June 9, 2009
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Are you a whitewater rafter? Or are you someone who would like to be surrounded by wilderness – no people for as far as the eye can see. Sound good? Then you need to head north – waaaay north!
Nahanni National Park Reserve of Canada is located in the southwest corner of the Northwest Territories. Created in 1972 and officially designated a park reserve in 1976, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Until now, Nahanni has covered an area of 4,766 km2, and encompassed only the lower reaches of the South Nahanni and Flat Rivers.
With an announcement today from the Government of Canada, the Park Reserve will now be six times larger. It will permanently protect over 30,000 sq. km of Boreal wilderness, an area roughly the size of Vancouver Island. The expansion will cover much of the South Nahanni River watershed and 91 per cent of the Greater Nahanni Ecosystem, thus protecting an entire watershed area.
The Nahanni is a spectacular example of intact Boreal wilderness that is also of spiritual importance to local First Nations. The watershed contains Virginia Falls, deep canyons, and unique limestone caves and formations. It is home to woodland caribou, wolves grizzly bears, Canada lynx, mountain goats, wolverine and Dall’s sheep. The South Nahanni River, with a waterfall twice the height of Niagara Falls, is a whitewater paddler’s dream destination.
If you’re an intrepid traveller with a taste for wilderness, have a look at these websites for more information on rafting, canoeing or hiking in the great northern wild. Keep an eye out for the grizzly bears – they own the place and you’re just visiting!
Sea to Sky Expeditions
Canada River Expeditions
Parks Canada Nahanni