Canada - Nature and Scientific Wonders- page 2 | Travel | Smithsonian

Canada - Nature and Scientific Wonders

Canada - Nature and Scientific Wonders

smithsonian.com

(Continued from page 1)

The province is also a berry paradise and visitors can pluck blueberries and raspberries to enjoy on the spot. For those with a more adventurous palate, Newfoundland and Labrador is best known for its partridgeberries and bakeapples; known elsewhere as cloudberries, bakeapples can be spotted by their orange and red color and resemble raspberries in their shape, although the texture and taste are quite different.

Northern Canada
The main attraction in northern Canada is the aurora borealis and Aurora Village in the Northwest Territories, located directly under the Aurora Oval, is purported to be one of the best places in the world to view the show. The Village, open November to April and August to September, hosts guests primarily in heated tipis, where visitors learn about the aurora borealis—both the science and legends surrounding the northern lights—and how best to capture the phenomenon in pictures.

In the Yukon Territory, another site worth seeing is the Midnight Dome outside of Dawson City. The overlook affords a dramatic view, but none more spectacular than at midnight on the summer solstice, when the sun dips just below the before rising again almost immediately.

Nova Scotia
Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia is the province's largest protected area and is home to a number of endangered species that receive special attention to ensure their survival. The park, which was established in 1936, offers visitors 25 hiking trails, campsites and an Information Centre; Cape Breton Plateau is the most prominent element of the park, the edge of which features steep cliffs dropping to the ocean below.

Nova Scotia has also established 11 scenic travelways, leading visitors through some of the most spectacular scenery the province has to offer, heavily featuring coastal roads and sights.

Ontario
Ontario Parks, a branch of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, has a must-see list within the parks, including Kakabeka Falls, where water drops more than 130 feet over some of the oldest fossils in the world. Ouimet Canyon, with its rare collection of plant life also makes the list, as does Sleeping Giant, part of Sibley Peninsula, where natural rock formations resemble a sleeping person.

Of course, no discussion of Ontario's offerings would be complete without Niagara Falls, where visitors continue to be stunned by the sheer enormity and power of the Falls. Flowing at roughly 35 miles per hour, the water is a major source of electricity for the area. The Falls are approximately 12,000 years old and, over the years, stories of people surviving a fall over the edge have become legendary; a few are true, although no one recommends trying as it is incredibly dangerous. Niagara is also home to a butterfly conservatory, parks, campgrounds, and golf courses.

Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island National Park on the north shore, along the Gulf of St. Lawrence, became a national park in 1937 and now protects sand dunes, beaches, salt marshes and red sandstone cliffs. It is the cliffs that many remember about their time in PEI, averaging 20 feet, with some reaching heights of 50 feet. The Greenwich Interpretation Centre offers visitors exhibits on the area and there are regularly scheduled activities throughout the summer months. For those who would rather wander on their own, picnic areas dot the coastline.

Quebec
More than 650 species make their home in Quebec's protected land—including the humpback whale, great blue heron and moose—and the province lays claim to 27 national parks.

One of Quebec's more unique projects is the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park, the first Quebec park with a maritime component. The park operates to conserve the marine ecosystems within its borders, raise public awareness and encourage scientific research. As part of its conservation efforts, a number of regulations have been established, such as mandating safe observation distances for boats so they do not harm the animals, a limit on the number of boats around a particular animal, the length of time boats may linger around animals and maximum speeds on the water within the park.

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus