With views worthy of the Fellowship. ⛰️
Have you ever wanted to channel your inner hobbit and embark upon some sort of mystical quest through Middle-Earth? If your answer to that question is a resounding, "Yes!" Canada has some stunning national parks you should add to your summer 2022 bucket list.
You don't need to travel all the way to New Zealand to feel like you're in one of The Lord Of The Rings films. Some of the most beautiful national parks in the world can be found right here in Canada — and some feel like they're from a different time, another planet, or a fictional universe altogether.
They feature deep beautiful fjords, tall mountains, and stunning water views that will make you feel like you're wandering through a world of fantasy. Plus, so many of them are actually pretty easy to get to and aren't too far from a big city.
Parc National du Fjord-du-Saguenay
Address: 91 Notre-Dame, Rivière-Éternité, Québec
Why You Need To Go: Located nearly three hours north of Quebec City, this national park is famous for being one of the best places in Canada to walk atop a fjord.
A fjord is a deep, body of water that stretches far inland from the ocean — and this park has that in spades. For some great views of the massive fjord, and its beluga inhabitants, you can take the trail from La Baie-Sainte-Marguerite Discovery Centre.
Gros Morne National Park
Address: 3 D.O.T. Drive, Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador
Why You Need To Go: Speaking of fjords, this Newfoundland and Labrador hiking destination has those high, Tolkien-esque mountains that look down at crystal blue ocean waters that dramatically jut into the land.
If you really want to feel like you've gone to a different, more magical place, the Snug Harbour or Lookout Trail will give you amazing views of the park.
Garibaldi Provincial Park
Price: Free for day use
Address: Various access points along Highway 99, British Columbia
Why You Need To Go: This spot is one of the more stunning views you can get near Vancouver and provides hikers with a look at a massive crystal blue lake and the mountain glacier that feeds it.
While the hike up is long and offers a lot of switchbacks, getting to the top provides a view like no other. You will really feel like you've found a mountain paradise.
Thousands Islands National Park
Address: 1121 Thousand Islands Parkway, Mallorytown, Ontario
Why You Need To Go: Thousand Islands National Park lives up to its name. Situated on the St. Lawrence River, this park is dotted with untold small, granite islands that are just there for exploring.
There are a few hikes, specifically the Lookout Trail, that will bring you to some of the most stunning views of the area.
Oh, and to add to the fantasy of it all, just a few kilometres away, in the same bay, are two literal castles.
Cape Breton Highlands National Park
Address: 37639 Cabot Trail, Ingonish Beach, Nova Scotia
Why You Need To Go: While you might think you can only get the highlands over in Scotland, Canada has some of its very own. In Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, you can explore and play in the gorgeous highlands, no storybook or plane ticket needed.
Take the Acadian Trail for a full look at the entire region or the Skyline Trail which gives you a stunning view of the ocean.
Plus, the highlands at Cape Breton provide a beautiful view of the ocean, which just adds to that Lord Of The Rings vibe.
Banff National Park
Address: 224 Banff Avenue, Banff, Alberta
Why You Need To Go: Banff is world-famous for its natural beauty and honestly, the praise is warranted.
If you really want to feel like you're slowly making your way to Mordor, Johnston Canyon is the perfect hike for you. Follow along a river, deep in the ancient canyon. Traversing the crisscrossing bridges and platforms will make you feel like you're on a unique adventure.
Grasslands National Park
Address: SK-4, Val Marie, Saskatchewan
Why You Need To Go: Want to feel that sweeping, grand feeling of looking out over rolling hills as far as the eye can see? Well, Grasslands National Parks in Saskatchewan will give you just that.
You'll feel like you're walking all the way across Middle-Earth like Frodo and friends at this park, and can embark on a massive 17-kilometre trek through the Timbergulch Trail. Or if you're not looking to go as far, their easier option, the four-kilometer Two Trees Trail.
Either way, bring a solid pair of hiking shoes.
Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.