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07/07/2014 11:51 EDT | Updated 07/07/2014 11:59 EDT

Get Active: Once-In-A-Lifetime Outdoor Family Adventures

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Fact: Everybody loves a good adventure story. It has suspense (Did I make the right choice?), intrigue, excitement, and — of course — adventure. Reading about adventures and thrilling quests is all well and good, but what about going on an adventure? Those happen in real life too.

This summer, why not grab the family and seek out a good time, some new memories, and an adventure that will last a lifetime? It’s time to chart a course to the great outdoors!

Here are some ideas of how to get everyone moving:

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1. Backpacking the Banff Highline Trail

Climb along some classic Canadian Rocky terrain on the Banff Highline Trail. Going up the passes, you’ll see beautiful wildflower meadows and high mountain lakes. Consider making Mt. Assiniboine your potential final destination stop.

2. Canyon Walk in the Rocky Mountains

Learning while vacationing can be fun too, right? Discover the Grotto Canyon, a craggy, rocky sculpted adventure scene that took running glacier water thousands of years to create. Located in Canmore, AB, this bit of natural history also features ancient native pictographs.

3. Hiking the Athabasca Sand Dunes

Hiking the Rockies is a grand adventure, but it isn’t the only hiking endeavor you and your family can enjoy. In Saskatchewan head to the northwest corner of the province to Lake Athabasca to trek around the Athabasca Sand Dunes, the largest sand dunes in North America. These dune fields run for 100 km and boost a rich and active ecosystem.

4. Working it like a cowboy

See what it’s like to really live like a rugged cowboy by working on a dude ranch. Consider low key activities like taking care of the horse, packing up for a day trip to just explore the area, or even stay at the farm to help out and learn the ropes. More adventurous types can grab their lasso and wrangle themselves a wild beast or even try barrel racing.

5. Rock climbing in Southern Ontario

If hanging out West and climbing the Rockies isn’t what everyone in the family wants to do, try heading down to the Bruce Peninsula in Southern Ontario to climb rugged, stony terrain. All along the Niagara Escarpment — a 700 km stretch of limestone — families with an adventurous streak can discover what nature took thousands of years to form and sculpt. Rock climbing in Southern Ontario has become more and popular over the years with a number of different places waiting to be discovered.

6. Gold rush expedition in the Yukon

Immerse yourself in the richest history of the West and go on a gold rush expedition adventure. Learn about the Klondike from the living museum that is the Yukon River, where relics still hold the history and stories of the largest gold deposits discovered over a hundred years ago.