You can’t get to Fort Smith without passing through Canada’s paramount northern national park and wildlife preserve, Wood Buffalo National Park. With 44,807 square kilometres of boreal wilderness and abundant wildlife, you’ll want to explore more than what’s visible from Highway 5 or the winter road from Fort McMurray.
Luckily, there are trails, day-use areas, and campgrounds all a few hours drive or less from the town of Fort Smith, making it a great location to plan your adventure or stock up on supplies. Click here for information on trails in Wood Buffalo National Park.
Whether you’re camping or looking for a day trip, you’ll see sights you’ve never seen before. Salt plains created by ancient seabeds make for fantastic photos, as do the animal tracks weaving among salt-tolerant plants. You’re sure to see bison and may be lucky enough to spot the endangered whooping cranes or red-sided garter snakes. Many trail routes include breathtaking views of karst landforms and steep sinkholes that have become a striking part of the park’s aesthetic.
Wood Buffalo National Park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983 because:
- It is one of the largest free-roaming and self-regulating bison herds in the world.
- It’s the last remaining natural nesting area for the endangered whooping crane
- It has unique salt plains created by an ancient seabed.
- It has some of the best examples of gypsum karst landforms in North America.
- It contains over 44,000 square kilometres of undisturbed boreal wilderness, an area the size of Switzerland.
For more information about Wood Buffalo National Park:
Website: Wood Buffalo National Park
Address: 149 MacDougal Road.