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While most of us are familiar with the Great Lakes, Canada is home to many other lakes which are worth a visit. From bays, rivers to lakes, there are many beautiful bodies of water right in our backyard. Some of these lakes and rivers are popular tourist destinations while others challenge you to take the road less travelled. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing change of scenery or to get lost in nature, here are some aquatic gems to consider for your next adventure.
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Lake Louise, AB
Located in Banff National Park, Lake Louise is known for its stunning scenic views. Surrounded by mountains and glaciers, Lake Louise is home to numerous ski areas and hiking trails. Named after one of Queen Victoria’s daughters, Lake Louise is famous for its emerald waters. The lake itself spans 5 kilometres from its hamlet, a small town where you can take a break from sightseeing and do some shopping or grab a bite to eat. In the summer visitors can paddle through the lake, climb the mountains or simply bask in the view.
Okanagan Lake, BC
Flowing right through Kelowna, Okanagan Lake spans 135 kilometres, leaving visitors with plenty to explore. With over 30 isolated beaches, Okanagan Lake is a water sports enthusiast’s paradise. Most of the beaches are equipped with playgrounds for the kids, concessions, and marinas where visitors can rent water boats, Ski-Doos and other water accessories. If you’re feeling adventurous, locals challenge visitors to look for Ogopogo, the rumoured ‘lake monster’.
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Mahone Bay, NS
Though significantly smaller than Nova Scotia’s other popular bay, The Bay of Fundy, Mahone Bay is the perfect destination for those looking for a bit of waterfront history. Located off the Town of Lunenburg, Mahone Bay is rich with east coast heritage. Visitors can enjoy sailing on the waters or exploring the town’s art galleries, historic architecture and hiking trails. For those looking to sit back and relax, Mahone Bay has a number of beaches, including the white sands of Risser’s Beach and Carters Beach.
Lake Simcoe, ON
About an hour and a half north of Toronto, near Barrie, sits Lake Simcoe. It’s the fourth largest lake in Toronto, boasting a number of beaches and islands. Visitors can enjoy boating, fishing and cycling the routes of Simcoe County. Aside from the shores, Lake Simcoe is home to over a dozen golf courses and resorts, for a relaxing Ontario retreat.