As the second largest country in the world, Canada doesn't lack for natural assets.
We've hand-picked eight that stretch the length of the country and reflect just a small sample of the amazing natural beauty and fascinating geological sites to explore that await the inquiring mind and adventurous spirit.
What do you think of this list? Let us know your thoughts!
The islands off the coast of British Columbia were once known as the Queen Charlotte Islands. Some know them as the Galapagos of the North, with much endemic flora and fauna.
One of the islands - SGang Gwaay where totem poles and remains of cedar longhouses offer a glimpse into what a traditional Northwest Coast First Nations village was like - is a Unesco site.
Millions of years ago, about 55 million years ago, the fossil forest on Axel Heiberg Island was a wetland forest. Temperatures hovered around the 18-degree Celsius mark, not the -10 degrees of today. Silt-rich flood waters preserved the flora - palm trees, dawn redwoods, bald cypress and cycads - perfectly. While this photo doesn't depict the fossilized forest, we hope it ignites a curiosity in seeing the North. And should you have a rare photo of the fossil forest, please do send it along and we will be happy to publish it.
We share Niagara Falls with the USA, two-thirds on the Canadian side of the border (the Canadian Horseshoe Falls) and one-third on the American side (the American Falls). The Horseshoe Falls are 57 metres high and 168,000 cubic metres of water crash over the crestline every minute during the peak daytime hours. Favourite ways of navigating the Falls have included barrel, tight-rope, and, less successfully, by kayak and jetski. Today, visitors can experience the Falls by taking a trip on the Maid of the Mist or the Whirlpool Jet boat.
At the outflow of Lake Erie into Lake Ontario and a 90 minute drive from Toronto, the natural wonder of Niagara Falls is one of the most famous places on earth, and about half of it lies in Canada. With its thunderous curtain of cascading waters that you can see from beside, on top or even from underneath, the incredible uniqueness and panoramic beauty of Niagara Falls are two of the main reasons why most visitors hop aboard the Maid of the Mist boat to ride right up close to the action.
Scientists know that the Northern Lights (or Aurora Borealis) is caused by particles flung around the solar system and attracted to the magnetic field around the poles. However, the otherwordly darts of light - green, pink, red and gold - have been seen as omens of good or evil by the first peoples who lived in these extreme latitudes. Yellowknife in the fall and winter is best place to experience Mother Nature's light show.
My son Mark (MarkFreeman408 on YouTube) filmed this time-lapse vid of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) from our back deck last night, near London, ON, Canada. They were seen into the USA as far south as Atlanta, GA & Memphis, TN. This winter of 2011/2012 is expected to be a peak time period for the Northern Lights. The red colour seen is the most rarest of all the colours. Newsclip with this video, shown Oct 25, on CTV News, London, ON, Canada: www.youtube.com What the Northern Lights (Aurora) are: en.wikipedia.org Mark's YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com Video of tornado that went by our farm here: www.youtube.com . . .
As you walk along the white sand beach at Basin Head listen carefully to what the sand is saying. It sings, or some say it squeaks. Perhaps it's due to the shape of the quartz sand that makes up the beach.
The singing sands of Basin Head on Prince edward Island , Canada
A mere 20km from Fort Macleod is Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, the final resting place of bison driven over the cliffs - to be butchered on the ground below - by the Plains Indians. It's the largest, oldest (used for more than 5,500 years), best-preserved bison jump in the world. Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981.
A quick visual introduction to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, an interpretive centre near Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada that's a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Renowned for its high tidal range and rivalled only by Ungava Bay in northern Quebec and the Severn Estuary in the United Kingdom. The Hopewell Rocks formation earns it a place in this Canadian Wonders list. The Hopewell Rocks on the edge of Shepody Bay have been carved into "flowerpot" shapes by the tides. At low tide you can walk to them. You'll need a kayak to see them at high tide.
Come and explore all of what New Brunswick Bay of Fundy has to offer, from the world's highest tides experience to Whale-watching off the coast. Find out all the fun things to do on the Bay of Fundy. For more information about things to do and places to see along the Fundy Coastal Drive, visit: www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca
Is the Manicouagan Crater a legacy of the impact that may have spelled the end of some species 210 million years ago? The fifth-largest crater in the world has multiple rings, however the inner ring, occupied by a lake, shows up most clearly in satellite images, sapphire-blue water piercing the green land. René-Levasseur Island occupies the centre of Lake Manicouagan, named for the engineer who created the Manicouagan Reservoir.
8 Great Natural Wonders of Canada
Haida G'wai, British Columbia
Fossil Forests on Ellesmere Island, Nunavut
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Singing Sands, Prince Edward Island
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Alberta
Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick
Manicouagan Crater, Quebec