Are you looking to discover some hidden gems in our beautiful yard this fall?
Fresh Tracks Canada, a Vancouver-based travel agency that focuses exclusively on Canadian itineraries, also creates packages that take travelers to places off the beaten path where they can have unique experiences without battling the crowds.
While Canada’s big cities are vibrant metropolises with plenty of places to shop, dine, and explore, the company notes that smaller towns have a lot to offer travelers “looking for the most authentic Canadian experience.”
Katherine Foxcroft, travel expert and product experience manager at Fresh Tracks, compiled a list of five hidden gems across the country that are perfect to explore in the fall, especially when paired with bucket list trip. One of them is also located right here in British Columbia.
Canada travel experiences to try this fall
Known as the Polar Bear Capital of the World, Churchill is a small town on Hudson’s Bay in far northern Manitoba that offers visitors the opportunity to see majestic polar bears up close. Of course, you can’t see the fierce white bruins on your own – you need to be part of a group that specializes in bear-spotting tours. Also, Churchill is not accessible by car – you can only get to the small town by plane or train.
Once you arrive in the remote town, however, you have the rare opportunity to see the magnificent polar bears up close from “the comfort and safety of a specially designed Tundra Buggy,” notes Fresh Tracks. The trips take place in October and early November when bears congregate at nearby Cape Churchill waiting for ice to form on Hudson Bay. Once the ice stabilized, they left to spend the winter hunting seals.
Beluga whales visit Churchill after the ice melts in the spring, and the company offers viewing packaging during the summer months.
Mabou, Cape Breton
Mabou is a small rural community located on the Ceilidh Trail on the west side of Cape Breton Island. Recognized as one of the best places to listen to live Celtic music and experience Gaelic culture in Nova Scotia, the destination is known for its warm, welcoming people and vibrant culture.
If you visit the unique village in the fall, you can catch the Celtic Colors music festival, whet your whistle during a whiskey tasting at Glenora Distillery, and explore Cabot Trail’s famous fall colors.
Located on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, Baie-Saint-Paul is a remote Quebec city that is about 90 minutes north of Quebec City by train or car. Surrounded by mountains, the beautiful destination is known for its gastronomy, arts and breathtaking panoramas.
There are also plenty of activities to enjoy, such as whale-watching trips on the river, an agronomic tour to learn about local food producers, an art tour to explore unique local art installations, and a hike to Grands National Park. -Gardens.
Cowboy Trail, Alberta
Alberta Provincial Highway #22 is officially named the Cowboy Trail and is known for the stunning fall colors covering its vast farmlands and rolling hills. In the fall, Fresh Tracks notes that visitors can also see the first snow-capped peaks of the Rockies in the distance. The destination is ideal for people who want to try their hand at a working farm ranch or just stay at a guest ranch.
Travelers can visit local wineries and distilleries like Spirit Hills Winery and Eau Clair Distillery, explore the Bar U Ranch Historic Site and Waterton National Park, and watch cowboys drive cattle through the foothills. Additionally, the CBC television program heartland was filmed in various locations in the region.
There’s no shortage of places to go horseback riding either, and the trails offer sublime views of the rugged Rocky Mountains surrounding the vast golden grasslands.
Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia
Comprised of 6.4 million breathtaking acres, the Great Bear Rainforest is one of the most breathtaking destinations in the world. The temperate rainforest is home to a plethora of wildlife including humpback whales, killer whales, grizzly bears, eagles, otters, salmon, cougars, mountain goats, Sitka deer, coastal wolves and the rare cream colored Kermode Bear or Spirit Bear. .
One of the most popular travel activities is grizzly bear-watching expeditions, where travelers stay in a “fly-in floating lodge for an authentic West Coast experience.” You can also stay in Campbell River and take a day trip to the Great Bear Rainforest with a local First Nations guide.