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The Most Epic Campsites In Canada

FROM POPULAR SITES TO HIDDEN GEMS

Camping is the perfect way to spend your summer vacation if you are looking for an affordable option full of adventure. While there are lots of great sites to check out in Simcoe County, sometimes you want to go further to explore. 

The good news is, Scouts Canada has named the best campsites to check out in Canada, including some hidden gems you may never have heard of. 

Alberta 

1. Jasper National Park

Why It Was Chosen: Epic Campsite according to 39.5% of Scouts Canada’s 46,704 members

At 11,000 sq kilometers, Jasper National Park is the largest national park in the Rockies. The park offers both frontcountry and backcountry camping with sites for everything from single person tents to motorhomes. 

With its stunning views of vast wilderness, mountain peaks and Canadian wildlife, it’s no surprise that Jasper National Park topped the list of epic destinations. 

2. Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park 

Why It Was Chosen: Hidden Gem  

Scouts Canada picked this hidden gem for its rich history, incredible rock structures and access to the Milk River.

Writing-On-Stone is in the heart of Traditional Blackfoot Territory and has the largest collection of First Nation rock art on the North American Great Plains. Campers are welcome to explore the petroglyphs (rock carvings) and pictographs (paintings) while visiting. 

While there, you’ll also want to explore Milk River Valley and the hoodoos and coulees that formed 85 million years ago following the last ice age. Capers can also swim and paddle the milk river. 

British Columbia 

3. Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Why It Was Chosen: Epic Campsite according to 34.6% of Scouts Canada members

This West Coast experience is a must. Located on Vancouver Island, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve has three separate units: 

  1. Long Beach – 212 sq kms made up of several beaches, a campground and short trails. 
  2. Broken Group Islands – a grouping of more than 100 small islands in the Barkley Sounds. 
  3. West Coast Trail – 75 kms of trail linking Port Renfrew and Bamfield. The trail was originally an extension of the telegraph line for coastal lighthouses. 

The park is popular because of its marine life, sandy beaches and ancient rainforests. While camping, you are also able to explore the lagoons, sandbars, blow holes and arches throughout the nearby islands. 

4. Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve

Why It Was Chosen: Hidden Gem

This lush rainforest island is another of the Scouts hidden gems. The site is rich in First Nation culture. While on the island, you will find fallen longhouses and carved poles of the Haida people, who have lived in the area for at least 14,000 years. 

It is also a great location for enjoying the abundant wildlife in the air, on land and in the ocean. Everything from humpback whales and puffins to black bears and black-tail deer. 

There are no formal campsites on Gwaii Haanas. Instead, campers pitch their tents at small pebble beaches and sandy stretches. 

Ontario 

5. Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

Why It Was Chosen: Epic Campsite according to 32.9% of Scouts Canada members

Algonquin Provincial Park is another epic destination that Scouts members chose. Algonquin was actually the first provincial park in Canada, established in 1893. In 1992, the park became a national historic site for a number of reasons, including the fact that it was a major inspiration for the Group of Seven.

Aside from its historic and artistic relevance, Algonquin is a huge draw thanks to its natural beauty. The area is known for its hilly, rocky terrain, multitude of lakes and rivers, and diverse tree and plant life. It’s also the headwaters for 5 major rivers and is full of Canadian wildlife. 

6. Bon Echo Provincial Park

Why It Was Chosen: Hidden Gem

Bon Echo Provincial Park is the hidden gem of Ontario. If you enjoy paddling, this is a perfect destination to take in soaring cliffs and pristine Canadian Shield lakes. For hikers, you can enjoy stunning forests and may even catch a moose foraging on your journey. 

Bon Echo has two drive-in campgrounds, as well as 25 canoe-in sites and 5 backcountry campsites. 

NewfoundLand and Labrador

7. Gros Morne National Park

Why It Was Chosen: Epic Campsite according to 27.3% of Scouts Canada members

Newfoundland and Labrador is home to the 4th most epic campsite in all of Canada. Much of this has to do with the park’s breathtaking views. Beaches, bogs and forests are set against a backdrop of mountains and accented by fjords. 

Formed by colliding continents and glaciers, Gros Morne is a World Heritage Site with excellent opportunities to spot wildlife and explore the culture of nearby waterside communities. 

New Bunswick 

8. Fundy National Park 

Why It Was Chosen: Epic Campsite according to 22.5% of Scouts Canada members

Stunning coastlines, 25+ waterfalls, famous rock formations and stunning beaches … it’s no wonder Fundy National Park in New Brunswick is the 5th most epic camp site in Canada.  

The park also boasts the highest tides on earth (15m between high and low), pristine forests and covered bridges. It’s also a great place to visit for a taste of Atlantic culture and is a popular place for geocaching. 

Manitoba

9. Spruce Woods Provincial Park

Why It Was Chosen: Hidden Gem

Campers love this hidden gem for its unique features. As the name suggests, you will find many spruce forests. But that isn’t all. 

While visiting, you can explore the Spirit Sands. This desert-like area has shifting sand dunes that are remnants of the Assiniboine River that used to flow here. There are also many unexpected plants and animals, like cactuses and prairie skinks. 

The park also features a spring fed pond, called the Devil’s Punch Bowl, 11 oxbow lakes and a network of trails. 

Saskatchewan 

10. Grassland National Park

Why It Was Chosen: Hidden Gem

If you’ve never experienced the Badlands, it may be time to head out to Grassland National Park. This hidden gem offers stunning topography and amazing night skies. In fact, it is the darkest Dark Sky Preserve in Canada.  

One of the main reasons Canada created this park was to protect the wildlife that lives there. That’s because it’s home to prairie wildlife that can’t be found anywhere else in Canada, some of which are endangered. Unique sightings include Plains Bison, Black-tailed Prairie Dogs and Burrowing Owls. 

Nova Scotia 

11. Pollett’s Cove 

Why It Was Chosen: Hidden Gem

This hidden gem offers challenging coastal hikes overlooking stellar views of the nearby bays. Unlike other destinations on this list, Pollett’s Cove isn’t a national or provincial park. It’s an area of pristine wilderness that a Lotto 6-49 winner from Cape Brenton purchased. 

Aside from hiking, the Cove is popular for its sandy beach, grassy hills, brooks and overall natural beauty. The Cove is also known for the horses that live there. Many believe they are wild but they are domestic herds out to pasture. 

Northern Territories 

12. Nahanni National Park Reserve

Why It Was Chosen: Hidden Gem

For mind blowing waterfalls be sure to check out Nahanni National Park Reserve. This park is celebrated for the Virginia Falls, whose drop is twice that of Niagara. You can also find the Sluicebox Rapids, a historic portage trail and fossils that are 300-million years old. 

When you aren’t admiring the falls, you can enjoy alpine meadows, the South Nahanni River, Dall’s sheep and woodland caribou. 

This hidden gem is located in the remote wilderness and is a campsite you don’t want to miss. 

If you haven’t had a chance to visit these stunning campsites, be sure to add them to your bucket list. While your trips will take a bit of planning, the adventures are sure to pay off. 

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