Wood Buffalo National Park
On the Mackenzie Highway (AS Hwy 35; NT Hwy 1) through northern Alberta and the adjoining Northwest Territories to Enterprise. Thereafter NT Hwy 2 to Hay River and from there NT Hwy 5 south through the National Park to Forth Smith, from where the center of the huge conservation area can be reached.With a total area of about 45,000 sq. km (17,370 sq. mi.) Wood Buffalo National Park to the south of Great Slave Lake is the biggest national parks in Canada. Two-thirds of the Park lie in the province of Alberta, one-third in the Northwest Territories. The Slave River marks the eastern boundary of the Park.Now listed as a World Heritage Site this vast conservation area extends across one of the world's largest inland deltas (the Athabasca-Peace River Delta), an immense wilderness of dried-out salt plains and wild landscape, dotted with lakes and swamps and traversed by rivers, the habitat of numerous now rare species of wildlife.The Park was established in 1922 with the purpose of saving from extinction the last free-roaming herds of wood buffalo. Today more than 3000 of these animals graze the Park, together with moose, black bear, cariboo, beaver and a great variety of smaller mammals.Every year whooping cranes arrive from Texas to breed and rear their young. Wood Buffalo National Park is one of the last, if not the very last, refuge for this extremely rare species of crane, now in desperate need of protection.White pelicans breed beside the Slave River rapids, feeding from the Park's many lakes. The steep river banks afford good views of the nesting grounds.Huge flocks of migratory birds visit the Athabasca-Peace River Delta on their annual pilgrimage south.
Fort Smith, Canada
Fort Smith evolved from a one-time fur trading post on the Mackenzie River route to a multicultural community in the far north of Canada. From 1911 to 1967 it was the administrative capital of the Northwest Territories, a role which was then assumed by Yellowknife. A number of NWT government departments are still located in Fort Smith and the town's schools and training colleges have a national reputation.
Northern Life Museum
Apart from various prehistoric finds such as mammoth remains, etc. the Northern Life Museum in Fort Smith concentrates on the human history of the region. Exhibits include everyday Inuit artifacts and handwork, photographs and other documents relating to the pioneering days and early settlers, and Indian craftwork.