7 of the Best National Parks in Canada

February 21, 2024

Canada is home to 47 national parks and reserves, each one boasting dramatic landscapes, an abundance of wildlife, and activities for all ages and interests. Visiting one (or more) of these Canadian beauties will make for an unforgettable trip, whether you’re traveling with a group, the family, or on your own. Here are a few of our favorite national parks across the country, including prominent features, hidden gems, and the closest KOA to each spot that will serve as an excellent base camp for your trip.

Make Sure to Visit These Canadian National Parks

Aerial panoramic view of Thousand Islands National Park, Ontario, Canada.

1. Thousand Islands National Park, Ontario

What You Need to Know Before Going to the Park: The best time to go is May through October; islands accessible by boat only

Park Highlights: Bring your canoe or kayak and explore the scenic waterways and forested shores of Thousand Islands National Park, located along the St. Lawrence River about midway between Toronto and Montreal. The park consists of 20 islands in the river, plus three areas on the mainland. But scattered throughout the region are the small islands popping up from the river, which give the park its name. The rugged granite coastline is also known for its Gilded Age mansions that oversee the river. Regional outfitters and lodges provide guided tours, rental boats, and maps of different water routes.

If paddling isn’t your thing, take the family on a cruise around the best parts of the park. Spot deer, soaring eagles, and adorable woodland critters on one of the many hiking trails from the mainland or the islands. The majority of islands have docks, signed trailheads, and composting toilets for visitor convenience.

KOAs Nearby
1000 Islands / Mallorytown KOA Holiday
1000 Islands / Ivy Lea KOA Holiday
1000 Islands / Kingston KOA Holiday

Sunset over Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park, Canada, with snow-covered peaks of canadian Rocky Mountains in the background. Long exposure.

2. Jasper National Park, Alberta

What You Need to Know Before Going to the Park: Open and accessible year-round; October is Dark Sky month

Park Highlights: Located about a three-hour drive west of Edmonton, Jasper National Park is the largest park in the Canadian Rockies, with more than 11,000 square kilometers of peaks, lakes, alpine meadows, and lush forest. It’s also home to glaciers in the Columbia Icefield as well as hot springs and waterfalls, which make it an excellent hiking destination for all ages and abilities. You’ll also find an abundance of canoe and kayaking options, where you can enjoy paddling beneath the towering mountains.

Educational ranger-led programs are available throughout the year, and the park is also the world’s second-largest dark sky preserve, meaning astronomy enthusiasts—or anyone, for that matter—will enjoy the spectacular night sky that’s only visible away from light pollution.

KOAs Nearby
Hinton / Jasper KOA Holiday

Admiring the beautiful view from the tour boat at the fjords of the Western brook pond in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

3. Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador

What You Need to Know Before Going to the Park: Full services are available May through October; open during winter in a limited capacity

Park Highlights: Fjords, craggy peaks, waterfalls, and dramatic coastline combine to make Gros Morne National Park a don’t-miss destination. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this park on the northwest coast of Newfoundland is known for its hiking, and with some planning, visitors can experience a different backdrop on every trail they choose. Explore beaches, peaks, or the epic Tablelands on your own or with a guided tour. There is no wrong way to explore this park.

KOAs Nearby
Gros Morne / Norris Point KOA Holiday

4. Prince Edward Island National Park, Prince Edward Island

What You Need to Know Before Going to the Park: Full services are available June through September; spring and fall are scenic and quiet

Park Highlights: Crashing waves, soft sandy beaches, and expansive salt marshes make up Prince Edward Island National Park, situated right on the Gulf of St. Lawrence. This is the landscape that inspired Anne of Green Gables, and fans of the book might recognize some of the scenery from the classic tale. Relax on the beach, pull out the binoculars for some bird watching, or see how many of the 400 species of plants you can identify on a guided walking tour. Paved bike paths along the shore offer a traffic-free way to view the sites on two wheels.

Beach lovers will want to visit during July and August, while those looking for a quieter visit will appreciate late spring and colorful fall.

KOAs Nearby
Cavendish KOA Holiday
Borden / Summerside KOA Journey

Landscape scenery of Waterton Lake in southern Alberta Canada

5. Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta

What You Need to Know Before Going to the Park: While the park is open 365 days a year, winter months can bring limited services and location access

Park Highlights: Waterton Lakes National Park is home to the breathtaking contrast of rolling prairies butting up to the rugged Rocky Mountains, all with a backdrop of shimmering lakes and wide-open sky. In 1932, Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes National Park joined together, forming Glacier–Waterton International Peace Park, spanning the border between the U.S. and Canada.

The park was scorched by fire in 2017, but much of it is now open for cycling, wildlife watching, hiking, and cultural/educational events.

KOAs Nearby
St. Mary / East Glacier KOA Holiday

Clear Waters in a Gray Cliffed Cove at Indian Cove in Bruce Peninsula National Park in Ontario

6. Bruce Peninsula National Park, Ontario

What You Need to Know Before Going to the Park: Follow all fire bans during summer; expect crowds on holiday weekends

Park Highlights: Crystalline water, sandy beaches, shoreline caves, and dappled woods dominate the landscape at Bruce Peninsula National Park, which sits on the peninsula that separates Lake Huron from the Georgian Bay, about a three and half hour drive northwest of Toronto. Adventurous visitors can bring a crash pad and climbing shoes, testing their moves on the uniquely shaped boulders on the Georgian Bay shoreline. There are plenty of activities on the ground as well—everything from relaxing on the beaches to swimming in the warm inlets to paddling a kayak around the shoreline caves.

Don’t miss your chance to see the Grotto, a scenic cave containing a pool of brilliantly hued blue water. This is one of the most popular attractions in the park, so be sure to reserve your parking spot in advance.

KOAs Nearby
Owen Sound KOA Journey

The winding Cabot Trail road seen from high above on the Skyline Trail at sunset in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia

7. Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia

What You Need to Know Before Going to the Park: Season runs from May through October, the park is fully serviced July and August

Park Highlights: Rugged mountains seem to rise straight from the sea in this coastal stunner of a park on the northeast tip of Nova Scotia. Driving the Cabot Trail coastline is a must-do for anyone visiting the region, and heading into Cape Breton Highlands National Park is the cherry on top. Lucky visitors will spy bald eagles, moose, and perhaps even a whale or two. The hiking is top notch, with everything from family-friendly cliffside jaunts to all-day excursions complete with quad-busting climbs and panoramic views.

KOAs Nearby
North Sydney / Cabot Trail KOA

The beautiful scenery of a Pacific Rim National Park Reserve in Bamfield, Canada.

8. Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, British Columbia

What You Need to Know Before Going to the Park: While the Long Beach area is open year round, the West Coast Trail and Broken Group Islands welcome guests from May to October

Park Highlights: Offering a unique blend of coastal rainforests, sandy beaches and rugged shorelines, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve welcomes visitors to the traditional territories of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations. Visitors often come to explore the famous West Coast Trail – keep in mind that reservations are necessary for this iconic multi-day backpacking trail. For travelers wanting to enjoy the most accessible parts of the park, the Long Beach area is highly recommended. If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve offers something not often found in Canada, surfing!

The Hopewell, or Flowerpot Rocks in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, Canada. The area has two tides a day and one of the highest average tides in the world, averaging 16metres.

9. Fundy National Park, New Brunswick

What You Need to Know Before Going to the Park: Fundy National Park is open year-round

Park Highlights: Home to the world’s highest tides, Fundy National Park invites exploration of the scenic Bay of Fundy. Walk the ocean floor at low tide or kayak in waters that rise up to 39 feet (12 meters). Hikers will enjoy a trail system encompassing more than 30 trails with stunning coastal views and tree-lined treks through the Acadian forests. Make sure to explore the Hopewell Rocks, an otherworldly formation of more than two dozen seastacks.

KOAs Nearby
Sussex KOA Journey

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Kampgrounds of America is the largest system of open-to-the-public campgrounds in the world, with over 500 locations across the United States and Canada. Founded in Billings, MT in 1962, KOA’s family of campground brands – KOA Journey, KOA Holiday and KOA Resort – today serve more than a million camping families each year. KOA is dedicated to “connecting people to the outdoors and each other” by providing people with a variety of camping experiences and the information they need to make the most of their camping trip. Read more of their camping and travel resources by visiting

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