Ecotourism in Canada
As climate change becomes more of a reality, people are beginning to reconsider the ways in which they travel. Ecotourism, as many travellers already know, is a type of tourism that offers experiences for people to discover and enjoy natural habitats, while supporting organizations that prioritize sustainability and conservation.
Ecotourism is essentially tailoring your vacation to be a platform for positive change. Depending on what you’re passionate about, your ecotour can help endangered species, deforestation and educate others about environmental best practices. When it comes to ecotourism, Canada is a standout gem. Here’s a quick guide on the basics of ecotourism, as well as a list of some of the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Nature Destinations worth visiting this summer.
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The principles of ecotourism
It’s no secret that traditional travel can take quite the environmental toll. That’s why, in recent years, organizations ranging from non-profits, to conservation organizations, to travel agencies, have reached an agreement on the best ways to go about things. Much of ecotourism is about building awareness, by spreading the word and teaching fellow travellers how to respect natural environments. Ecotourism also focuses on lessening human impact by using pre-existing facilities, minimizing development and leaving no trace. A big part of ecotourism is integrating with communities. Instead of just snapping photos from a distance, travellers can immerse themselves in local cultures and really soak up all there is to know about a destination.
Great places in Canada for Ecotourism
Sage and Sparrow Conservation Area, British Columbia
Protected by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), this a massive stretch of sagebrush grasslands, aspen forests, rugged terrain and wetlands is located along the U.S. border. Visit here to spot wildlife such as bears, meadowlarks and wildflowers.
Jean-Paul-Riopelle Nature Reserve, Quebec
Just 80 kilometres east of Quebec City, this nature reserve contains an exceptional forest ecosystem, whose huge swath of maple trees shine in the fall. This little peninsula is also home to unique species of owls, such as great horned, northern saw-whet and long-eared owls. Hiking is one of the best things visitors can do here in any season.
Hiking in Canada
Speaking of hiking, Canada as a whole has some of the best opportunities to experience the outdoors on two feet. From the Esplanade Trek in British Columbia to the Chilkoot Trail in the Yukon and the Bruce Trail in Ontario, nature is in full effect. If you stay true to the leave no trace principles, such as leaving what you find behind and respecting wildlife, hiking and camping are great activities. Check out this post from AllTheRooms for a more thorough rundown on the best trekking in Canada.