Best Adventures to Enjoy Spring in Canada

Wild flowers at Little Salmon. | Guy Wilkinson
Wild flowers at Little Salmon. | Guy Wilkinson

The welcome signs of spring pop up in Canada in different places at different times. You might witness flowers in bloom as early as February along the west coast, but it may be late June before their alpine cousins appear in the mountain regions and in the territories, after the snow melts. Rising temperatures and the re-appearance of plant life also mean the return of migrating birds and marine life, and the reawakening of hibernating animals who can be found actively searching for food to refuel after a long winter. In Newfoundland and Labrador, the spring season shows its face in the form of ice giants creeping into view along the watery-blue horizon. Visiting Canada during springtime not only means witnessing nature’s awesome annual displays, it also means having the longest hours of daylight to explore pristine parks and trails - just as they reopen and before the summer crowds arrive - and having these experiences largely to yourself. 

Protected paddling through the islands of Desolation Sound, BC

Spring Starts Here  
Winning the prize for earliest spring departures are our water-based adventures on the west coast. Starting as early as May 1st, partake in a quiet paddle in the pristine wilderness of Clayoquot Sound, off of Vancouver Island; or Desolation Sound, off of mainland British Columbia. As May is considered ‘shoulder’ season, you can enjoy the popular tourist town of Tofino before the summer vacationers arrive, and as wildlife appears along the nutrient-rich intertidal shores. May is also a very popular time to visit the Okanagan Valley, known as one of Canada’s premier fruit-growing and wine-producing regions. The annual wine and beer festivals, along with the miles of beautiful white and pink cherry, apple, peach and pear blossoms make for a lively visit; and, if you arrive near the end of the month, you can still catch nature’s colourful canvas but with fewer crowds during a scenic cycle along a gentle rail trail through orchards and vineyards. 

A castle-shaped iceberg floats past Cape Spear |  <i>Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism</i>

Iceberg Season
Jumping all the way across the country to the Atlantic Coast, spring is the time to watch for icebergs. The warming temperatures of April and May mean the arrival of ice from the north along Newfoundland and Labrador’s famous Iceberg Alley. For the best chances of catching a glimpse of these giants (and also for spotting whales), head to the northern tip of Newfoundland and spend your nights in a lighthouse and your days exploring an uninhabited island during our Vikings Whales & Icebergs experience. For a more active adventure with possible migrating bergs (and birds) as your backdrop, lace up your hiking boots and check out the East Coast Trail in early June. 

Summer wildflowers in the Coast Mountains, BC |  <i>Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane</i>
Summer wildflowers in the Coast Mountains, British Columbia | Photo courtesy of Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane

Botanical Beauty
With 44 species of orchids and a great diversity other plant life, Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula is a botanist’s dream in the spring. Blooming season dates vary from year to year, but you can expect to see Lady Slippers and the like during your spring hike on the peninsula’s Bruce Trail. There is even a festival in honour of the orchid, taking place in Tobermory in late May/early June each year. 

Late June/early July means springtime in the alpine meadows of British Columbia’s interior. Greet waking blooms while moving from west to east through the mountains of Western Canada, or narrow your focus on the flowers with a hike through nature’s colourful canvas on our Hut to Hut in Wildflower Heaven trip. The first flowers to show their petals are typically yellow Glacier Lilies and white Spring Beauties. The only thing that competes with spring flora is the fauna. Home to grizzly and black bear, moose, deer, coyotes, wolves, and hundreds of species of birds; the chance of spotting wildlife in BC’s parks is highest at the beginning of the season, just after the winter melt. 

Towards the Oceanview Lookoff on the Canvendish Dunelands Trail |  <i>Caroline Mongrain</i>

The country's most active season is just around the corner, and it’s time to start making plans so you don’t miss out on the best adventures in Canada. Not sure when and/or where to go for your next hiking, cycling, and paddling holiday? Contact our team by email at [email protected] or by phone at 1-866-305-2257 and we’ll help you find the perfect trip.

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