Explore Canada’s National Wildlife Areas2

Explore Canada’s National Wildlife Areas

Canada’s National Wildlife Areas (NWAs) were established for wildlife conservation, nature interpretation, and research.

Visit and experience nature, from birdwatching to hiking, picnicking, and special events, these areas are for all visitors to enjoy.

Plan your visit to one of the top 10 locations today.

Visit a National Wildlife Area

Flying snow goose

Alaksen National Wildlife Area
Vancouver, British Columbia

Activities:

  • Hiking and trail walking
  • Wildlife viewing, including birdwatching
  • Nature photography
  • All-ages programming offered by the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary 
Big horned sheep

Vaseux-Bighorn National Wildlife Area
80 km south of Kelowna, British Columbia

Activities:

  • Wildlife viewing, including birdwatching
  • Nature photography
  • Boardwalk trail and viewing tower
  • Events by the Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance
American white pelican, flying through air

Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area
Located about 140 km from Regina and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Activities:

  • Trails and lookout points
  • Picnicking
  • Fishing
  • Canoeing or kayaking
  • Birdwatching
  • Wildlife photography
  • Camping is available at Last Mountain Regional Park
Swallow sitting on log

Big Creek National Wildlife Area
North shore of Lake Erie, 100 km from London, Ontario

Activities:

  • Hiking and trail walking
  • Wildlife viewing, including birdwatching
  • Nature photography
  • Beach swimming and camping are also available nearby at Long Point Provincial Park
Monarch butterfly on orange flower

Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area
On Lake Ontario, in Prince Edward County, 70 km from Belleville, Ontario

Activities:

  • Hiking and trail walking
  • Wildlife viewing, including birdwatching
  • Swimming (unsupervised)
  • Boating (launch available at the harbour on Long Point Road)
  • Spring and fall activities by the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory.
Small flock of snow geese on land

The Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area
North shore of the Saint Lawrence River, about 50 km from Québec City, Quebec

Activities:

  • Hiking and trail walking
  • Wildlife viewing, including birdwatching
  • Geocaching
  • An interpretation centre with biodiversity exhibits and other seasonal interactive programs
Two white-tailed deer

Lac Saint-François National Wildlife Area
120 km from Montréal, Quebec

Activities:

Yellow warbler chirping while perched on a tree branch

Cape Jourimain National Wildlife Area
Located at the New Brunswick end of the Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island

Activities:

  • Hiking and trail walking
  • Swimming
  • Picnicking
  • Winter activities (cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or skating)
  • Nature interpretation centre
  • Educational programs and tours offered by the Cape Jourimain Nature Centre
Cedar waxwing perched on branch

Shepody National Wildlife Area
On the Bay of Fundy, 46 km from Moncton, New Brunswick

Activities:

  • Hiking and trail walking
  • Wildlife viewing, including birdwatching
  • Nature photography
  • Exhibits at the Shorebird Discovery Centre
Glaucous-winded gulled, sitting on ground

Chignecto National Wildlife Area
Amherst, Nova Scotia

Activities

  • Hiking and trail walking
  • Wildlife viewing, including birdwatching
  • Nature photography

Birdwatch at our areas

The spring birdwatching season has begun.

It’s a great time to appreciate nature when it is most visible—watching birds in their natural habitats and learning about bird conservation.

What you need to birdwatch

  • Birdwatching has never been easier, with the availability of binoculars and a wide range of smartphone applications to facilitate identification by colour, habitat, and even by voice and song.

Did you know?

  • Migratory birds fly thousands of kilometres each spring and fall.
  • Canada is home to hundreds of species of migratory birds, and billions of individual birds.
  • Every habitat (marshes, forests, prairies, lakes, ponds, and cliffs) is home to a different species, and these species can be readily observed during migration.

About flyways

  • Flyways are the regular routes that birds take during migration. During the spring, migration birds migrate to their northern breeding grounds from their southern wintering grounds.
  • The Alaksen National Wildlife Area (and the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary), as well as Vaseux-Bighorn National Wildlife Area, are found in the Pacific Americas Flyway.
  • The Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area (and Migratory Bird Sanctuary) is located in the Central Americas Flyway.
  • All the remaining Connecting Canadians to Nature (CCTN) National Wildlife Areas are located in the Atlantic Americas Flyway.

Know before you go

National Wildlife Areas are open to the public; however, staff are not always on-site to manage public safety.

We ask all visitors to:

  • Remain on the designated walking trails
  • Don’t litter
  • Keep their dogs on a leash
  • Bring your own snacks, as not all locations have on-site food services available

The following activities are prohibited at National Wildlife Areas:

  • Camping (including tents, trailers, and RVs)
  • Lighting fires
  • Using vehicles and bicycles on the trails

Video

Transcript

Visit one of Canada’s National Wildlife Areas.

National Wildlife Areas help conserve wildlife across the country, and many are open to the public.

Hike, paddle, birdwatch, or join a learning activity and discover Canada’s incredible nature.

Canada.ca/visit-national-wildlife-areas

A message from the Government of Canada

Related links

YouTube Playlist: Canada’s National Wildlife Areas

Watch videos and discover what our NWAs have to offer.

National Wildlife Areas

Learn more about the NWA program and all locations across the country.

Canada’s Nature Legacy: Protecting Nature

Find out about the progress we’re making in protecting more of Canada’s nature.

Page details

Date modified: