We’re Lucky To Call Canada Home!

Amazing Places provides readers with a chance to better understand the beautiful surroundings we live within. Allowing us to connect emotionally through storytelling, Amazing Places strives to share publicly accessible locations to allow for appreciation, without compromise to the environment.

With a focus on improving the relationship people have with their environment, UNESCO World Biosphere Reserves aids landscapes where communities try to balance conservation and sustainable development. In Canada, all UNESCO Biospheres are non-government, community-led organizations, without support from federal or provincial governments. Utilizing volunteers and charitable donations allow UNESCO to improve sustainable development.  Through their supporters, the Amazing Places project was born.  They showcase 60 places that highlight each biosphere regions’ unique environmental and cultural significance.

With on-going developments regarding the global pandemic, please visit each location’s website, or connect with their staff via email and telephone, for updates on COVID-19 procedures such as guest capacity, sanitization methods and mask requirements.

1. Fort Henry

Located in the heart of Kingston’s downtown, just across the river you can find the massive concrete-laden Fort Henry. Impossible to miss, and incredible to visit, Fort Henry hosts a variety of local events in its ancient courtyard. Visit this National Historic Site to see military enactments and explore the dungeons and spooky crevasse once used to protect our resources.

2. Canada’s First Railway Tunnel

Travel the oldest and first railway tunnel in Canada as you step along the dimly-lit walkway to feel what it was like in the 1800’s. You are free to use your feet, your bike or even your roller blades as you take in the magic of the Railway Tunnel Park. Afterwards, treat yourself at one of Brockville’s many amazing local restaurants.

3. Aquatarium at Tall Ships Landing

Discover more about the 1000 Islands region from a playful perspective. You can watch otters in their habitats, explore replicas of ancient ships and learn about the native fish that live in our local waters. Take a trip to see what the 1000 Islands is really all about. We guarantee you will love it so much that you will add it to your yearly itinerary!

4. “Old Baldy” Charleston Lake

With a name as sweet as “Old Baldy” you know it would be worth the trip. Amazing Places suggests grabbing a paddle and taking the scenic route through Charleston Lake to get a great view of this humanoid-looking piece of nature.

5. Blue Mountain

Animal lovers, unite! Take a kayak, literally, from Huckleberry Hollow to access the mountain by water, or venture through Charleston Lake to the 5.7-kilometre trail that leads you to the top of Blue Mountain. Keep your camera close and your eyes keen as you may spot a variety of local wildlife including beavers, bald eagles, grey rat snakes and more.

6. Chimney Island

If you enjoy a good mystery, plan a trip to view the mysterious Chimney Island located off the shoreline of the Thousand Islands Parkway. The island once served as a base for British gunboats, and before that was actually the home of a wealthy couple, one of which disappeared, never to be seen again. Enjoy the view from the shoreline, or grab a canoe or kayak to get a closer peek.

7. 1000 Islands Tower

When you think of the 1000 Islands, you often imagine the best view you can get would be from the water. While that is a spectacular angle to experience this stunning location, we recommend that you check out the 400 foot tall 1000 Islands Tower, where you can get an aerial view of the beautiful islands that make this location so special.

8. Landon Bay Lookout

If you aren’t familiar with Landon Bay, it is only a short drive east of Gananoque, and is one of the largest bays you can find in the 1000 Islands. With an abundance of aquatic life including turtles and fish, it would be nice to look at it from a grander perspective, wouldn’t it? What makes Landon Bay so great is there is an incredible cliff-top look-out only ½ kilometer from the ground, allowing novice and expert hikers to take the trek – we promise, it’s worth it.

9. Half Moon Bay

If spirituality is something that is important to you, Half Moon Bay may be the perfect place for you to visit the next time you get the travel-bug. Known for being an open-air church, boaters and paddlers alike still travel and interlock themselves together in the rounded bay to listen to a pianist and preacher share hymns and prayers. This unique space is also available for christenings, weddings and memorial services.

10. Gordon Island

If you enjoy camping and a little bit of seclusion, paddle over to Gordon Island, only accessible by water for a weekend of camping and living off the land. A great spot for fishing with a scenic view of the other islands that surround it.

11. Marble Rock Trail

Not for the novice hiker – you will want to pack extra water if you are going to take on the recreational trail at Marble Rock. Known for its rocky landscape and difficult climbs, you can choose between a seven and eleven kilometer trail, both entrenched in fascinating habitats and cliff-top lookouts for you to enjoy.

12. Mink Lake Lookout

There are two words that best describe Mink Lake Lookout, historic and diverse. Having originally been a vast mountain, the weather and erosion has slowly brought this high rising mountain to sea level. Mink Lake lookout is the highest point in the Frontenac Provincial Park, allowing you to get a true view of the landscape.

13. Mine Loop Trail at Gould Lake

Did you know that Eastern Ontario was once the mica mining capital of the world? Mica is used to build a number of insulating materials, and this was once the location where hundreds of miners would come to find their version of “gold.” Take a hike along the trails to explore the remains of mines and try to spot the sparkling Mica minerals in the rocks along the trail.

14. Haskin’s Point

Enjoy a day of outdoor adventures alongside the Rideau Canal. Choose from an array of fun options including cycling, hiking or paddling. Finish your evening by checking out some of the adorable local shops and restaurants in Seeley’s Bay.

15. Lower Brewers Lock

Follow the lock-to-lock loop from Kingston Mills to Brewers Mills by bicycle, or drive to this beautiful spot to enjoy the Cataraqui River and small-town vibe. Enjoy watching boats pass through the lock, walk along the garden path by escaping to this historic spot.

16. Silver Queen Mica Mine Trail

Did you know that this region sits on a vast amount of ancient rock – how cool! Enjoy the beautiful trail and step back into history inside unique mines to see the land how it was when Canada was in its earliest years.

17. Gordon Rock Shelter

There is an incredible history behind how the Gordon Rock Shelter came to be, including the years of erosion caused by precarious weather. Journey through the 2.6km of the trail to take a look at this incredible natural shelter where many travelers throughout history were sure to stop and rest safely under the large overhanging stone.

18. Spy Rock

If you travel to the quaint village of Westport, you will need to take a relaxing walk at the Foley Mountain Conservation Area. From there, you can go to one of the best viewing locations in the entire area! At Spy Rock, you can view the crater, created millions of years ago from a meteorite that crashed into the planet *~cOOl~*

19. Old Stone Mill

A stunning stone structure, built over 200 years ago in the early 1800s, The Old Stone Mill has been a pillar of strength in Upper Canada. Having been used as a mill for over a century, it was then preserved and turned into a museum to educate visitors about its milling history.

20. Jones Falls

If you find yourself with a few hours to spare next weekend, head over to Jones Falls for a unique experience along the Rideau Canal. On site you can find several historic buildings including a blacksmith shop and two flights of locks. Bring along a fishing rod and bait as this location is known as a haven for fishing!

With so many incredible things to do, you won’t have to worry about finding things to add to your bucket list this year. If you decide to take on any of these adventures, tag us in your photos! We’d love to see where the exploration takes you. For more information: Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme.

The UNESCO Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve

Even to the most casual observer, the Frontenac Arch is an entirely different landscape than the remainder of southern Ontario and upper New York State. To someone driving across the land, an otherwise flat countryside is suddenly interrupted by rolling hills and rugged cliffs, topped with windswept pines, and with tranquil lakes and wetlands below.

The Frontenac Arch connects five great forest regions of the eastern continent, with many species at range limits, and with many as remnant populations from forests altered by millennia of changing landscapes. This region has, arguably, Canada’s greatest diversity of plant and animal communities.

The Frontenac Arch Biosphere was designated by UNESCO in 2002 as a globally significant and unique treasure in an ecological and cultural crossroads. There are currently 16 UNESCO world biosphere reserves in Canada in a world network of over 600 in 117 countries, whose overall goal is to improve the relationship between people and their environment by promoting the conservation of biodiversity and fostering sustainable development initiatives.

Biospheres are nominated by the community, not by UNESCO, and carry no laws, powers or authority. In Canada, all UNESCO Biospheres are non-government, community-led organizations, without support from federal or provincial governments. Instead, each works to accomplish its mission of improving sustainable development by raising money and seeking volunteer involvement from the community.