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My Updated Bucket List for Canada

Even though I’ve finished my book – Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures, it doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped thinking and dreaming about where else in Canada I’d like to visit. The list never gets shorter. Here’s my updated bucket list for Canada.

British Columbia

Backpack the Juan de Fuca Trail on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Done and the post is here.

I’m a sucker for remote beaches and wild landscapes so the North Coast Trail at the tip of Vancouver Island is also on the list.

"Sunset on the North Coast Trail, BC"
Sunset on the North Coast Trail – Photo credit: Brendan Lally on Flickr

Although I’ve kayaked on many occasions through the southern Gulf Islands, I’d still like to do a kayaking trip to the islands I’ve missed…for a week.

I’d love to do a giant ski tour of BC, covering all the small resorts like Whitewater and Red Mountain but I’d include larger resorts I’ve never skied like Silver Star, Kicking Horse and Revelstoke.

I’d like to spend a few days backcountry skiing out of Purcell Mountain Lodge.

CMH offers a Via Ferrata experience in summer that I’d like to try, especially after the fun I had at Mount Norquay a few weeks ago. And a few days of heli-skiing would be out of this world too.

"The CMH Via Ferrata"
The CMH Via Ferrata (Photo credit: Gery Unterasinger)

A few nights at one of the lodges on the west coast – like the Knight Inlet Lodge – that offer grizzly bear viewing tours sounds like a lot of fun.

The Kettle Valley Railway still calls me. I’d like to do another two or three day section somewhere in the Okanagan area but self-supported.


The Milk River in southern Alberta may not be the most exciting river to canoe, but it would be a good way of experiencing the prairie landscape.(Accomplished – amazing & highly recommend. Read the post here.)

Backpack Gibbon, Whistling and Healy Passes in Banff National Park.Also done and fantastic in July during peak wildflower season. The post is here.

Ski the Wapta Traverse in spring with a guide.That post is here.

Hike to Caldron Lake in Banff National Park and Corey Pass.

Visit Wood Buffalo National Park.


Spend two weeks canoeing a circuit on the Reindeer Lakes in northern Saskatchewan.

Canoe the Fond du Lac River.

Visit the Quill Lakes International Birding Area during migration season. Also done – though part of Quill Lake was underwater. Read about our experience here.

Hike the Athabasca Sand Dunes in the northwest corner of the province.


Visit the Narcisse snake dens in spring. As much as I hate snakes, I still think this would be an amazing sight.

Take Via Rail from Winnipeg to Churchill. Swim with Beluga whales, look for polar bears, take in the sights.

Canoe the Seal River.


Kayak around Phillip Edward Island in the Georgian Bay over five days. (I did part of this last summer and loved every minute. You can see how pretty it is here.)

Spend a week in the fall when the colours are at their peak canoeing in Algonquin Park.

Hike the Coastal Trail through Lake Superior Provincial Park. That post is here.

Kayak the Slate Islands in Lake Superior – home to lots of caribou.

Cross-country ski out of the Stokely Creek Lodge near Sault Ste. Marie. There are over 135 kilometres of trails. Read about my wonderful few days here.

Take the train to Moosonee – just because I’ve heard about the place for years.

My Updated Bucket List for Canada
The Lake Superior Coastal Trail


Kayak the Mingan Archipelago – for at least three days. And drive to the end of Highway 138 since I’d be up there anyway.

Ski at Le Massif. Done and I highly recommend, it feels like you’re skiing into the St. Lawrence River.

Spend more time in the Laurentians cross-country skiing. A few days last winter wasn’t nearly enough.

Ski in the Chic-Chocs.

Visit Anticosti Island.

My Updated Bucket List for Canada
Skiing at Le Massif

The Maritimes

I have spent a lot of time in the Maritimes and have done almost everything I’ve wanted to do except for:

Visit Sable Island and photograph the wild horses.

Explore the Yarmouth area of Nova Scotia as I have been told by numerous locals in my post – 45 Random Observations & Fun Facts about Nova Scotia that I shouldn’t have ignored this area.

Check out Miscou Island in New Brunswick. Done – and beautiful especially in fall.

Backpack in Torngat Mountains National Park on the Labrador Peninsula.

My Updated Bucket List for Canada
The fall colours on Miscou Island in New Brunswick

Canada’s North

Drive the entire length of the Dempster Highway.

Visit Herschel Island. I did and it’s an incredible spot.

Raft the Firth River.

Backpack to the Kaskawulsh Glacier Lookout in Kluane National Park.

Canoe the Nahanni River.

Hike to the Cirque of the Unclimbables in the Northwest Territories.

Hike or kayak on Ellesmere Island.

Visit ALL the northern national parks. I’ll be supremely lucky if that happens.

My Updated Bucket List for Canada
Herschel Island is definitely worth a visit

Even though I’ve visited all provinces and territories, and despite the fact that I’ve done 100 outdoor adventures that make the book plus countless others that didn’t, even I am surprised at how many more things I’d like to do in Canada.

What on this bucketlist appeals most to you?



Leigh McAdam

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 61,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 6 Comments
  1. Must be the time of bucket lists as I’ve begun drafting a post about the same topic – with a different take on it. . .but your list makes me feel rather like a “Seattle Slug” as I sit here thinking, “Oh I hope she does these so I can read about them” instead of thinking, “Oh, I should do this one or that one. . .” Keep up your energy, Leigh, I am looking forward to the armchair travel!

    1. @Jackie There are a few on my bucket list that would be relaxing – and don’t get me wrong I love a spa day, and a long dinner, and afternoon naps, and reading books for a solid day as much as the next person.

  2. I read some crazy insane adventurer hiked 120 miles in Wood Buffalo to see the world’s largest beaver dam. While I have no desire to recreate this impressive feat, I would like to see the park. The only natural whooping crane colony summers up there, so it must be nice.

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