An Adventurist’s Paradise in Canada
From sea to sea to sea, Canada has an abundance of differing ecosystems, each offering a different possibility for adventures of different types. There is bungee jumping from deep gorges in the British Columbian and Albertan Rockies, as well as white water rafting, zip-lining along the tops of gigantic redwood trees or mountainous forests, mountain biking parks in the mountains, and, of course, skiing and snowboarding. Sound good? Well, that’s just the beginning when you are looking for an adventure vacation paradise in Canada.
From the West, you can kayak in the Pacific ocean, with whales swimming amongst your group, or playing with you. They will surface, and play amongst themselves, in a seemingly ploy to entertain their human visitors. The odd dolphin, otter and other sea life will amuse and amaze you constantly. Paddle closer to shore and fish for Coho Salmon, sea trout or Arctic Graylings, and watch for moose, elk, bears, eagles and hawks.
Moving inland, you can visit the hot springs near Banff, Alberta. No matter the temperature outside, the hike to the various hot springs is well worth it, as your body rejuvenates from the hot, clean waters. Or, if your idea of fun is more ancient, you can visit Drumheller National Park, to see the dinosaurs that have been unearthed, with Albertasaurus Rex being one of the largest fully assembled dinosaurs on display, anywhere.
Manitoba and Ontario are full of sites for the adventurous spirits, with many rivers and lakes that are chock full of sport fish, like walleye, most species of trout, and even the ancient and gigantic white sturgeon. James Bay and Hudson’s Bay are large bodies of water that feed into the Arctic Ocean, and are well known for whale watching and a phenomenal sport fishing industry.
Tobermory, on the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario is a world famous scuba diving destination, with many sunken ships, boats, and other materials to make false reefs as well as scuba diving more attractive in the clear and calm waters. The Bruce Peninsula is also well known for the marked hiking trails of different difficulties, and the cave systems that were used for the film Chariots of Fire.
Ontario is more of a cultural and cottage destination, and the more adventurous people usually head north, to Algonquin Park, where you can rent canoes and paddle to private campsites. Make sure to have the cameras loaded and turned on at all times, as this was the most common source of the Group of Seven artist’s paintings.
In Quebec, skiing, hiking, whale watching and fishing are the more common destinations for the adventurous spirit, but the Gaspe Peninsula beckons those of the more thrill seeking crowd. Kite flying off of very high, steep cliffs, or off of steep ski hills. Oh, you are attached to the kite, and crew members put you through a kite flying experience. You can also jump with a parachute, or be pulled behind fast boats in either a kite or a parachute.
There is a reason that Nova Scotia is called “Canada’s Playground”, and that is that there is more adventure within close proximity to each other that adrenaline junkies will never be left with nothing to thrill them, completely. With the world’s highest and fastest tides, white water rafting takes on a new meaning. When you are rafting down a powerfully fast river with good rapids and fast S-curves, you are suddenly faced with a wall of sea water racing up the river towards you, many at over eight feet in height. Jet boats do the rivers as well, and runs are coordinated so that no two boats are in the same area at the same time.
Whale watching in the Bay of Fundy, off of the Digby Neck chain of islands, is a completely perfect idea of what whale watching should be. When a boat is approached by a pod, a family, a few stranglers or even a single whale, the other boats have to give that boat a 20 minute exclusive encounter. The whales will surface beside the boat, floating inverted (head up), staring you in the eye, or on their bellies and backs in playful moods, the encounters are almost euphoric.
There are seven Provincial Parks in Nova Scotia, each offering their own unique adventures. The most beautiful and adventurous are on Cape Breton Island, along the Cabot Trail. Campers can expect wondrous scenery, high winds, whale watching from shore and many adrenaline rushing adventures.
Prince Edward Island (PEI) has started to come out of it’s shell since the completion of the Confederation Bridge, connecting the island, for the very first time, to mainland New Brunswick. Sea Kayaking, tuna and shark fishing, the best lobster fishery in the world. The best and friendliest (well, next to Newfoundland!) seafood restaurants you will ever find will satiate your hunger for your next adventure. PEI is known mainly for sea-based adventures, and in Murray harbor, you can rent kayaks, paddle out near the middle of the harbor, and have sea otters play on top of your kayak, as well as all around you, expecting tummy rubs and gentle brushing of their fur and heads. An adventure not to be missed.
New Brunswick is more of a family-oriented Province, with things like the Magnetic Hill, where an optic illusion and naturally occurring magnetic shields in the ground making your car back up a hill in neutral. But the trout and salmon fishing, especially in the St. John and the Miramichi Rivers.
Newfoundland is the island portion of Newfoundland and Labrador, a Province so wild it has it’s very own time zone (8:00 pm Eastern is 8:30 pm in Newfoundland!). Expect the normal sea-side adventures, but the mainland, Labrador, is rather harsh to get around, and adventure consists of hiking, world-class sport fishing, and getting drunk on Newfie Screech.
So come to Canada, have a Beavertail, a Moose Head beer, and find what excites you the most. Whatever it is you are looking for, you are bound to find it here, in the land of the north.
Travel smart. Travel informed.