Exploring Canada on four wheels

Chris Perrin in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, BC, 2006. (Photo courtesy Chris Perrin)

I first visited British Columbia in 2006. My brother, our mutual friend and I decided to make an early summer road trip from Montreal to Tofino and back — all in two weeks. There wasn’t any particular reason for the trip other than a...

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Heard it from a Scout: Hiking tips for rookies

Hiking in the Swiss Alps (Photo courtesy Scouts Canada)

The worst mistake I ever made while hiking was unintentionally stepping on a fresh cow patty. I would have been less embarrassed if it hadn’t happened while leading a group of giggly international Scouts. At the time, I was guiding in the...

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Five of nature's most fascinating families

Orca (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)

Orca, Salish Sea, BC (Photo by NCC)

If you thought human families were the only relatives with complex relationships, think again. In honour of Family Day, check out some of the animal kingdom’s fascinating families below: Orcas Orcas (also known as killer whales) are...

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Heard it from a Scout: A beginner's guide to winter camping

Scouts pitch insulated tents to keep warm in winter. (Photo by Scouts Canada)

During the winter months, most Canadians dream of flying south to escape the snow, ice and below-zero temperatures. Scouts, on the other hand, like to get outside by heading to campgrounds to enjoy all that nature has to offer. A scout’s...

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What nature means to an 89-year-old

Author Zoe and her granny standing beside Lake Ambleside in England. (Photo courtesy Zoe Arnold)

At six months shy of 90 years of age, my granny Vera is a strong-willed (some might say stubborn) English woman. Each time she boards the double-decker bus, she insists on climbing the narrow, winding stairs up to the top deck. As the bus begins...

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Leave only footprints: Minimizing your impact in nature

Grace and Pepper exploring the winter wonderland (Photo by NCC)

I love that my daughter is growing up with wildlife as a part of her daily life and with all the room to roam and freedom a kid could want. (Photo by Elke Meyfarth/NCC staff)

Nature has been my greatest teacher. As a child growing up in the semi-desert of the Okanagan in British Columbia, I learned not to touch prickly pear, which plants smelled the most like sage and to move away from the warning rattle of a...

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Digging deep into Groundhog Day

Groundhog (Photo by Cephas/Wikimedia Commons)

Groundhog Day is a tradition that has always been dear to my heart, probably because it also falls on my birthday. Even though I’m not a groundhog, my family and friends used to tease me by saying that if I didn’t see my shadow on my...

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NCC's new Happy Valley Forest Hike Series

Participants listen in as Todd Farrell talks about the plants in Happy Valley Forest (Photo by Evelyn Senyi)

City, meet nature “How far do you think we are from Dundas Square?” It’s an odd question that Todd Farrell, coordinator of conservation biology in central Ontario for the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), poses to a group of...

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Cadence: Reflections from the trail

Trail at Many Glacier (Photo by Erica Thompson/NCC staff)

“Humans are animals and like all animals we leave tracks as we walk: signs of passage made in snow, sand, mud, grass, dew, earth or moss.... We easily forget that we are track-markers, though, because most of our journeys now occur on...

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So you'd like to see a warbler...

Black-and-white warbler (Photo by Claire Elliott/NCC staff)

I like birding at just about any point of the year, but spring birding brings a certain excitement after a long winter season. Throughout Canada, warblers and other songbirds are starting to flock to landscapes that were recently quiet. Many are...

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