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First Time Traveling to Canada? An Outdoor Bucket List for Those Visiting

Canada is an immense country. If it’s your first time traveling to this incredible land, you probably have a lot on your itinerary. From kite-boarding and whale-watching to elk-hunting and ice fishing, there’s always something to do in Canada.

For someone who has a passion for the outdoors, Canada is a hunter’s and adventurer’s paradise. Here are some outdoor destinations to add to your bucket list for visiting Canada. 

Prince Edward Island Canada

Kiteboard in Prince Edward Island

Most tourists head to Prince Edward Island for the serene landscape and tranquil atmosphere, but a brave few visit for the fierce Atlantic winds. If you’re a fan of the exhilarating sport of kiteboarding or you want to try something new and exciting, harnessing the gusts on the North Atlantic is the thrill ride you’ve been seeking.

If you’re traveling with family or friends who are not as keen about riding the winds as you are, they can rent bikes and enjoy the almost-incline-free, unpopulated roads winding around the island. 

Watch the Northern Lights in Yellowknife 

Yellowknife is the capital of the Northern Territories and is a wild and wooly place to visit. This tiny town has blossomed into an outdoor tourist hub and a fun place to stay in its own right. 

You can ice fish and learn how to tie a fishing knot from the experts while you enjoy the undulating beauty of the Northern Lights. The Northern Lights are one of the most ethereal sights on the planet and should be on every traveler’s bucket list. 

ice fishing

Snow-Tag in Quebec

If you plan on visiting Canada in the winter, head to Quebec and the national park of La Mauricie for some snow-tagging. This Canadian pastime is like making crop circles but with snowshoes. And the art you create is impermanent, so it doesn’t mar the natural beauty of the area.

In the winter, hike to an open spot like frozen-over Solitaire Lake. Snowshoes create a large design on the lake by trekking in precise lines or curves — the park office has some photos for inspiration.

Some snow-taggers use maps and ropes to measure out their designs, while others design something more freeform. After you’re done, hike to a nearby high point to admire your work and take some pictures. 

Fish for Salmon in Lake Ontario

As the smallest of the Great Lakes, Lake Ontario is unique in that it offers anglers fishing action all year round. Although trout fishing is simply spectacular in spots around the lake like Mississauga, most anglers come here to hook the salmon.

If you come in the summer to take advantage of the 24-hour daylight — to fish literally all day long, you will have to go farther out, to deeper parts of the lake, as salmon like to stay cool. If you’re coming to Canada in the fall, you won’t have to use a trolling set-up with downriggers, as the fish will be swimming closer to shore.

Hunt for Black-Tailed Deer at Haida Gwaii



If you’re like most hunters, you’re always looking for new hunting spots to try. There are some magnificent spots for those hunters traveling north if you want to test your luck with Canada deer hunting.

In 1898, when Haida Gwaii was still the Queen Charlotte Islands, Europeans introduced deer to the environment. Because they lacked any natural predators, the deer population flourished. 



What this means for hunters is the deer on these islands off the coast of British Columbia are plentiful and the limits on how many you can bag are pretty generous. Not only are your chances of bagging a buck high, but, on the hunt, you can trek the many logging roads crisscrossing this extraordinary ecosystem.

Camp Near the Valley of 1,000 Devils

One of the most underrated national parks in Canada is Grasslands. In the eastern section of this park, you’ll find the Valley of 1,000 Devils. With geological history and a stunning backdrop, a visit to this area is unforgettable.

In this incredible landscape, you’ll find oddly shaped hoo-doos, dinosaur fossils and the K-T line — a line in the rock that signifies where the meteorite hit the Earth when it eradicated the dinosaurs.  

Find Some Trophy Elk in British Columbia



If you are pursuing something more significant than deer, steer away from Haida Gwaii and set your sights on British Columbia for elk-hunting. This serene and beautiful landscape is home to some of the most powerful elk on the continent. 

For a hunter’s bucket list, elk-hunting in Canada must be at the very top. Take precautions; just as when you’re hunting, you should always share your location with folks, so they know where you are at all times. 

Bring the Family to Skerwink Trail



On the Bonavista Peninsula in Newfoundland, you’ll encounter the family-friendly Skerwink Trail, which runs along the north and south coasts of Skerwink Head, which is a gorgeous, stark peninsula jutting out into Trinity Harbour. 

At around three miles, hike the loop clockwise so you can take advantage of the breathtaking view across Trinity Harbour as you walk along the south coast. Along the way, you’ll find sea caves, capelin beaches and geological arches, and the wildlife is astounding as well. You may see hawks, whales and moose and experience the occasional iceberg floating by on this unforgettable voyage.

Visit Riding Mountain with Your Bike

Manitoba is known as one of Canada’s flattest provinces, but it does have some elevation. Riding Mountain National Park stretches 2,000 feet above sea level. This park offers some gorgeous views, but you’ll have to ride your bike up to see them on the Manitoba escarpment.

A more accessible trail is the Lakeshore Trail. Those who want something more challenging will find that the Clear Lake Trail will put them to the test. For an unforgettable biking trek, take your wheels to Riding Mountain and cross it off your bucket list. 

The Last Word

If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Canada for the first time, don’t miss these unforgettable spots. Whether your passion is hunting, fishing, trekking, biking or merely sight-seeing, these locales in Canada should be at the very top of your bucket list, waiting to be crossed off. 

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