What to Know About Living Near a National Park

Arguably the greatest appeal of moving to Canada is gaining access to its sweeping natural landscape, but choosing to relocate, especially when it’s to a different town or type of town that you are used to living with, can bring about some apprehension and anxiety. Maybe you grew up in a working class area of a big city, in an apartment among many in a brick building. Maybe you grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere with a big family and the nearest shops more than a mile drive out. 

No matter where you’re from, if you moving close to a national park and aren’t familiar with it, chances are you’ll have some things to learn and adjust to. Here are some things to know about living near a national park, as well as some parks you may consider looking into moving near. 

What to Know

1. Immediate Access to Nature

Say goodbye to the days when you had to drive or fly ten hours to see a tree or a river. If you’re living next to a nature reserve or national park, you’re saving time, money, and stress that you most likely would have spent on arranging a vacation to escape your regular routine. If you’re living in the dreamland, there’s no need to escape. Whether it’s a gorgeous glacier lake, mountains, museums, or the ocean, you are in proximity to something other people only get to dream about and visit once a year, if at all. 

2. Seasonal Crowds

The downside to being close to national parks and gorgeous landscapes, however, is tourism density. Depending on the climate of your town, there will either be flocks of people in the summer or winter months, and things like driving around town to run mundane tasks can become very frustrating with so many people around. There is a reason that there are long-running jokes about tourists and locals. You’ll likely have to change some of your life patterns to accommodate your own anxieties, if you have them, but luckily the influx of people is usually limited to one part of the year. 

3. Parts of the Town Will Cater to Tourism

If you’re a person who takes everything in stride and doesn’t worry much about the goings-on about town, chances are you will be ok. But there are those residents who will be perpetually annoyed at the souvenir and trinket shops, bad restaurants, high gas prices, and other things that come with living in a region that attracts so many tourists. This isn’t so much about the crowding mentioned above, but more about how the economic ecosystem, so to speak, includes tourists as a natural part, and so they will factor in to lots of things like what stores come into town, gas price fluctuations, and even changes in home price that don’t necessarily match the levels of the surrounding region.

Parks to Consider

1. Banff National Park, Alberta

Established in 1885, this park is Canada’s oldest. It covers over 2,500 square miles of mountain terrain in the Alberta region’s Rocky Mountains. There is a dense coniferous forest, as well as glaciers, ice fields, and alpine landscapes. The forests consist of mostly lodgepole pine trees at lower elevations and Engelmann Spruce at higher elevations. The diversity of fauna is extraordinary, though visitors should be aware that there are some dangerous animals in the area, including grizzly bears and cougars. Winter tourism is especially popular here, with skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing being the most common activities. The park is so immaculate that you’ll be tempted to research Banff Homes for Sale.

2. Jasper National Park of Canada

While not the oldest National Park in the Canadian Rockies, Jasper National Park has the privilege of being the largest, encompassing nearly 7,000 square miles of terrain including glaciers, lakes, peaks, and a vast forested wilderness. Activities include hiking, camping, and skiing. The park is an excellent and favored place for wildlife photographers, though like every park on this list, visitors are advised to read about wildlife safety on the park’s website before venturing forth into the area.

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