Where to Find Wildlife On Canadian Road Trips
If you are looking to go on a Canadian road trip that includes watching wildlife in their natural environment you are in luck. Canada is home to creatures big and small roaming throughout our provinces.
IF you are looking to go on a Canadian road trip that includes watching wildlife in their natural environment you are in luck. Canada is home to creatures big and small roaming throughout our provinces. The perfect place to see animals is in their own habitat, not a zoo that keeps them captive behind bars. But it’s important to always respect park rules, the animals, and their ecosystems. We are visitors in their home and wild creatures can be unpredictable so always keep a safe distance away. Don’t forget to pack your camera with an extra long zoom lens for that perfect image to share with family and friends.
Grizzly Bears – British Columbia
If you love cuddly brown grizzly bears (and who doesn’t?) you will want to drive out to Glendale Cove in Knight Inlet. There is a large population of grizzly bears hanging out and doing their beary thing all within miles of the wilderness lodge. When the salmon are running along Glendale River they come in droves. Throughout the summer you can also spot black bears that are headed towards the cove for food. Knight Inlet Lodge has boats that can take you out to see the bears from a safe distance so as not to disturb them. This family operated lodge works towards conservation within Knight Inlet and the Broughton Archipelago of British Columbia and is located 80 km north of Campbell River in the remote Pacific Northwest.
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Birds – Ontario
Point Pelee National Park of Canada is home to over 370 bird species making it one of the best places for bird watching in North America. This vibrant forest refuge is located at the southern tip of Canada and provides a unique breeding habitat for bird species that are rarely found in other Canadian locations due to the unique Carolinian Forest in Point Pelee. Birds that call Point Pelee home include the bald eagle, purple finch, hooded warbler, and the cave swallow. If driving along Highway 401, exit #48 at the Point Pelee sign onto Highway #77 and travel through Leamington, for more details check their website.
Moose – Alberta
A road trip to Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies of Alberta is a guaranteed adventure. The Trans-Canada Highway #16 runs through the park and will get you there, but check the latest road construction before you take off as they do repairs over the summer. It’s 370 km west of Edmonton and 404 km northwest of Calgary. Moose, known for their cool antlers and long lanky legs, are the largest member of the deer family. Jasper is home to about 150 moose and some ideal viewing lookouts are the Pocahontas Wetlands, Yellowhead Pass, and Maligne Lake. Moose aren’t the only wildlife you can spot in Jasper National Park. Be on the lookout for beavers, elk, mule deer, caribou, sheep, goats, porcupines and more.
Wolves – Ontario
The only thing better than spotting a wolf in the wild is howling along with them in the Ontario darkness with complete strangers. On Thursdays in August until Labour Day howling guests can drive to Algonquin Provincial Park and participate in a Wolf Howl expedition. Since wolves are shy creatures this is a unique and interesting way to have an interaction with a wolf. This group road trip takes place along Highway 60 and includes a wolf presentation before departure. Once you learn how to howl like a pro, the nature staff will guide the group in a wolf howl, and hopefully a pack of wolves will respond! Algonquin is one of the biggest provincial parks in Ontario and located in the south-central area covering 7,630 square km. It’s easily accessible by car and is approximately 300 km north of Toronto and 260 km west of Ottawa.
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Harp Seals – Quebec
If you want a winter getaway to look forward to that includes observing wild harp seals and their pups you will want to visit Iles-de-la Madeleine in Quebec. These adorable peaceful seals are in their natural snowy habitat and come to give birth on the ice floes. The hotel Chateau Madelinot in Fatima has various packages including a spectacular helicopter ride to take a tour of the seals. All you need to do is dress up in super warm snow pants and bring a camera. There are multiple ways to get to this magnificent archipelago in Quebec and you can rent a car once you are on the island.
Bison – Saskatchewan
A road trip to Saskatchewan’s Bison country in Waskesiu is a totally unique experience. The Bison roam free to the west side of Prince Albert National Park and it’s one of the few areas where plains bison can be seen within their historical range. There are multiple driving routes to choose from to get you there – either Highway #2 or #264 – or if you really want to get back to nature, take the Scenic Route, Highway #263. From Regina to Waskesiu it’s 5.5 hours drive, and from Saskatoon it’s 2.5 hours. The history of these Canadian Bison date back to the 1800’s when they were close to extinction. Luckily today there are close to 1000 plains bison living peacefully.
Whales – Newfoundland and Labrador
It’s always better to see whales in their natural environment versus in an aquarium, and Newfoundland and Labrador is one of the best places to see these gentle mammas. Whales are visible along the coastline in all bays including Cape Spear, Signal Hill, and Trinity. There are 22 species of whales to look for such as blue, orca, pothead, – and it just so happens the world’s largest population of humpback whales can be found swimming and playing here too. The best time of year to go is between May and September – so what are you waiting for? If you also like caves, waterfalls, and driving along the coast to discover seabirds and other wildlife, this is the perfect road trip for your summer adventure.