Inspire

A Trip To Canada Is A Lesson In Loving Nature

British Columbia is as big as it is enchanting.

Think you’re in touch with nature? Unless you’ve been to British Columbia (BC) in Canada, think again. The province’s waterways, forests and mountains, all so close to major cities, are utterly enchanting and its sheer size stunning.

Nature in Canada provides lessons in perspective, survival and conservation that you can take with you wherever you go.

Waterways

Whytecliff Park. Image: Alex Strohl / Destination BC

From the black sand beaches of Vancouver Island to the log-covered shores of Whytecliff Park and the brilliant turquoise water of Garibaldi Lake—there’s no such thing as a quick dip in Canada’s lakes and beaches. At most water sources, there’s are opportunities to hike, rock climb, horse-ride, scuba dive, cliff jump, spot seals sunbaking, see chipmunks scuttle underfoot and, if you’re really lucky, catch orcas rubbing their bellies on rocks in the shallows.

Make the most of BC’s waterways by ensuring you always have suitable walking shoes, bathers, a light jacket and a camera at hand. You’ll definitely need it!

What You’ll Learn: Waterways are diverse and highly interconnected ecosystems. Keeping them clean and safe is as critical for us as it is for the many creatures that inhabit it.


Mountains

In summer and spring, there are plenty of opportunities to clamber atop mountains and marvel at the views below. In winter and autumn, slap on a pair of skis and glide down the very same mountain you marched up in the warmer seasons.

In BC, a province spanning almost a million square kilometres, there are four key mountain ranges: the Canadian Rockies, the Coast Mountains (which are accessible by public transport year-round), the Cassiar Mountains, and Columbia Mountains. They all offer exciting activities for even the most inexperienced outdoor types.

Dotted throughout the province, you’ll also find a range of different ways to enjoy hot springs, from modest tubs at Tsek hot springs to a multi-pool resort at Halcyon hot springs.

Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park, British Columbia

Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park. Image: Ryan Dickie / Destination BC

What You’ll Learn: There’s something for everyone in Canada’s Great Outdoors. It’s not exclusive terrain and it’s certainly not just for those with a penchant for extreme sports. Discovering you can take it at your own pace is both inspiring and invigorating.


Forests

Cedar trees with an 18m girth, spruce and firs that tower 80m high, and larch trees that live for 850 years — you’ll find all of this and more in Canada’s west. BC is home to hundreds of native tree and plant species that prosper in forests, most of which are only a short distance from major cities and are accessible year-round.

The beauty of Canadian forests is only enhanced by the changing seasons, and beauty abounds in both the heat and the cold. From vivid autumn colours and snow-decorated branches in the cooler months, to the brightest greens through spring and summer, it’s always mesmerising. In the warmer weather, the forests also teem with wildlife—bears, squirrels, beavers, elk, cougars and myriad birds, to name just a few.

Red fox in snowy mountains at Northern Rockies, Canada

Image: Ryan Dickie / Destination BC

What You’ll Learn: BC is the most biologically diverse province in Canada, and you don’t have to go far to see proof of it. Forests play a critical role in protecting the world’s biodiversity and making the world more habitable for humans.


Vastness

Northern British Columbia, Canada

Image: Ryan Dickie / Destination BC

There’s nothing like sprawling sea, staggering mountains and sky-high pines to give you some perspective. And because nature in Canada is, like, really big, expect that even a brief trip to leave you with a refreshed view of the world.

Whether you’re staring out at a sky flooded with stars as snow falls delicately around you, or touching the bark of a 1000-year-old tree, the vastness of Canadian nature has a way of helping you take stock of things.

What You’ll Learn: The world is a big and beautiful place, and there’s a lot to see.
The massive size of the natural world in Canada accentuates life’s essentials, drives home the importance of protecting our shared planet, and provides tranquillity and perspective. And isn’t that what travel’s all about?

(Lead image: Megan McLellan / Destination BC)