the great outdoors Canada’s national parks are free to explore in 2017, thanks to a Parks Canada Discovery Pass (see pc.gc.ca). Here are eight beauties you definitely don’t want to miss by jessica wynne lockhart
newfoundland and labrador
gros morne national park
Gros Morne literally translates to “great sombre.” It was actually named for Newfoundland’s second-highest mountain peak, but perhaps there’s a lesson here—namely that you’ll need to stay away from the province’s famous screech to truly enjoy everything the park has to offer. For starters, a clear head and an early getaway may be necessary to complete the eight-hour day hike to the top of Gros Morne Mountain. The views are worth it; you’ll be able to see the park’s fjords, glacial valleys and coastal lowland from the 806-metre–high arctic-alpine plateau. This jaw-dropping landscape was created about 500 million years ago, when the earth’s tectonic plates collided. A rare example of continental drift, it’s a geology nerd’s dream. The park’s beauty has long made it a go-to spot for visual artists. In Woody Point’s historic heritage theatre, you can attend everything from plays to concerts to readings, while the park itself offers a residency program. For the rest of us, there’s kayaking, boat tours, skiing and kilometres of sandy beaches. As it turns out, Gros Morne might not be so sombre after all. 44 away Spring 2017
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