-scale ecosystem development continues to thrive.
Every Canadian National Park is quite different from one another. They offer diverse landscapes in each of Canada’s regions. But they do have things in common! Almost half of the national parks border Canadian oceans. Others are in mountainous landscapes with snow-capped peaks or in a large forested area with many rivers and lakes, perfect for kayaking, hiking, canoeing, cycling, and camping.
All of Canada’s parks operate all year long. Even in the winter months. Imagine all of the new experiences that your Canadian tourist visa can open for you! There is a whole new world of winter experiences in the parks, like the cold weather, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or hiking in the parks during the winter months.
Our top 5 national parks.
At Northern Road, we wish to bring you the Canadian experience through the eyes of Canadians! So, we thought it fitted to bring you our all-time top 5 favorite national parks! You may even recognize some of them.
Banff National Park, Alberta.
Banff is the oldest and most visited park in Canada. It is also probably the most photographed park in the entire country as well! Each year, thousands of visitors apply for a Canadian tourist visa just to discover this incredible location for its picturesque and historical significance, and for a good reason.
Nestled away in Canada’s Rocky Mountains, the park offers breathtaking views of the mountains, pristine water lakes, and dense forests. Lake Louise, known for its clear blue water lake and rocky mountains, is one of the tourist hotspots in the park. You can find many accommodations options, from low budget to 5 stars hotels, restaurants, and all other amenities at Banff.
Bay of Fundy National Park, New Brunswick.
Situated on Canada’s east coast, between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the Bay of Fundy’s is perfect for sea lovers. Its coastline offers sheer cliffs, enormous tides and is a haven for biodiversity lovers. Long drives along the coast are highly recommended.
The best time to discover Hopewell Rocks with your Canadian tourist visa is between June and September. Go kayaking amongst the carved-out boulders, witness water levels that rise upwards to 15 meters, and enjoy all the fresh seafood you can eat. While you’re there, make sure to try some fresh Canadian lobster and oysters!
Canadian Atlantic provinces are home to some of the friendliest Canadians. Not only will you be amazed by the beauty of the landscape, but you will be charmed by the Atlantic hospitality.
Gatineau Park, Québec.
Gatineau Park is located in the province of Québec, near Ottawa, the capital of Canada. It is the 2nd most visited park in Canada. It offers excellent activities for nature lovers and other thrill-seekers. Interest in camping in a ‘Yurt’ in the middle of wildlife? Or perhaps enjoy a little bit of ‘glamping’? You can do both! Also, plan your hike in the many kilometres of trails and make sure to visit the mystical Wilson Ruins.
Gatineau Park is a large land park covering hundreds of kilometres with lush forests and abundant rivers and lakes. Make sure to stop in the charming old town of Chelsea, Québec. Gatineau Park is a regional park, and since the federal government does not regulate it, it has seen some business and residential development.
If you are applying for a Canada visa and wish to visit the region of the capital of Canada, make sure you put Gatineau Park on your itinerary.
Nahanni National Park, British Columbia.
Take advantage of your Canadian tourist visa and go off the beaten path. Nahanni National Park is a perfect way to rest and recharge. Located in the North of Canada, Nahanni National Park sits in a carved-out valley throughout the mountains. This UNESCO Heritage Site has many limestone caves and gorges that were once hollowed out from Nahanni River.
The National Park does not have any roads or tourist accommodations; therefore, visitors come to the national park for trips that last between 1 to 3 weeks. During this time, visitors whitewater raft, canoe, and camp amongst stunning landscapes.
Be on the lookout for gold nuggets the size of grapes! In the early 1900s, many gold prospectors came here to find their fortunes.
Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland.
Gros Morne is located on the Atlantic coast and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. Gros Morne National Park took over 485 million years to form into this spectacular ecological treasure.
You can hike the Park’s peaking summits, take a boat and feel the mist from the towering waterfalls, attend the many festivals, and camp with a tent under the stars.
Our travel tips.
Here are a few travel tips and best practices. If you are thinking of coming to Canada on a Canadian tourist visa to visit some of Canada’s parks, you might want to take note of the following.
Book in advance.
Some National Parks around are free to access, but others may require you to book in advance. Once you have your Canadian tourist visa in hand, purchase an entrance ticket to one of the National Parks online before arriving in Canada. Entrance fees to National Parks may vary. As well, some of the most popular attractions may sell out quickly, so don’t miss your chance; book in advance.
The summer season is the most popular tourist season in Canada. Millions of people visit Canada during this time, so make sure you book your accommodations well in advance.
Plan your visit ahead.
Now you know that Canada’s National Parks are huge and offer many different attractions, but make sure to do your research and get prepared beforehand. Remember, Canada is a vast country, so you might have to travel many hours by road to get from point A to point B. Don’t miss out on your favorite attractions by not factoring in the distance you may have to cover!
To ensure the safety and the preservation of the park’s nature while on your visit, National Parks have government-run facilities such as visitor orientation centers and ranger stations to help visitors if needed. However, not all parks have ranger stations; therefore, it’s always good to practice to prepare well for your expedition.
Make sure to review the emergency and safety guidelines of the park before venturing on your trek or camping trip. Some remote areas may not have mobile phone coverage, so it is best to have a survival plan! And stay away from Grizzly bears!
Ignite your dreams. Go further!
Imagine all the visits and adventures you can do with your 10-year Canadian Visa! Canada’s National Parks are sure to provide you with the thrill you are looking for. As well, you will be in amazement at the abundance of wild animals and nature around you.
Need help applying for your tourist visa? Contact us today and let us be part of your journey.