Cape Breton Highlands National Park named best in Canada

Jasper National Park comes in second place

Canada's nearly 50 national parks were established to protect and preserve the country's 39 identified natural regions – wild places representative of and often unique to each province or territory. USA TODAY 10Best teamed up with a panel of Canadian travel writers to nominate 20 of the best national parks in Canada, and for the past four weeks, you've been voting for your favorites. The results are in.

  • Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
    British Columbia

    Within British Columbia's Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, travelers can stroll the sandy shores of Long Beach, paddle the Broken Group Islands, hike the 45-mile West Coast Trail or listen to Nuu-chah-nulth legends told around a campfire.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Prince Albert National Park
    Saskatchewan

    A million acres of boreal forests and vast open prairies where wild bison roam make up Saskatchewan's Prince Albert National Park. Wild yet accessible, this national park invites visitors to camp amid aspen trees, paddle a network of lakes and streams, catch some rays on a sandy beach or get away from it all on a backcountry hike.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • La Mauricie National Park
    Quebec

    Quebec's La Mauricie National Park is dotted with more than 150 lakes, spread amid forests of hardwood and conifers and all within a couple hours of both Montreal and Quebec. Birdwatchers will find more than 211 species, while hikers will find trails for just about any ability level winding through the Laurentian Mountains.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Fundy National Park
    New Brunswick

    Many visitors come to Fundy National Park to see the world's biggest tidal change in the Bay of Fundy, but the park offers so much more. More than 75 miles of trails wind through the Acadian forest, passing waterfalls, streams and scenic mountain valleys. Visitors can swim in Bennett Lake, camp in a yurt or go in search of the bird's eye primrose, a rare plant found nowhere else on earth.
    Photo courtesy of New Brunswick Department of Tourism and Parks

  • Gros Morne National Park
    Newfoundland and Labrador

    Within the bounds of Gros Morne National Park, one of the largest national parks in Canada and a UNESCO World Heritage site, visitors are treated to some of the most diverse and spectacular scenery around – fjords, glacial valleys, glassy lakes, alpine plateaus, sea stacks and waterfalls. Wildlife viewing is top notch, with opportunities to spot moose, caribou, Arctic hare or rock ptarmigan.
    Photo courtesy of Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism

  • Grasslands National Park
    Saskatchewan

    The wide open plains of Grasslands National Park, spread beneath the clear blue Saskatchewan sky, create a sense of solitude quite unlike anywhere else. Experiences are varied, everything from family-friendly walks to rustic backcountry adventures. Lucky visitors might even catch a glimpse of a wild herd of bison moving through the rippling grasses.
    Photo courtesy of Tourism Saskatchewan / Eric Lindberg

  • Banff National Park
    Alberta

    The majesty of the Canadian Rockies is on full display in Banff National Park, Canada's first and flagship park in the system. Some three million visitors per year make their way to the park, famous for its turquoise alpine lakes, scenic drives, gaping caves and abundant wildlife.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Riding Mountain National Park
    Manitoba

    An island of wilderness in a sea of Manitoba farmland, Riding Mountain National Park is one of Canada's best national parks for spotting wildlife, whether it be a black bear padding through the boreal forest or an elk bugling in a clearing. Camping is a popular way to explore the wilderness, crisscrossed by a variety of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails.
    Photo courtesy of Travel Manitoba

  • Jasper National Park
    Alberta

    Jasper National Park, the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies, protects the Columbia Icefield, as well as some of the continent's healthiest populations of moose, elk and grizzly bears. Visitors can choose from more than 615 miles of hiking trails, as well as scenic drives, picnic spots, hot springs and seven sets of red Adirondack chairs ideal for taking in the surrounding scenery.
    Photo courtesy of Parks Canada/L. Neufeld

  • Cape Breton Highlands National Park
    Nova Scotia

    Mountains meet the sea at Cape Breton Highlands National Park on the iconic Cabot Trail coastline of Nova Scotia. The mix of Boreal, Acadian and Taiga habitats within the park have yielded an astounding diversity of plants and animals found nowhere else in Canada. It's one of the few places on the planet where travelers can spot a moose and a minke whale in the same day.
    Photo courtesy of Parks Canada

The top 10 winners in the category Best National Park in Canada are as follows:

  1. Cape Breton Highlands National Park - Nova Scotia
  2. Jasper National Park - Alberta
  3. Riding Mountain National Park - Manitoba
  4. Banff National Park - Alberta
  5. Grasslands National Park - Saskatchewan
  6. Gros Morne National Park - Newfoundland and Labrador
  7. Fundy National Park - New Brunswick
  8. La Mauricie National Park - Quebec
  9. Prince Albert National Park - Saskatchewan
  10. Pacific Rim National Park Reserve - British Columbia

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Gregory B. Gallagher (Michelin Green Guide Canada 2017), Janet Gyenes, Maureen Littlejohn, Jody Robbins (25 Places in Canada Every Family Should Visit), Jenn Smith Nelson (travelandhappiness.com) and Nadine Sykora (Hey Nadine) were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of travel in Canada.

Congratulations to all these winning national parks!

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Gregory B. Gallagher

Gregory B. Gallagher

Janet Gyenes

Janet Gyenes

Maureen Littlejohn

Maureen Littlejohn

Jody Robbins

Jenn Smith Nelson

Jenn Smith Nelson

Nadine Sykora

Nadine Sykora