Posted by on 11 May 2023
Canada’s rich and varied ecozones provide home to some scientifically catalogued 71,000 species (excluding viruses).
If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about the Great White North and its diverse wildlife, here are nine of the best wildlife parks in Canada worth pencilling into your holiday plans.
Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario
Home to 55 mammal species, including bears, deers, and the elusive Algonquin moose, Algonquin Provincial Park lies about 140 miles northeast of Toronto. It also houses 32 kinds of reptiles and non-venomous amphibians and serves as a sanctuary for over 140 species of breeding birds.
These animals are situated across 7,635 square kilometres of lush forestry, maple hills, lakes, and rivers, which can be traversed by paddle or on foot.
There is also a second section of the park separated by the 56-kilometre stretch of Highway 60, where you can partake in camping at one of eight campgrounds or hiking at 14 interpretive trails. The Visitor Centre, Logging Museum and Art Centre are also worth a visit.
Banff National Park, Alberta
Established in 1885, Banff National Park in Alberta is Canada’s first national park. It is a sanctuary for more than 311 species of birds, 9 fish species, 4 amphibians, and 1 reptile. It also provides home to 53 species of mammals, including the Rocky Mountain Pika, marmots, black bears, mountain lions, coyotes, and caribou. Aside from these animals, the park protects the endangered Banff Springs snail.
Although a rare occurrence, the Bow Valley and Icefields Parkway are one of the best spots along Banff to catch a sighting of the Grizzlies, specially at dawn or dusk. In case of a sighting, remember to keep a safe distance, slow down, and keep moving.
Vermilion Lakes Drive also offers some of the best opportunities for wildlife viewing–particularly of elk in late winter or ealry spring, Whitetail and Mule deer, and even coyotes.
Bay of Fundy
The Bay of Fundy lies between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and covers about 9,300 square km. The bay is known for the world's highest tides that reach up to 70 feet in height, and its shoreline is marked by coves, sandy beaches, rock formations, and deep-sea harbours.
You can find up to 12 species of whales in the Bay of Fundy during the summer months as they treat this location as a feeding ground and play area. The site is protected by conservation laws prohibiting shipping vessels from passing through whale breeding areas, serving as a nursery for some of the most endangered whale species including the North Atlantic Right whale.
Considered the second largest mammal next to the Blue whale, Finback whales can be seen in the area in late spring, along with minke whales and harbour porpoises. Moreover, majestic humpback whales and white-sided dolphins arrive in droves during June and by mid-July.
If you’re lucky, you might also catch sight of rare North Atlantic right whales, sei whales, and pilot whales.
Over 21 species of whales and dolphins visit Newfoundland every year. You can spot the largest population of Humpback whales here, along with Pilot, Orca, Blue, and Minke whales. Besides numerous marine creatures, Newfoundland also boasts a diverse range of land animals. Its forests serve as sanctuaries for coyotes and black bears.
They also have a dense moose and caribou population, which can be seen at Gros Morne National Park—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A Entire Travel Group’s Newfoundland Discovery and Self-Drive tour can provide incredible opportunities to view the wildlife of Canada in this area.
There’s a reason Churchill is labelled as the “Polar bear capital of the world.” These majestic creatures come out in droves every October to November and swim to the coast to wait out the summer months.
Aside from polar bears, thousands of Beluga whales migrate to Churchill from early July to early September. You can also see the beautiful Northern Lights here during cloudless winter days.
Getting to this remote town may be a challenge, but if you book with Entire Travel Group, we can help arrange the details of your holiday so you can experience once-in-a-lifetime sightings of Canadian wildlife.
Elk Island National Park, Alberta
Elk Island is spread across 194 square kilometres of lush forestry. It’s here where you’ll find elk, moose, wolves, white-tailed deer, foxes, cougars, and black bears. If you’re interested in bird watching, you’ll be happy to know that the area is home to over 250 species of bird.
Bison, which were once hunted close to extinction, thrive in this national park, with about 400 Plains bison and 300 Wood bison living here. Hiking the Hayburger Trail is a great way to spot these magnificent creatures, along with elk and moose, in their natural habitat among spruce bog, meadows, and aspen forests.
Though these animals look docile, they are unpredictable and may charge without warning. You are responsible for being informed and keeping yourself and the park's wildlife safe. Be aware of your surroundings and keep a safe distance.
The best time to visit the park would be around dawn and dusk when wildlife roam around the area. Animals usually take shelter in the trees during noon because of the warm temperature.
The Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia
The Great Bear Rainforest covers nearly 6.4 million acres of land, making it one of the largest unspoiled temperate rainforests.
The area protects Grey wolves, Grizzly bears, Sitka deer, cougars, and mountain goats. Meanwhile, its coastal areas boast Orca whales, sea lions, sea otters, and Humpback whales. The rare Kermode bear also calls this area home. This cream-coloured bear is also called the Spirit Bear, which the T'simshian people of the Pacific Northwest Coast consider sacred.
Its enormous size means there are numerous areas for you to explore. One of which is Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, where you can take a boat down the Antarko River to fish or admire the scenery.
Canoeing is also an option along the serene Turner Lake Chain. For a unique overnight stay, you can pitch a tent at the Tweedsmuir Park Lodge or book a stay at one of their historic rooms.
The Northwest Passage
The Northwest Passage connects two of the world's biggest oceans: the Atlantic and the Pacific. In this historic passage live the “‘Arctic Big Five,” namely the Beluga whale, Musk ox, Narwhal, Polar bear and walrus.
Aside from the “Big Five,” seals and Bowhead whales thrive in this wildlife-rich region. Arctic foxes, caribou, reindeer, lemmings, and more than 100 species of bird also take up residence in Canada’s frozen north.
Several cruises journey through this route, offering spectacular views of wildlife and majestic floating icebergs. There are also opportunities to visit local communities to learn more about the Canadian Arctic Inuit’s remote way of life.
Prince Albert National Park, Saskatchewan
Prince Albert National Park encompasses 3,875 square kilometres of boreal forests and aspen parklands. These grasslands are home to Black bears, Pileated woodpeckers, Pine martens, White-tailed deer, coyotes, foxes and elks.
Enjoy countless year-round and seasonal recreational activities such as kayaking, canoeing, cycling, fishing, hiking, cross-country skiing, camping, snowshoeing and more. You’ll also find several multi-use trails for hikers of all skill levels.
Explore Canada with Entire Travel Group
From the intriguing spirit bear to the elusive Algonquin moose, wildlife in Canada are a sight to behold, especially for nature enthusiasts.