6 Beautiful Places to Relive Canada's Rich History

Sod Hut at L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland | Barrett & MacKay Photo
Sod Hut at L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland | Barrett & MacKay Photo

Chilkoot Trail, British Columbia, Yukon, Alaska

Hiking Canada's Chilkoot Trail |  <i>Mark Daffey</i>

 

One hundred years ago, thousands of hardy men and women struggled over this Pass and down the Yukon River to the Klondike Goldfields. The Northwest Mounted Police required that all people had to carry their grubstake, one year's provisions, with them. For some, this meant more than 30 trips over the Chilkoot Pass carrying their heavy backpacks. Driven by the hopes of unbelievable riches, they overcame great obstacles just to find out that they were too late! 

On this adventure, we'll retrace the Stampeders route one-way over the Chilkoot Pass. Reminders of their passing lie everywhere. With porter support, we carry a light load compared to the stampeders and we do have a different goal: our treasure lies in the adventure itself!

Step back in time and retrace the footsteps of the Klondike Goldrush. Find out more about the Chilkoot Trail experience with Great Canadian Trails' Manager, Nathalie Gauthier's tales from the trail.

 

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Learn about Nova Scotia's seafaring history in Lunenburg

Lunenburg is a port town on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, Canada. Founded in 1753, the town was one of the first British attempts to settle Protestants in Nova Scotia intended to displace Mi'kmaqs and Acadians.

The historic town has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. UNESCO considers the site the best example of planned British colonial settlement in North America, having retained its original layout and appearance, including wooden architecture in the local vernacular. UNESCO considers the town in need of protection because the future of its traditional economic underpinnings, the Atlantic fishery, is now very uncertain.

Get to Lunenberg by bike via the Rum Runners Trail.

 

Old Fort Erie, Ontario

Canada's historical battlefield Fort Erie |  <i>Nathalie Gauthier</i>

Welcome to the first British fort built in Ontario. The Old Fort Erie National Historic Site played a crucial role during the War of 1812 where several battles took place between the British and the Americans, crossing the Niagara River from Buffalo, New York. This site became infamous for being Canada's bloodiest battlefield during the siege of Fort Erie.

Strategically located at the entrance of the Niagara River from Lake Erie, the Old Fort Erie National Historic Site survived a siege from the British but was destroyed by the retreating Americans. The reconstruction began in 1937 by the Niagara Parks Commission and took two years to restore it to its 1814 state.

Take a break at the historic site as you cycle along the shores of Lake Erie. Depending on the time of year, you may experience the sights and sounds of the fort under siege or witness musket demonstrations. 

 

St. Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick

St. Andrews By-the-Sea, NB |  <i>New Brunswick Tourism</i>

The town of Saint Andrews is a perfectly-preserved seaport village, founded in 1783 by the United Empire Loyalists and designated one of Canada's National Historic Districts with some homes over 200 years old. This quaint seaside resort town has attracted royalty, celebrities, and world travellers over the centuries including Sir William Van Horne, the president and driving force behind the Canadian Pacific Railway. 

St. Andrews is one of New Brunswick's oldest and most distinctive settlements, including the town's well-known formal grid street layout and many historic buildings. The town is well preserved, with many original buildings still in place from the late 18th and 19th centuries.

Explore the National Historic District of St. Andrews By-the-Sea during our Fundy Island Trails self-guided hiking trip.

 

Kekerten Island Territorial Park, Nunavut

Vertebrae of a Bowhead whale |  <i>Rachel Imber</i>

The Kekerten Island Whaling Station was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1985. The old whaling station was at its busiest in the 1870s during the heigh of Bowhead whaling. Travel through a part of history that is kept alive by just a few elders in the nearby Inuit community. You can visit the island's old whaling station and its carefully-preserved artifacts from the late 19th century.

Walk through the fascinating remnants of historical whaling activity, icebergs and wildlife of Kekerten Territorial Park.  Learn more about the history and remote Nunavut communities on our Baffin Island Discovery adventure.

 

L'Anse aux Meadows

Viking settlement on the north end of Newfoundland |  <i>Barrett & MacKay Photo</i>

L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site is the only Viking site in North America. This UNESCO World Heritage Site shows where European Vikings first set foot in North America, 500 years before Columbus. 

Discover the fascinating remains of the Viking encampment in this 1000-year-old village that has been brought to life. The timber-framed turf structures are in the same style as those found in Norse Greenland and Iceland from the same period. 

Our Vikings, Whales and Iceberg experience continues to Quirpon Island where you spend the night at a 1922 light-keeper’s house on the shore of Iceberg Alley.

 

Historic, Canadian History

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