Skip to main content

5 national parks to visit this fall

Maligne Lake Jasper

5 national parks to visit this fall

Looking for adventure? Look no further than Canada’s beautifully diverse national parks. No matter the season, there’s a park that will offer not only stunning scenery, but also unique experiences — from luxurious camping to snowshoeing.


There’s something special about fall in Canada. The air has a certain crispness to it, leaves light up trees in shades of crimson and yellow, and surprisingly, communities across the country explode with festivals and events. Sure, it may be colder than the season preceding it, but there’s something particularly cozy about bundling up and heading into the wilderness. Here are some of the best National Parks to explore during this picturesque season.


New Brunswick: Fundy National Park of Canada

At Fundy National Park you can experience the world's highest tides.


New Brunswick is the perfect place to take in fall colors by the sea. In Fundy National ParkExternal Link Title, not only is there classic hiking and biking -- Matthews Head and Kinnie Brook trailsExternal Link Title come highly recommended -- but there's also the world's highest tides. Hit the trail in the morning, then see either four-story high waves or the ocean floor, depending on the tide table. Through the year there are a ton of festivals in this park, but fall plays host to a special Thanksgiving Weekend and Fundy Pumpkin Festival, as well as Salmon Days. Join in on the fun before heading out into nature and tracking down the Parks Canada red chairsExternal Link Title scattered around the park -- these chairs mark the best and most tranquil viewpoints.


Alberta: Jasper National Park

Extending over 4,200 square miles, it is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies and part of UNESCO's Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site.


Jasper National ParkExternal Link Title is stunning -- no question. But in fall? It's extra special. You'll catch the changing leaves and maybe even a glimpse of snow, while wandering through forests and next to crystal-blue lakes. HikeExternal Link Title through the Rocky Mountains on favorite trails like the Jasper Discovery Trail and the Wapiti Trail, or hop on a mountain bikeExternal Link Title to cover more ground. Then follow that up with an evening of stargazing -- the park is the second largest dark sky preserve in the worldExternal Link Title, meaning there's minimal light pollution to maximize your viewing.

Ontario: Thousand Islands National Park

Thousand Islands National Park was established in 1904, the first Canadian national park east of the Rocky Mountains.


If you're looking for picture-perfect fall colors and weather, look no further than Ontario. This province boasts some of the most stunning autumn scenery -- Thousand Islands National ParkExternal Link Title is no exception. Located in the St. Lawrence River and made up of several islands, there's plenty to do here. You can camp in a rustic-luxe canvas tent cabin, called an oTENTikExternal Link Title, that will act as the perfect home base for hikingExternal Link Title and paddlingExternal Link Title. If you want to see more, book a boat tourExternal Link Title and see the park from the river. While you're on the water or on foot, be sure to keep you eyes peeled -- this park is full of wildlifeExternal Link Title like white tail deer, heron, osprey, mink, and turtles.


Quebec: Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve

Human occupation of the Mingan Archipelago goes back at least 2000 years. The first inhabitants, groups of American Indians, were attracted by the marine resources of this part of the Gulf and amongst other things gathered molluscs, fished salmon, and hunted the seal.


Located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, this archipelago in Quebec is a must-visit destination. Known for its unique geography -- there are limestone outcroppings that look otherworldly -- this park is equal parts beauty and history. Explore exhibitsExternal Link Title  throughout the park that shed light on the nature and culture of the area. Then, be sure to track down the park's unofficial mascot: the puffinExternal Link Title! These clown-like birds are a favorite and are definitely worth a picture or two. If you want to extend your day trip, book a room in a historic lighthouse -- the 50s decor is perfectly quaint.


Northwest Territories: Tuktut Nogait National Park

This remote park is located 105 miles north of the Arctic Circle and is home to the Bluenose West caribou herd, wolves, grizzly bears, muskoxen, arctic char, and a high density of raptors.


Up for an adventure? Tuktut Nogait National ParkExternal Link Title is the challenge you've been looking for. Besides unbelievable natural beauty -- from waterfalls, to forests -- this 7000 square mile park is built for adventure. Take a guided paddling trip on the Hornaday RiverExternal Link Title and find yourself dwarfed by towering canyons as you paddle through Class III and IV whitewater. If that's not enough nature for you, you can camp in the backcountryExternal Link Title (there are no marked sites -- just pitch your tent and stay awhile) and fishExternal Link Title, too. If you're planning a trip out here, make sure to do your research. This is a remote destination and remains largely untouched which explains the robust wildlifeExternal Link Title including caribou, grizzly bears, red foxes, and falcons.


Canada is home to 46 national parks, and these are just a few of our favorites. Perfect to explore in all seasons, find more outdoor inspiration on Parks Canada's website.