Make nature a part of your summer
NCC's Nature Destinations program is back with 10 new properties for you to explore across the country
Bunchberry Meadows Conservation Area, AB (Photo by Kyle Marquardt)
Back by popular demand, the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Nature Destinations program offers up 10 new properties for you to explore across the country.
From the mountainous panoramic views of British Columbia to the rare alvars of Ontario, NCC invites you to take a journey through some of the greatest examples of our country’s natural areas and to connect with nature.
Here are 10 new Nature Destinations to see this summer:
1. Dutch Creek Hoodoos Conservation Area, British Columbia
Take in the striking geological formations, known as hoodoos, on the three-kilometre loop trail and side trails of this property. Interpretive panels along the trails provide information about the unique plants and animals found here. Treat yourself to the acrobatic aerial displays of birds flying in and out of their nests along the cliffs.
2. Bunchberry Meadows, Alberta
Get your nature fix, just 30 minutes from downtown Edmonton. Find yourself surrounded by a unique combination of forest, wetlands and grasslands as you wander the looped trails and repeatedly marvel “I can’t believe this is so close to the city.”
3. Maymont Complex, Saskatchewan
Take a virtual walk through NCC’s Maymont Complex and see its stunning and unforgettable vistas. A working landscape with cattle grazing the grasslands, Maymont Complex’s 2,400 acres (97 hectares) showcases the transition between open grasslands to forest fringe.
4. Agassiz Interpretive Trail, Manitoba
Walk among the meadows and see hundreds of species of plants and animals in this globally endangered tallgrass prairie ecosystem, located about 90 kilometres from Winnipeg. And in winter, snowshoe or cross-country ski along the trail and see if you can recognize the wildlife tracks in the snow.
5. North Bear Alvar, Ontario
Experience the unique sights, scents and sounds of alvars and wetlands at NCC’s North Bear Alvar, located just 35 kilometres from Orillia. Alvars are globally rare ecosystems characterized by shallow soils on limestone bedrock. From frogs to logs to turtles to shrikes, the alvar offers a nature walk unlike any other.
6. Pointe Saint-Pierre, Quebec
Where there’s water, there’s sure to be animals. Grab your binoculars and field book and check out Pointe Saint-Pierre, considered among the most beautiful areas on the Gaspé Peninsula. Pointe Saint-Pierre provides habitat for thousands of waterfowl, including harlequin duck and Barrow’s goldeneye. You may even see grey seals and whales along its coasts.
7. Alfred-Kelly Nature Reserve, Quebec
Lace up your hiking boots, strap on your snowshoes or step into your cross-country ski bindings as this nature reserve delivers in every season. From spring, when the trilliums are flowering, to the lush, green summer views, to the explosion of fall colours and the generous winter snowfall, the reserve transforms itself throughout the year.
8. Hochelaga Archipelago, Quebec
If canoeing or kayaking is your thing, then grab your paddle, because just a few strokes from the east point of Montreal and the riverside towns of Repentigny and Verchères lies the protected islands in the Hochelaga Archipelago. The islands boast coastal wetlands and wildflowers and offer breathtaking views. And the migratory bird corridor of the St. Lawrence River means song birds, shore birds and waterfowl are plentiful.
9. Abraham Lake Nature Reserve, Nova Scotia
Do you like your trees big and old? Then you’ve come to the right place. This nature reserve features old-growth red spruce forest, a forest type now extremely rare in Nova Scotia. The 634-acre (256-hectare) reserve boasts trees measuring more than 30 metres tall and a metre in diameter. Huge eastern hemlocks, some more than 400 years old and among the oldest trees in Nova Scotia, are also found here.
10. Lincoln Wetland Natural Area, New Brunswick
The unique Lincoln Wetland Natural Area, located along the banks of the majestic St. John River, protects a species at risk: the endangered butternut tree. Just a short drive from Fredericton, the property features a diverse mix of marshes, mudflats and old field forest, as well as a floodplain forest that contains silver maple, basswood and butternut.