Canada’s 39 national parks cover the country’s most beautiful mountains, lakes, rivers, forests, and coastline.
Areas of unspoiled peace, they are the ideal destination for those seeking an outdoor vacation filled with sports, activities, or even a natural spa. The most celebrated upland areas are the “big four” parks in Alberta and BC, Kluane in the Yukon, and the arctic flower-filled tundra of Auyuittuq National Park in southern Baffin Island.
Most of the parks are administered by the government heritage body, Parks Canada, and each has a visitors’ center or park office to welcome visitors.
Here walking, hiking, canoeing, and fishing information is available, often from guides who know every detail of the terrain. These offices also issue permits for fishing, which are necessary in each park. Hunting of any kind and use of firearms are all strictly forbidden in national parks, as is feeding the wildlife and damaging any trees and plants. Most parks have camping facilities, or rustic lodges and cottages. The parks generally charge for these facilities, and most have a daily, weekly, or yearly entrance fee, but some are free. Season tickets are available from either the individual park or the Parks Canada office in Hull.
Over three million square miles of inland waters go partway to justifying Canada’s reputation as a paradise for anglers. There are countless varieties of sports fish, not to mention the charterboat ocean fishing for salmon off the Pacific coast. Almost all parks offer fishing, often in secluded, pristine lakes and rivers. Be sure to contact the park’s main office to obtain a fishing license. While most visitors fish in summer, a tiny wooden structure that sits on the frozen lake makes winter fishing more comfortable.
These huts sit over a hole in the ice and are often heated. It may be worth buying rods and reels at your destination; Canadian fishing equipment is very high quality, with a good choice, and is usually very reasonably priced.