Frontenac Arch Biosphere

Eastern Ontario

One of 18 Unesco-designated biosphere reserves in Canada, Frontenac Arch encompasses an ancient granite land bridge from the Canadian Shield to Upstate New York's Adirondack Mountains. A towering mountain range has been weathered down to rolling hills and rugged cliffs, still dramatic after driving through flatlands. Archaeological finds in the area indicate that it was once part of a human migration route; knives from the Yellowknife region as well as shells from the Caribbean have been found in the area.

Five forests merge in the region, which is a natural conduit for flora and fauna, creating tremendous wildlife diversity. Incorporating 70% land and 30% water (in the Thousand Islands between Gananoque and Brockville), the 2700-sq-km reserve has ample recreation opportunities, from biking and hiking to canoeing and diving. It's easily accessed from Hwy 401 and the Thousand Islands Pkwy between the aforementioned towns, and you'll find the visitor center just west of the turning for the 1000 Islands Tower. The excellent will guide you to further entry points.