Waterton Lakes (Canada) & Glacier National Park (US) formed the world's first International Peace Park

Waterton Lakes National Park

Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta - In 1932 Waterton Lakes Naional Park joined with Glacier Naional Park in Montana (on the border's south side) to become the world's first International Peace Park. Park staff on both sides work together on a popular 14-km (8.5-mile) guided International Peace Park Hike held Wednesdays & Saturdays, July & August. Popular two-hour cruises also run frequently on Upper Waterton Lake, with a stop at Goat Haunt Montana. Back in the village you don't have to go far to spot wildlife, mule deer nibble trees in the centre of town. And, nobody's challenging the the estimated 150 to 250 grizzly's in the mountains who wander between countries whenever they feel like it. Here the mountains dramatically drop right to prairies, a landscape that funnels so much wind, if you look closely at the Historic Prince of Wales Hotel you'll see it's secured to the ground with cables. In the winter the wind can create snowballs on flat land. Photo by Lucy Izon

Where: The park is located 270 km south of Calgary, and 130 km Southwest of Leithbridge AB. The village has just 400 hotel /motel rooms (so, book ahead) plus camping, boating and a golf course. As you travel south from Calgary you pass through Chinook territory. A Chinook is a wind that blowns from the Pacific, gives up its moisture to rise over the Rockies, then packing warm dry air races down the eastern slopes of the mountains, shooting up the temperature on the prairies at an amazingly fast pace. The record in Canada is 41 C (-19 C to 22 C) in one hour in 1962, at Pincher Creek. There are an average of 30-35 Chinooks a year.

In the News: Waterton Lakes National Park now has digital cameras set up so animals take their own pictures http://bit.ly/iBYFkF Cameras are often attached to trees along trails and are triggered by animals that walk by. The wildlife can range from wolves to cougars, and when they animal walk by an infrared motion detector triggers the camera shutter.


Lucy Izon

Canada Cool is produced by award-winning Canadian travel writer & speaker Lucy Izon. Her travel stories & reports have appeared in numerous leading North American publications including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, and Chicken Soup for the Traveler's Soul. Bio page

Canada’s Coolest:

Welcome to a new feature on Canada Cool. I'll be presenting different 'Coolest' lists with my favorites and I encourage you to nominate suggestions from your own experiences. You can Twitter @CanadaCool or email Lucy@CanadaCool.com. Let me know what makes your suggestion exceptionally cool. Remember, by contributing your comments you are giving Canada Cool permission to quote you. Only a selection of submissions will be included, but all comments and submissions are greatly appreciated!

The first feature is: Canada's Coolest Single Day Scenic Drives

Here are some of my favorites...

Icefields Parkway - the world's most accessible glacier

The Icefields Parkway, Jasper National Park, Alberta - This 229 km (142 mi) Rocky Mountain route from Banff/Lake Louise to Jasper passes 100 frozen rivers and nudges the base of the Athabasca Glacier - the most accessible glacier in the world. You can stop and explore it. It spills down from the Columbia Icefield, an area of ice so massive that you could fit the entire population of North America on it with each person getting at least a square metre of space.

Algonquin Moose Viewing

The Corridor, Algonquin Park, Ontario – this 56-km stretch of Hwy 60 cuts through the southwest section of Algonquin Park. Less than three hours north of Toronto the park is a nature-lover's paradise with 7,725 km of lakes, rivers, forest, trails, camping, comfortable lodges and 2000 km of canoe routes. Offers hiking trails to stop and enjoy, but what makes it really cool is that it’s one of the best places in North America to spot moose (especially in May and June). And, on Thursday nights in August up to 600 cars will gather to listen to wolves howl.

Cape Breton Cabot Trail drive

The Cabot Trail, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia – Driving this 303 km (187 mile) route is like riding a roller-coaster: the road snakes around hairpin turns, rises to heights over 365 metres (1200 ft), weaves around headlands revealing spectacular coastal scenery, and plunges down to sea level taking you into the heart of small fishing communities. The most dramatic scenery is between the Cape Breton Highlands National Park entrance near Cheticamp and Pleasant Bay, so go slow. And, plan some flexibility into your schedule, so you can drive it on a clear day.

And here are some of your nominations for 'Canada's Coolest Single Day Scenic Drives'...


More from Canada’s Coolest

'Canada's Coolest' topics we'll be publishing in the future:

  • Golf Course Features
  • Haunted Hotels
  • Hotel Special Services

Send your suggestions to lucy@CanadaCool.com

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