Tag Archives: National Parks

Cavendish, Prince Edward Island National Park

Cavendish’s National Park ran along the northern side of Prince Edward Island facing the Gulf of St Lawrence. It was a small national park. Its longest trail ran from Cavendish Beach to North Rustico, a little over twelve kilometres one way. What made this site busier than any I had visited on the island was the sandy beach that faded into the distance, especially on the misty morning I visited.

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Prince Edward Island National Park

This national park on the northern side of the island was established in 1937 to protect the beaches and sand dunes as well as the region’s wetlands and marshes. The twenty-seven square kilometre park faced the Gulf of St Lawrence and consisted of mostly access to its many sandy beaches. But there were some trails away from the dunes.

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Day two of Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Rocky Bluffs and shallow coves were typical on the park’s eastern side where winds off the Atlantic Ocean battered the coastline. Green Cove had warnings that large waves could crash against the headland at any time. Near the ocean, plant life was stunted due to thin soil and salt spray. Offshore, humpback whales travelled north from the Caribbean. Leatherback turtles were common and harp seals returned to the Gulf of St Lawrence for two months of the year. While on land, as well as an abundance of moose in the park, there were lynx, snowshoe hare, red squirrel, hermit thrush, American marten, boreal chickadee and gray jay. Twice I spotted moose the previous day, standing like statues in the middle of the road until I drove closer before they finally sauntered off into the forest. 

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Day one of Cape Breton Highlands National Park

From Boutouche I headed into Nova Scotia and arrived at St Anns, Cape Breton Island, to a perfect sunset over St Anns Harbour. The Cabot Trail was on my doorstep, but a few kilometres up the Trans-Canada Highway, a ferry crossed the harbour to a restaurant further north where I had breakfast next morning before tackling the national park.

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Kouchibouguae National Park

Between Bouctouche and Mirimichi on New Brunswick’s east coast was Kouchibouguae National Park. I arrived late in the afternoon after travelling from Hopewell Cape and touring Bouctouche first, so I only took two short hikes. A boardwalk stretched over Little Gully to sand dunes at Kellys Beach. This was home to shore birds such as the endangered piping plover, osprey, blue herons, and the common tern. From the midway point, a tern kept hovering above the water before it dived-bombed into the sea catching small fish. In fact, Canada’s largest tern colony nested within the national park. Birds like sandpipers and sanderlings combed the mudflats and beaches searching for food.

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Fundy National Park

Fundy National Park by the Bay of Fundy just eighty kilometres east of St John was originally home to the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet First Nation Peoples and home to the meeting place of two systems—the marine coastal environment and the Caledonia Plateau environment. Because of the acidic soil, early European settlers exploited the timber for St. John but didn’t farm the region. By the late 1940s the area was designated a national park and opened to the public in 1950.

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Pacific Rim National Park

Near Tofino on the very west coast of Vancouver Island, I stayed at Esowista, a First Nation village, halfway between Tofino and Ecluelet right on the beach at the northern end of Long Beach. I hoped for surf, but it had been flat for about a week. I swam anyway but the water only came up to my waist. I slushed my way to a mini-island where cedars clawed their way between boulders to take root.

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Yoho National Park

I drove through Rogers Pass with a view of snow-capped mountains on one side and a glacier on the other. After Golden I reached Canada’s second national park together with Glacier National Park—Yoho. Banff was Canada’s first national park. Yoho’s a Cree word meaning awe or wonder and that was exactly how I felt amidst its natural beauty. Originally, this park had only covered twenty-six square kilometres, but was later extended to cover more than a thousand square kilometres. Close to British Columbia’s border with Alberta, the park was situated on the western side of the Rocky Mountains. Within the park were more than twenty mountains that were over three thousand metres in height.

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Glacier National Park

Further east than Mount Revelstoke National Park was Glacier National Park established in 1886. Tall hemlock and cedars lined the path of Hemlock Grove Boardwalk, a setting made perfect because no one else was there on that early morning.

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Mount Revelstoke National Park

My destination was Canyon Hot Springs, forty kilometres east of Revelstoke, but I wanted to visit Mount Revelstoke National Park first. Situated in the Selkirk Mountains, the park covered two hundred and sixty square kilometres and was established in 1914.

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