Canada’s got a lot to be proud of, and as the summer months roll in, nowhere is our Northern pride more on display than in the great outdoors, where our parks and lakes reign supreme for both locals and the touring adventurists. We’ve narrowed the field to bring you 10 of the best parks and trails to hike in Canada. From the best hikes in Banff to the West Coast Trail, stock up on the bug spray, slip into some comfortable shoes and get outdoors!
Banff National Park, AB
Best season to hike: June to early October to avoid snow on the paths.
Pro tip: The elevation gain here is 3,000 feet and runs for a total distance of 13km.
West Coast Trail, Vancouver Island
Best season to hike: experienced hikers will tackle this 5-7 day trail from May to September.
Pro tip: This trail is ideal for seasoned hikers with lots of endurance, experienced in multi-day treks and comfortable with rough terrain.
RELATED: Pics: Canada's top 20 must-see waterfalls.
Prince Edward Island National Park, PEI
Best season to hike: Summer, but for taking advantage of the spectacular trails and bike paths, opt for a spring visit.
Pro tip: This park is home to Green Gables – the very same one that inspired the internationally loved series of “Anne of Green Gables” books!
Killarney Provincial Park, ON
Best season to hike: Generally summer months to early fall; so July to early October, but the end of April to late June is known as the least busy point of season for those hikers looking to avoid overcrowding on the trails.
Pro tip: Come prepared with a camera to take in the sights that famously inspired the Group of Seven.
Bruce Peninsula Park, ON
Best season to hike: The Bruce offers spectacular sights in every season, but to make the most of those water views and really see the grotto in all of its glory, plan this trip during the warmer months.
Pro tip: If you’re looking for a rugged trek, the Bruce Trail is a good place to start, but if you’ve got little ones in tow, your best bet would be the smooth 5km walk around Cyprus Lake.
Whistler Mountain, BC
Best season to hike: Peak-summer, where you’ll have access to over 50km of trails.
Pro tip: For the true experience, check out the High Note Trail; a 3-4 hour loop that runs 9.4km and will clock you in at elevations of 846ft.
Algonquin Park, ON
Best season to hike: Late spring to early fall.
Pro tip: A park permit is required for all trail use and trail guide booklets are available from late spring to early fall at all trail heads.
Whiteshell Provincial Park, MB
Best season to hike: Depending on your trail of preference, there are hiking options for every season.
Pro tip: If it’s a challenge you’re after, than you’ll want to check out the Mantario trail; a 3-6 day hike that takes you over 60km of rugged Shield country terrain.
La Mauricie National Park, QC
Best season to hike: You’ll want to skip the snow if you’re after those picturesque lake views, so opt for the warmer months.
Pro tip: We recommend the Les Cascades Trail; an easy 2.1km loop that you can complete in under an hour and gives you a crash course in the many scenic landscapes of the area.
Kootenay National Park, BC
Best season to hike: The park is open all year, but you’ll find most tourists come out to enjoy the area between June and September.
Pro tip: The park is named after the Kootenay River, which is one of two major rivers that run through the region (the other is the Vermillion River).