Canadian National Parks preserve both spectacular and representative areas of the country, located in every one of the nation’s 13 provinces and territories. The goal of the national park service is to create a system of protected areas which represent all the distinct natural regions of the country. Parks Canada – the governing and administration body for the system – has developed a plan identifying 39 different regions it aims to represent. In 2005, Parks Canada reported that the system was more than 60% complete. Canada’s parks are managed primarily to protect the ecological integrity of the park, and secondarily to allow the public to explore, learn about and enjoy Canada’s natural spaces. Feasibility studies are currently underway for establishing further national parks in several areas, including Wolf Lake in Yukon, South Okanagan-Lower Similkameen in British Columbia and the Manitoba Lowlands (north-western Lake Winnipeg).
List of national parks and national forests in Canada:
1. Aulavik National Park and national forests
Aulavik National Park (Inuvialuktun: place where people travel) is a national park located on Banks Island in the Northwest Territories of Canada. It is known for its access to the Thomsen River, one of the most northerly navigable rivers in North America. The park is a fly-in park, and protects approximately 12,274 km (7,626.71 mi) of Arctic Lowlands at the northern end of the island. The most practical way to visit the park is to charter a plane, and currently the park has four landing sites.
2. Banff National Park and national forests
Banff National Park (pronunciation: /ˈbæmf/) is Canada’s oldest national park, established in 1885 in the Rocky Mountains. The park, located 110–180 km (68–110 mi) west of Calgary in the province of Alberta, encompasses 6,641 km2 (2,564 sq mi) of mountainous terrain, with numerous glaciers and ice fields, dense coniferous forest, and alpine landscapes.
3. Cape Breton Highlands National Park and national forests
Cape Breton Highlands National Park (French: parc national des Hautes-Terres-du-Cap-Breton) is located on northern Cape Breton Island in the province of Nova Scotia. One-third of the Cabot Trail passes through the park featuring spectacular ocean and mountain views. The park was the first National Park in the Atlantic provinces of Canada and covers an area of 948 km². It is one of 42 in Canada’s system of national parks.
4. Elk Island National Park and national forests
Elk Island National Park (French: parc national Elk Island), is one of 43 national parks and park reserves administered by the Parks Canada Agency. This “island of conservation” is located 35 km east of Edmonton, Alberta along the Yellowhead Highway, which nearly bisects the park. It is Canada’s 8th smallest in area, but largest fully enclosed national park, with an area of 194 km².
5. Forillon National Park and national forests
Forillon National Park, one of 42 national parks and park reserves across Canada, is located at the outer tip of the Gaspé Peninsula of Quebec and covers 244 km². Created in 1970, Forillon was the first national park in Quebec. The park includes forests, sea coast, salt marshes, sand dunes, cliffs, and the Eastern End of the Appalachians. The park includes nesting colonies of sea birds and whales, seals, black bears, moose, and other woodland animals.
6. Georgian Bay National Park and national forests
Georgian Bay Islands National Park consists of 63 small islands or parts of islands in Georgian Bay, near Port Severn, Ontario. The park was established in 1929. The total park area is approximately 13.5 km². Prior to the creation of Fathom Five National Marine Park, Flowerpot Island was also a part of the park. The islands blend the exposed rocks and pines of the Canadian Shield with the hardwood forests found further south.
7. Ivvavik National Park and national forests
Ivvavik National Park is a national park located in the Yukon, Canada. Meaning “nursery” or “birthplace” in Inuvialuktun, is the first national park to be established as a result of a land claim agreement with its natives. Protecting a portion of the calving grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd, only a minimal number of people a year are allowed to visit the park. On the shore of the Beaufort Sea, there is abundant game for the wolves and bears who co-habit the area.
8. Jasper National Park and national forests
Jasper National Park is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies, spanning 10,878 km² (4200 mi²). It is located in the province of Alberta, north of Banff National Park and west of the City of Edmonton. The park includes the glaciers of the Columbia Icefield, hot springs, lakes, waterfalls and mountains. Wildlife in the park includes elk, caribou, moose, mule deer, white-tailed deer, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, grizzly bear, black bear, beaver, Rocky Mountain pika, hoary marmot, grey wolf, mountain lion, and wolverine.
9. Kejimkujik National Park and national forests
Kejimkujik National Park (often called Keji for short) is part of the Canadian National Parks system, located in the province of Nova Scotia. The park consists of two geographically separate properties: the main park is located in the upland interior of the Nova Scotia peninsula bordering Queens and Annapolis counties; and the much smaller Kejimkujik Seaside unit, located on the Atlantic coast of Queens County.
10. La Mauricie National Park and national forests
La Mauricie National Park (French: Parc national de la Mauricie) is located in the Laurentian mountains in the Mauricie region of Québec, Canada. It covers 536 km² in the southern Canadian Shield region bordering the Saint Lawrence lowlands. The park contains 150 lakes and many ponds. The park lies within the Eastern forest-boreal transition ecoregion. The forests in this region were logged from the middle of the 19th century to the early 20th century.
Other National Park and national forests in Canada
There’re some other national parks and national forests in Canada, that we don’t have enough time and information to list them here. They are: Auyuittuq, Bruce Peninsula, Fundy, Glacier, Grasslands, Gros Morne, Gulf Islands, Gwaii Haanas, Kluane, Kootenay, Kouchibouguac, Mingan Archipelago, and more.