Is it just us, or are so many places getting overrun with travellers? It seems like everywhere we hike, it's busy. Every campsite is full.
Even travelling abroad leads us into the never-ending crowds. Which is crazy, right? It's a big wide world out there. There is plenty left to see—that hasn't been Instagrammed to death.
And a lot of these places are in Canada. Let's take a look at four of them. We bet you haven't been to all!
Grande Cache, Alberta
Skip the tourist hordes at Banff or Jasper but access similar Rocky Mountain environs in Grand Cache, located on the northwestern edge of Alberta. More than 4,500 square-kilometres of backcountry adventure is waiting for you in the iconic Willmore Wilderness Park. Off-trail treks, impressive glaciers, world-class catch-and-release fishing for bull trout and random wilderness camping—with zero crowds. Start your adventure at Sulphur Gates, the confluence of the Smoky and Sulphur rivers, then explore ever-outward from there.
Northwestern Ontario is a canoeist’s paradise—and the town of Atikokan offers access to some of the best. For starters, it’s located near the Dawson Trail Campground in Quetico Provincial Park—this wild parkland's only car-access point. Quetico is a legendary canoe destination. Typical trips are three to eight days, and, unlike some other regions, long portages are rare. Access points are found along Highway 11, or car-camp and day-paddle at Dawson Trail, set next to French Lake. Beyond the park, unlimited canoe routes abound along what was once known as the “Voyageurs’ Highway.” Contact Canoe Canada Outfitting for all your adventure needs—or buy your own area-classic Kevlar canoe from Souris River Canoes. (You won’t believe how light they are!)
Grand Manan, New Brunswick
It’s a 90-minute ferry ride from the mainland to reach Grand Manan Island, an isolated lobster fishing community at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy. Tourism has yet to really take hold, so the time to go is now. Hook up with Adventure High for kayak rentals or day- and multi-day guided excursions. The dramatic tides make every paddle unique. Or cruise the isle on the lookout for the trailheads of the 18 Heritage Footpaths and Trails of Grand Manan—a network comprising some 70 kilometres of hikes. Go on a lighthouse searching mission. Buy some dulse, a locally harvested seaweed treat. And gorge on lobster at the Marathon Inn.
King’s Point, Newfoundland & Labrador (pictured)
Set against Green Bay on the coast of central Newfoundland, King’s Point offers adventures on both land and sea—as well as charming island culture. For the hiker, the Alexander Murray Trail is calling. A steep and sweaty climb leads along some 2,200 stairs to Haypook Summit and a panoramic view of the area. Make sure to check out the Corner Brook Falls side-trip on your way along this 12-kilometre trail. Head to the Whale Pavilion to learn about cetaceans, then out onto the ocean for a daytrip with King’s Point Boat Tours and Adventures. Puffins, whales and icebergs (in season) await.