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Archive for canada

The Latest Dirt on Alberta

By Linda Tancs

If you’re ready to get down and dirty, then Alberta, Canada, is the place for you. On August 11 and 12 Mud Hero makes its return to Canyon Ski Resort in Red Deer. Canada’s largest obstacle event, it features 18 obstacles over hills, mud, water and plenty of challenging terrain. Obstacles are meant to be a mix of fun and challenge, and some also offer difficulty levels so that all participants can have a great run within their ability level. Spectators are welcome at no charge.

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Suspense in Vancouver

By Linda Tancs

Located just minutes from downtown Vancouver on the North Shore, Canada’s Capilano Suspension Bridge stretches 450 feet across and 230 feet above Capilano River. Originally made of hemp rope and cedar planks in 1889 by Scottish engineer George Grant Mackay, it was later replaced by a wire cable bridge. Since Mackay’s day, millions of visitors have enjoyed the stunning views across the deep gorge. Adding to the excitement is the newest attraction, a cantilevered walkway clinging to the granite cliff high above Capilano Canyon called Cliffwalk. A free shuttle service to the park operates year round from various points in the city.

From Quarry to Garden

By Linda Tancs

Over a century ago, Jennie Butchart decided to transform an abandoned quarry into a garden. The result is The Butchart Gardens, one of the world’s premier floral show gardens. Located on Vancouver Island, Canada, this National Historic Site is resplendent year round. You’ll find remnants of the old quarry at the Sunken Garden’s expansive walls. From there you’ll encounter one of the finest dahlia gardens in the region (particularly this time of year) along the Concert Lawn Walk. Another favorite this season is the Rose Garden, with its extensive collection of floribundas, ramblers, climbers and hybrid tea roses. Summer is also a great time to take a boat tour of Tod Inlet from the wharf near the bottom of the Japanese Garden. And don’t miss the lush color in the Italian and Mediterranean gardens. A fireworks show every Saturday night in summer will round out your colorful experience.

A Calming Influence in Vancouver

By Linda Tancs

Designated a national historic site of Canada, Stanley Park (named for Lord Frederick Stanley, Governor General of Canada in 1888) is an oasis of calm in the bustling city of Vancouver. The city’s first and largest urban park (at nearly 1,000 acres), one of its beloved attractions is the collection of colorful totem poles capturing the history of the First Nations. But no trip to Stanley Park is complete without also visiting its famous landmarks: Lost Lagoon, Siwash Rock, the Hollow Tree, Beaver Lake and Prospect Point. Along the way, enjoy over five miles of seawall with views of English Bay as well as 16 miles of forest trails.

Canada’s Appalachian Trail

By Linda Tancs

The International Appalachian Trail extends across Maine and into Atlantic Canada along the Gaspé Peninsula. Forillon National Park in Québec is the eastern terminus of the trail, and it offers foot and biking paths to soak in the scenery that’s at its peak this time of year. Don’t miss the views from the lookout tower on the Mont-Saint-Alban trail. And just before the entrance to the park is Canada’s tallest lighthouse (112 feet) at Cap-des-Rosiers. Unique to the park is its “Curious by Nature” mobile interpretation kiosk, offering a wealth of information pertaining to the park’s animals, plants and landscapes.

Sydney’s Big Fiddle

By Linda Tancs

Located in Nova Scotia, Canada, Cape Breton boasts a Celtic heritage and fiddle music. In Sydney, its harbor town, stands a big fiddle honoring its musical heritage. Reportedly the largest illuminated fiddle in the world, the 60-foot-tall sculpture was created by a local artist in 2005. Still thriving today, the Celtic culture on the island is the only one of its kind in North America, where the continent’s only living history museum for Gaelic language and culture is found.

Aurora Capital of North America

By Linda Tancs

Yellowknife is the capital city of Canada’s Northwest Territories, an old mining town known for its aurora views, dogsled rides and ice castle. This month marks the Snowking’s Winter Festival, an annual event when a huge castle made entirely of snow and ice is created on Yellowknife Bay by the Snowking and his hardy helpers. While you’re there, don’t miss out on an aurora-viewing tour. This time of year is when the skies tend to be clearest and darkest for the best glow.

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