The Rocky Mountains
From British Columbia to the Maritime Islands and across the Yukon tundra, Canada's landscape of glacial expanses, Boreal forest, and spooky badlands cover vast protected wilderness. National parks are home to endangered caribou, puffins, musk ox, and polar bears. For environmentally-minded traveling, there are tons of options, thanks to a thriving rail system, local slow foodies, heritage culture from aboriginals to French, and organized eco trips. Get ready to hike, bike, and paddle through the glorious outdoors with seven of the best green vacations in Canada.
1. Feast in Fraser Valley, British Columbia, Home of the 100-Mile Diet
Photo by dje via Flickr
Explore farmlands in the valley of the 100-Mile Diet for a localvore feast of delectable artisanal cheeses, organic breads, and free-range fare. Circle Farm Tours' self-guided maps offer dozens of stops for farm-to-table seasonal foods, from hazelnuts to pea shoots. Wine and dine at Limbert Mountain Farm or one of many eateries supplied by the region's harvests. It is also easy to indulge in armloads of honey and fresh produce at market vendors, soak up bucolic views at a leisurely pace, and stay at a "green leafed" hotel or inn.
2. Ride the Rocky Mountaineer Rails
Icefield's markers where glacier vanished since 1992. Photo by Warren Long via Flickr
Traveling at a snails pace--280 miles per day--the Rocky Mountaineer rails take full advantage of astounding scenery in the largest protected part of the planet. Experience the Canadian Rockies with views impossible to see otherwise, even if you wanted to drive. Those looking for an abundance of wildlife can ascend the Spiral Tunnels and glacial valley of the Yoho Wilderness to spot eagles, osprey, elk, moose, bighorn sheep, and wolves in natural habitats. Snowshoe in Banff and stay at super-green Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, or journey to Jasper's Pine Bungalows' for light-free nights and a hike to the Columbia Icefield, noting where glaciers have receded yearly.
3. Checkout Polar Bears and More in Churchill, Manitoba
Bears, belugas, and the aurora borealis, oh yeah. To meet Canada's aboriginal peoples, known as First Nations, spend a night at Inuit Lodge in Elu Inlet and try one of Frontiers North's arctic adventures, like gazing on grazing prehistoric-looking musk ox. In summertime, ogle 300 polar bears prowling Hudson Bay before they hop onto a hunk of ice for parts north, or kayak around batches of awesome beluga whales migrating to this special spot. Then brave winter when surreal skies glow with Northern Lights.