Canada is full of breathtaking landscapes. Nature lovers will be in awe of the immensity of its territory, thousands of lakes, wildlife, and four distinct seasons.

There are 37 national parks and 10 national park reserves across Canada.

Each Canadian national park is unique, from the impressive cliffs of the Atlantic coast to the rainforests of the Pacific and the majestic Rocky Mountains.

Prepare to be amazed by these Canadian national parks, each showing the country's natural beauty and biodiversity. Here are 9 of Canada’s best national parks that should be on every nature lover's bucket list, from east to west.

And don't forget, whether it's for a quick getaway or a more extended stay, HomeExchange offers you friendly and cozy accommodation options right in the heart of these winter paradises.

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1. Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia

Find home exchanges in Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia

Cape Breton Highlands National Park is on Cape Breton Island in northern Nova Scotia. It covers an area of approximately 950 km².

The famous Cabot Trail winds through the park, offering breathtaking views and making this place particularly accessible. Several stops and short hikes are also available along the way, such as the MacIntosh Brook Trail, which leads to a peaceful waterfall and Black Brook Cove Beach.

There are more than 26 hiking trails. One not to be missed is the Skyline Trail. This well-developed trail leads to a loop walk with stunning views of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the highlands.

The highlight is a wooden viewing desk where visitors can stand above the cliffs to experience the region's wild beauty.

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2. Fundy National Park, New Brunswick

Fundy National Park in New Brunswick

Located on the south coast of New Brunswick, Fundy National Park is famous for its tides. Indeed, this park is home to some of the highest tide levels in the world.

The extreme variation of tides found in the Bay of Fundy reveals the seafloor twice a day. It is also a great place for whale watching, bald eagles, and peregrine falcons.

The Matthews Head hiking trail offers great views of rugged coastlines and forests. Fundy National Park also has more than 25 waterfalls to discover. The Laverty Falls trail is a great option for chasing waterfalls.

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3. Forillon National Park, Quebec

Home swaps in Forillon National Park in Quebec

Forillon National Park is located on the spectacular coasts of the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec. It was the first national park established in the province of Quebec.

This park covers approximately 244 km² and offers breathtaking panoramas where the sea meets the mountains.

It is also a place steeped in history, with Fort-Péninsule housing military remains from the Second World War.

Les Graves hike leads to Cap Gaspé, at the extreme tip of the peninsula (nicknamed the end of the world), where a lighthouse stands proudly facing the immensity of the Atlantic. It is also an excellent point for watching whales during their seasonal migration.

The Mont-Saint-Alban trail is another must-see. Its observation towers offer panoramic views of the park and the sea.

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4. La Mauricie National Park, Quebec

Impressive cascades at the Mauricie National Park in Quebec

La Mauricie National Park is halfway between Montreal and Quebec, close to Shawinigan. This park covers over 536 km² and offers an impressive landscape of dense forests, sparkling lakes, and winding rivers.

Paddling down the river is one of the best activities in La Mauricie National Park. You can also take a canoe trip to Waber Falls.

For an adventure that is a little more accessible to everyone, Les Cascades (2.3 km) and Les Falaises (3.8 km) trails are beautiful little hikes not to be missed.

Also, the panoramic Promenade road crosses the park. It is one of the most beautiful roads in Quebec.

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5. Thousand Islands National Park, Ontario

Thousand Islands National Park, Ontario Canada

Escape the crowded cities of Toronto and Montreal at Thousand Islands National Park for a relaxing summer vacation.

Thousand Islands National Park is an archipelago of more than 1,800 islands and islets in the St. Lawrence River.

This one-of-a-kind park is distinguished by its diverse ecosystems and landscape, marked by small islands, clear waters, and picturesque rock formations.

One of the best experiences at Thousand Islands National Park is a cruise around the islands, with stops on specific islands where visitors can explore historic ruins or nature trails.

Taking a boat to Heart Island and discovering Boldt Castle is also possible. In this case, you must not forget your passports because you will be in American territory.

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6. Bruce Peninsula National Park, Ontario

Home exchange in Bruce Peninsula National Park in Ontario, Canada

Bruce Peninsula National Park, in southern Ontario, encompasses a large portion of the majestic Bruce Peninsula between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. This park is renowned for its impressive rock formations, vast forests, and turquoise waters that transport us to the Caribbean.

The Bruce Trail hike runs through the park and is particularly famous. This trail offers spectacular views of the cliffs and leads to natural wonders like the Grotto, a limestone cavern with azure waters. The grotto is accessible by a descent through the rocks.

Swimming in these crystal clear waters is an experience not to be missed.

Don’t forget to make your reservation to have access to the cave.

7. Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan

The famous red chairs of Parks Canada at Grasslands National Park

Grasslands National Park is located in southwestern Saskatchewan. It is one of the few protected natural areas representing the North American prairie ecosystem.

This park is little known but offers a unique panorama in the heart of the badlands (as found in certain American national parks such as Bryce Canyon in Utah or Badlands National Park in South Dakota).

This is an excellent place to observe the herd of plains bison that roam freely in the park. You can also see pronghorn antelopes and coyotes.

The Frenchman Valley and 70-mile Butte trails offer spectacular views of the surrounding badlands and prairies.

8. Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks

View of Moraine Lake, one of the most iconic lakes in Banff National Park

Banff, Jasper, Yoho, and Kootenay National Parks, also called the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, are located in Alberta and British Columbia. They are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and attract millions of visitors annually.

A drive along the Icefields Parkway that connects Banff and Jasper is a must-do. This route is considered one of the most beautiful in the world, offering unrivaled views of glaciers, alpine lakes, and vast forests.

In Banff, visit Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, where you can canoe or hike around the lake. It also has some of the best ski resorts in all of Canada. In Jasper, hike around Maligne Lake and relax in Miette Hot Springs.

In Yoho, visit Takakkaw Falls and hike to Lake O'Hara, one of the park's hidden gems. In Kootenay, visit Radium Hot Springs and hike Marble Canyon.

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Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Surfing in Long Beach at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Pacific Rim National Park is located on the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, at the extreme west of Canada. It is a beautiful place with temperate rainforests, wild beaches, and rich marine ecosystems.

It is also culturally significant for the Nuu-chah-nulth indigenous people, who share their history and traditions through exhibitions and guided tours.

Long Beach attracts surfers of all skill levels with its consistent waves and spectacular setting. For those who prefer hiking, the West Coast Trail offers an epic adventure through rugged terrain, secluded beaches, and historic relics. It has spectacular views and chances of close encounters with local wildlife.

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Finding Accommodation near Canadian National Parks

Finding accommodation in one of Canada's national parks or even nearby can be very difficult and expensive. Accommodation options can be limited, and also tend to book fast.

So why not try exchanging homes with HomeExchange?

With HomeExchange, you can exchange homes without limits all year round. Plus, several members offer homes very close to national parks across Canada.

It's a perfect way to experience a national park, get almost free accommodation, and be in the comfort of home after long days in the outdoors.

Choosing a house exchange also means choosing a travel style focused on meeting people and sharing.

I'm going on a house exchange near a national park in Canada.

Canada's national parks illustrate the country's natural beauty and ecological diversity. Whether hiking the trails of the Bruce Peninsula, admiring the gigantic tides of the Bay of Fundy, or exploring the forests of the Pacific Rim, each park offers a unique and enriching experience.