Two destinations I have visited in Canada have had an indescribable effect on me. Even though many places take my breath away, these are my favourites. I was amazed when I first saw the gorgeous surroundings of Emerald Lake, located in Yoho National Park, British Columbia. The water is a clear, crisp blue, and with its sheer beauty, I can see how the lake acquired its name. Reflecting vividly in the still, motionless water were the enormous mountains towering over us.
We didn't have to think twice after realising we could rent a canoe. After putting on life jackets and hopping in, we started paddling towards the mountains. Although Emerald Lake is pretty big and surrounded by hiking trails and wildlife, it was surprisingly calm - even more so because we visited during the summer period. At times we stopped canoeing to enjoy the serenity, letting the unforgettable beauty flood our minds.
We paddled around for about an hour, just enough time to take photos and cover the whole lake. After having a drink at the Emerald Lake Lodge and taking more photos, we packed up and moved on.
After visiting Emerald Lake, we were eager to explore Lake Minnewanka. Located in the Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada, Lake Minnewanka is a glacial lake, equally as stunning as Emerald Lake, with unbelievably blue water. The lake is surrounded by several mountains, giving the place a lovely finishing touch. Instead of hiring a canoe or hopping on the boat tour, we decided to make our own way around the area. While it was busier than Emerald Lake, there's more space to wander around or spread out for a picnic.
With so many different outdoor activities available, it is the perfect place for every one. There are boat tours and canoe rental, hiking trails and plenty of space to wander around. We walked beside the lake, spotted some squirrels and took loads of photos. After our little self-made adventure, we sat on a rock, soaked up the sun and enjoyed the view. What more could you want?
If you ever plan a trip to Canada, make sure you visit Emerald Lake and Lake Minnewanka. There’s so much to see in British Columbia and Alberta. Just driving through them gives you a good idea of the beautiful places tucked away in the National Parks. Whether it's canoeing through the lake or hiking the surrounding mountains, it’s definitely worth paying a visit and making the most of what these magical destinations have to offer.
Written by Demi van Leeuwen, find more of her adventure pictures on Instagram @jothetraveler_