Guide to Parks Canada: Atlantic Provinces, Quebec & Ontario

National Geographic’s Guide to the National Parks of Canada is the official guide to Canada’s 42 national parks. Here’s a peek inside two of the parks profiled in the book.

Atlantic Provinces

Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Great Hiking

Established in 1936, Cape Breton Highlands National Park was the first national park dedicated in Atlantic Canada. In the park, known as the “Hiking Capital of Canada,” you’ll find 26 trails including the popular and scenic John Cabot Trail.

When to Go: The park is open year-round and the best time to visit will depend on your interests. Hiking is great from May to November when the ground is free of snow.

How to Visit: Cape Breton is a hiker’s delight offering trails of varying degrees of length and difficulty. Geocaching adds another dimension to hikes, especially for curious kids. 14 caches are strategically placed throughout the park with more information at the visitor centers. In addition to hiking, visitors may enjoy biking, kayaking, golfing, fishing and more.

Quebec & Ontario

Georgian Bay Islands National Parks

Gorgeous inland waters greet visitors to the parks set within Quebec and Ontario’s boundaries. At Ontario’s Georgian Bay Islands National Park, 63 islands dot the shore providing wonderful venues for boating, sailing, fishing, and seashore hikes.

When to Go: August means less crowds, fewer powerboats, and more peaceful waters for paddlers. September and October is best for fall foliage which can be experienced along quiet trails.

How to Visit: The world’s largest freshwater archipelago can be found on the eastern shore of Georgian Bay and is a terrific spot for canoes and kayaks.


Leave a comment and win a free copy of the book! We’re giving away a copy of the guide to another lucky commenter who tells us about their favorite Canadian park or describes a memorable Parks Canada experience.

Leave us a comment by 11:59 p.m. EST tonight (July 6) to be eligible. Plus, stay tuned to Intelligent Travel all this week for more opportunities to win.

Congrats to yesterday’s winner, Janet from New Jersey. Read about her favorite park memory here.


  1. Hotel le president
    February 28, 2013, 3:01 am

    Sounds like Quebec is a great place to enjoy the outdoors – Thank you for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts

  2. lemar
    July 9, 2011, 5:09 am

    I have never visit Canada, But I quite certain that is one of the most beautiful regions in the world,I have read much about it..Nahanni National Park Accepted as a World Heritage site in 1978 and its a home to animals of the boreal forest,such as bears and caribou…i wish to visit it some day To see the most beautiful Paradise in this land

  3. Meredydd John
    July 7, 2011, 11:54 am

    My “memories” of Canadian National Parks are, in fact, fantasies, as I am now planning a grand camping trip for the summer and fall of 2012! Everything I’ve read during planning makes the Canadian NPs sound fabulous, easily rivaling the USA’s Cascades NP, Glacier NP, Acadia and Yosemite. Now the question is: west to east, or east to west?

  4. Jennifer
    July 7, 2011, 10:08 am

    I was a volunteer for Parks Day at Banff National Park last year. After spending a few summers exploring the nature in the park, it was great to meet the different people who visited the park and learn about their experiences. So many people from different parts of the world with different stories converging in one beautiful place in one corner of Canada. Our landscapes are world-famous.

  5. Marilyn Terrell
    July 7, 2011, 9:54 am

    Deborah, our Digital Nomad Andrew Evans was exploring Algonquin Park earlier this week, and loved it too:!/search/wheresandrew%20algonquin

  6. Terri LeRoux
    Halton Hills, On.
    July 7, 2011, 9:14 am

    My bucket list includes visiting all of Canada’s National Parks at least once!

  7. George Opreff
    Concord, ON
    July 6, 2011, 10:18 pm

    The Bruce – Bruce Peninsula Park – hiking and scuba all in one day. Fantastic.

  8. George Opreff
    Concord, ON
    July 6, 2011, 6:49 pm

    The Bruce – Bruce Peninsula National Park of Canada – fantastic – you can explore the end of the trial and go scuba diving – all around amazing.

  9. Emily Ashwell
    July 6, 2011, 5:47 pm

    I don’t have a favourite just yet as I’d like to visit all 42 before making up my mind. The National Parks of Canada look so beautiful I think it will be a tough decision.

  10. Kerry Dexter
    July 6, 2011, 5:31 pm

    Cape Breton Higlands is also beautiful in the snow, and in autumn colors, too.

  11. dying1980
    July 6, 2011, 4:36 pm

    My most memorable experience is hiking to Crypt Lake in Waterton Lake National Park.

  12. Deborah Jackson
    July 6, 2011, 1:57 pm

    We travel to Algonquin Park every summer, mesmerized by the pristine wilderness, the breathtaking views from atop the winding, breath-robbing trails, discovering wildlife at every corner, particularly moose and bear close encounters. Although the mystery continues of how Tom Thompson died here, there’s no mystery to why he was drawn here.

  13. Grace
    July 6, 2011, 1:19 pm

    The Riding Mountain National Park of Canada is my favorite because of its rich wilderness in the midst of Manitoba’s prairie landscape. The park’s rolling hills and valleys as well as its large expanse of meadows and lakes, makes this place simply magnificent!

  14. Gregory B. Gallagher
    July 6, 2011, 12:41 pm

    This is an amazing book filled with works by some of Canada’s best shutterbugs, and a worthy tome for anyone interested in a comprehensive look at this vast geography called Canada.