Getting Off the Beaten Track in Canada
There are many “must-dos” for your RV trip in Canada that you think of straight away, such as Niagara Falls, or the CN Tower. But there are also lots of less mainstream, quirky gems tucked away for you to discover in your motorhome – visit one or two of them and you’re guaranteed a respite from the crowds as well as some unusual memories.
Bundle up and board the ‘Tundra Buggy’ for one of the rarest wildlife wonders on the planet: polar bears migrating to Hudson Bay. Churchill is Canada’s only sub-Arctic seaport and the coastline is as wild as it gets. Expect to see caribou, Arctic foxes, wolves, Arctic hares, lemming, snowy owls and gyrfalcons. In some cases, getting to and from Canada's most intriguing or desirable spots can be challenging. There's no road access to Churchill, Manitoba, home to the exhilarating Polar Bear Safari, but making the effort can be more than worthwhile. You can’t drive you RV to Churchill; you can only reach it by train. Tours leave from Winnipeg, but RVers can also drive to Thompson, store their RV either at the town hall or McCreedy Campground (both are secure) and travel overnight from Thompson to Churchill by train.
Kootenay Lake, British Columbia
A beautiful and mostly undiscovered part of the Canadian paradise, Kootenay Lake is located between the Selkirk and Purcell mountain ranges in British Columbia. It is one of BC’s largest natural lakes which is crossed by the Kootenay Lake Ferry, a toll-free vehicular ferry operating between Balfour and Kootenay Bay. The Kootenay Lake area is the traditional territory of the Ktunaxa people, who have hunted, fished and gathered in this area for thousands of years. The many parks and wilderness areas sprinkled about Kootenay Lake mean the area is a fabulous natural playground for you to explore in your motorhome. Backroads and mountain trails provide exceptional hiking and biking, and the clean freshwater lake offers fantastic fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and other watersports. RV campgrounds with full facilities are located on the shores of the lake.
Aspy Bay, Cape Breton, Ingonish, Nova Scotia
A secluded bay near Hideaway Campground, this beach is amazing and seems to go on forever – over 10 miles, in fact. The area is surrounded by 270 degrees of Cape Breton Highlands Mountain Range. One of many hidden on the island, it’s a little difficult to get to, but as a result you have 5 km of wonderful white sand beach with no more than a handful of people on it at any time.
Shames Mountain, Terrace, British Columbia
Located on the north edge of the middle of nowhere Shames Mountain boasts the highest amount of snowfall for a lift serviced hill in North America. In their inaugural season (1990) 72 feet of snow fell. With access to phenomenal backcountry and stunning views, this mountain truly is a hidden gem. It’s currently up for sale, possibly due to lack of visitor numbers, a good part of the reason for which might be Terrace's relative isolation. It is a 15 to 20 hour drive from Vancouver. The main highway from Vancouver to Prince George then to Terrace via Smithers isn't bad. It's just a long drive.
Queen Charlotte Islands/Haida Gwaii, British Columbia
The Queen Charlotte Islands, or Haida Gwaii in the Native tongue, off British Columbia’s north coast is an other-worldly place: lush green moss hangs from giant Sitka spruce, ravens' and eagles' calls break the stillness of the deep forests. Orcas and humpback whales glide through intricate straits and channels and sea lions watch us from their rocky haul-outs and gulls, petrels and tufted puffins soar above dramatic sea cliffs. This is the traditional territory of the Haida, a proud people whose powerful presence is felt everywhere. Canada's most remote archipelago is an magical place steeped in culture with unique natural features. Whether you want an active sportsfishing holiday, to explore and learn about the Islands’ history and culture or want some peaceful solitude on vast sandy beaches or in ancient First Nations Villages the Queen Charlotte Islands will provide. Situated north of Vancouver, the Islands are well connected to mainland British Columbia through BC Ferries, which operates a vehicle and passenger ferry service year round so you can take your RV to the islands with you to explore.