Welcome to Lake District


St Paul is the place to go if you are looking for little green people. Its flying-saucer landing pad – which is still awaiting its first customer – is open for business. Residents built the 12m-high circular landing pad in 1967 as part of a Canadian Centennial project, declaring the land underneath the pad international (and, one can assume, intergalactic). It's billed as the world's largest, and only, UFO landing pad and UFO enthusiasts have been visiting ever since. Check out the UFO Data Center with its space-themed gift shop and book of 137 recorded local sightings, along with images and accounts of local cattle mutilations, abductions and crop circles. There's also a UFO hotline for people to report new sightings.

Hwy 63 is the main route into the province's northeastern wilderness interior. The highway, with a few small settlements and campgrounds on the way, leads to Fort McMurray, 439km northeast of Edmonton. Originally a fur-trading outpost, it's now home to the Athabasca Oil Sands, the world's largest single oil deposit and Alberta's economic bread and butter. The history of oil sands and the story of how crude oil is extracted from them is told through interactive displays at the Oil Sands Discovery Centre. The town itself isn't particularly interesting; non–oil workers who do visit come to see the aurora borealis (northern lights). The town hit the world press in 2016 when a massive wildfire swept through; all residents were evacuated for months and many, sadly, didn't have a home to return to.


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Lake District in detail