10 Astonishing Facts About the Wood Buffalo National Park


The Wood Buffalo National Park traverses 44,741 sq km and is Canada’s most magnificent National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site also includes the last remaining original nesting site of the Whooping Crane. The Peace-Athabasca Delta lies underneath numerous major migration flyway zones and presents one of the most intense nesting habitats for Geese and Ducks on the planet.

We observe the world’s largest wood Wisent population here, foraging within the boreal meadow, maintaining an observant eye for the regional group of wolves, the most populous canid subspecies in the world. Moose stock in the Muskeg, Black Bears, sneaks spruce forests, and Beavers Dam innumerable streams and rivers.

Wood Buffalo National Park

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If you want to get the hang of the Wood Buffalo National Park or keen to know a few startling facts, read ahead!


10 Surprising Facts About The Wood Buffalo National Park

1. It Has The World’s Largest Beaver Dam

Wood Buffalo National Park of Canada, where everything is done on a magnificent range. As the gorgeous park in Canada’s system of National Parks and the 2nd most significant shielded area in the world, at 44,741 square kilometers, it prefers to create big. 

Beaver Dam

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Home to the most considerable land creature native to North America – a herd of almost 5000 Wood Bison, birthplace to North America’s most magnificent bird – the Whooping Crane, this enormous green comprises of one of the superb inland freshwater delta ecosystems in the world – the Peace Athabasca Delta. Now it possesses the most considerable beaver dam in the world.

You may question how park staff could miss the world’s most comprehensive Beaver Dam. Still, it would be best if you commemorated the Wood Buffalo National Park is even more extensive than the country of Switzerland and is a wilderness playground with few paths and trails. 

Wood Buffalo National Park

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The area the Beavers have fancied is astonishingly exclusive and undisturbed. It is located in superior wetlands between the Birch Mountain highlands and the Peace Athabasca Delta. The run-off from the ridges presents the Beavers with lots of liquid, and the dense Boreal Forest renders them with loads of food and timber to strengthen the dam and lodges.

2. You Can Experience The Attractive Aurora Borealis

Is it any surprise that this magnificent park was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its expanse and wilderness? Clutch your camera and let the Aurora light your way as you seize astounding displays in the most considerable dark atmosphere preserve on the planet.


Photo by Stein Egil liland from Pexels.

Salt River Day Use Area and Pine Lake are both most convenient Aurora-viewing spots when you visit the Wood Buffalo National Park. The wintertime road through the place contributes several viewing spots as your voyage like the Peace River crossing, the open delta grasslands, and the frost crossing into Fort Chipewyan. It’s even more unimaginable in the stillness with the lights.

3. These Woods Offer The Best Wildlife Safari

Wild animals and birds such as Bison, Wolves, Lynx, Snowshoe Hares, Owls, and Ptarmigans are seldomly observed along the winter road. Bears will be hibernating, but there is an abundance of wildlife wandering the park during wintertime.

I wish you luck in observing wildlife – although no one can assure sightings, those who drive gently often tend to be the most prosperous!

Wood Buffalo National Park

Photo from Frans Van Heerden from Pexels.

Ride along the Pine Lake Road or nearby the Nyarling River Pull-Off for your most real possibility to see a Bison herd. Watch for Fox, Lynx, Wood Bison, and Moose as you drive around the green. Try and conclude out on the guides of the journey as you locate original animal tracks in the snowfall. 

Wood Buffalo National Park is home to countless classes of wildlife characteristic of the Northern Boreal Forest. Typical bird varieties constitute Sandhill Cranes, Hawks, Eagles, and Owls. Despite their plentiful presence, the wild creatures of the park are obscure. 

Sandhill Cranes

Photo from iStock.

Different exotic species is the Red-Sided Garter Snake. The most northerly known Hibernaculum of this variety is found at the Salt River Day-use Area in the grass. Every year in spring, towards the end of April, the rattlesnakes make an above-ground presence for mating before relocating to their season feeding spots.

Also read: https://icycanada.com/top-attractions-in-grande-prairie/

4.Explore the Peace-Athabasca Delta

The Peace, Athabasca, and Birch Rivers flow into Lake Athabasca in the Peace-Athabasca Delta, a habitat that attracts millions of birds, hundreds of Bison, dozens of avian and mammalian species and you on a single or 21-day paddle.

Peace-Athabasca Delta

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The Peace-Athabasca Delta is one of the fantastic wetlands in the whole world. The convergence of four major North American waterfowl migratory routes, millions of ducks and geese descend to feed and nest here each summer.

The migration’s splendor can be observed from Lake Mamawi, all through the Delta, or when paddling a canoe on the Peace River to Sweetgrass Landing. From this place, you can do the 14 km hike, or you can portage your canoe for 4 km and paddle the rest of the way to Sweetgrass Station. Set up your tent in the sea of grass or reserve space in a historic cabin with cots and a wood stove, among other (very) rustic amenities.


Photo by Luna Lovegood from Pexels.

Lynx roam the night, Bison graze across the grasslands until, sensing the predatory wolf pack, they take off in an annoying collective sprint, shaking the very foundations of the earth. Hear wolves howl, waves lap the edge of Lake Claire, and the northern breezes blow across the Sweetgrass prairies. Return to your basecamp or continue on an extended expedition down the Peace River.

5. Swimming In The Sinkhole Is Allowed

The karst topography renders one of the most exceptional selections of actual diving openings on the mainland. Pine Lake is a series of water-filled sinkholes that are easily reached from Pine Lake Day Use Area and Pine Lake Campground.

The sinkholes of the karst topography seem enormous, water-filled pits from the air. Blue-green algae patterns in the depths of the spring-fed sinkhole to determine the cerulean shade when viewed from the sandy shore.

Pine Lake

Photo from iStock.

Diving in this uvula, a collection of consolidated sinkholes, constitutes an impressive wilderness encounter. Chances are excellent you’ll observe some of Wood Buffalo’s spectacular wildlife, especially Beavers, Loons, and other birds.

Pine Lake Campground houses, automobile campers with pull-through sites, and tent sites. Located o60 km from Fort Smith, Pine Lake Campground features hiking trails around the crystal sharp aquamarine lagoon and escorted canoe journeys.

5.Ramble Through The Salt Plains To Sink In The Beauty

Unwind and view the daybreak. Watch for a Wood Bison or a Whooping Crane as you glimpse the difference of Red Samphire opposite the whiteness of the salt from the aged seas. 

Explore the comforting sentiment of gritty gems under your bare feet and examine the brine from an underground saline current—Marvel at the diversity of mammal trails all around you.

Salt Pan Lake

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh from Pexels.

Biodiversity overflows in this novel and delicate salt-laden atmosphere. Traverse on your own, or enter an escorted walk. Entrance spots in various sections of the promenade extend the diversity of activities – from the Salt Plains Overlook and rock trail a small drive off Highway 5, to the moonscape-like Grosbeak Lake and expansive sights of Salt Pan Lake.

Both division of the Salt River Trail System adjacent to Pine Lake Road. The Salt Plains, created by saline groundwater left behind by ancient seas and forced to the surface, is a “must-see” when visiting the Wood Buffalo National Park.

Also read: https://icycanada.com/the-guide-to-gulf-islands-national-reserve-park/

6. It Has Prime Fishing Spots

The most suitable places to fish in the Wood Buffalo National Park are near the significant streams that adjoin the green: Slave River, Peace River, Athabasca River, Rivière des Rochers, Chenal des Quatre Fourches.

In these waterways, Whitefish, Northern Pike, Walleye, and Goldeye are observed in reasonable estimates, although the swampy and silty creeks make fishing more challenging.


Photo by Tomasz Filipek from Pexels.

Saline circumstances and dull, muddy lakes established within the green are not desirable homes for fish. Many of the more profound karst lakes do not have inflow or outflow channels that fish need for spawning.

A National Park netting authorization is needed if fishing from inside the Wood Buffalo National Park. Permits can be acquired at the Visitor Reception Centre in Fort Smith or Fort Chipewyan.

7. Probability Of Accidents While Boating Are High  

Recreational boating is sanctioned on the northern division of Pine Lake near the Wood Buffalo National Park. Motorboat travel is authorized along the significant river corridors, which are categorized as Zone 4 Recreation. These constitute the Peace River, Rivière des Rochers, Athabasca River, Embarras River, Quatre Fourches River, and Slave River. 

Exclusively trained river travelers should strive to progress by boat on the significant current systems of the park as many original uncertainties exist. Motor-powered vessels are not sanctioned on Lakes Claire or Mamawi but with Park Use sanctions or commissioned park guides.


Photo from iStock.

Numerous natural hazards exist on the significant waterway corridors of Wood Buffalo National Park. Boaters should be combat-ready to encounter potential risks such as:

a) giant water accidents resulting in massive amounts of debris, including immersed deadheads

b) flat water events occurring in dull unmarked stretches (mudflats, sandbars, or rock reefs)

c) unfavorable climate situations (extraordinary winds, hurricanes, etc.)

d) unmarked or inadequately marked courses

e) the presence of mud bars, sandbars, and marine rock reefs.


Photo by Tom Fisk from Pexels.

Other known hazards include the following:

  • Boyer Rapids on the Peace River
  • Demicharge Rapids on the Slave River
  • Rock weir at Little Rapids on the Rivière des Rochers. 
  • Slave River Rapids on the Slave River. 

Boats must be portaged, encompassing the weir with a winch that is determined by Alberta Environmental Protection. Boaters should be mindful that the battery-operated winch may be inoperable at moments due to low charge.

River adventurers MUST PUT OUT at Fort Fitzgerald as these rapids are non-navigable. Reach out to the Visitor Reception Centre in Fort Smith or Fort Chipewyan for further information on sailing in the Wood Buffalo National Park. Park use permits are claimed for any overnight visits in the backcountry.

8.Canoe You Way Out

Whatever your choice for paddling, you are likely to obtain a canoe tour to satisfy your style. Pine Lake presents easy day paddling. 


Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels.

The Peace, Athabasca, and Slave streams offer wilderness venture for experienced backcountry paddlers. The Buffalo, Little Buffalo, and Salt rivers can be appreciated during spring run-off. Don’t forget to examine the Guide to Waterways In and Around Wood Buffalo National Park for knowledge on canoe tracks.

9. Even Pond-Skating Is Permitted

What’s more joyful than pond skating with buddies? (The right solution is nothing.) Invite a collection with shovels to reveal Pine Lake’s clear ice, then fasten up your skates, and play a game of shinny! Or you could even glide around or play freeze tag on this marvelous open-air arena, which appears to be a sinkhole creek.

pond skating

Photo by Candid Shots from Pexels.

So folks, in an outdoor shinny sport, everyone groups up fronting the people who didn’t cooperate trowel earlier. You can reemphasize that take-home advice: shovel or be shoveled :p

Also read: https://icycanada.com/the-ultimate-tourism-guide-for-the-city-of-kitchener/

10. Snowshoe With Your Pals

Despite whatever it may seem, that precariously-positioned, head-sized clump of snow did not fall on our snowshoer. But yes, you might not be as lucky.

Seize your snowshoes and a companion or two and indulge in immaculate paths. Travel the 9 km south circuit and relish Grosbeak Lake’s barren enchantment. Warm-up in the Salt River Day Use Area shelter when you begin to feel chilly. 

snow shoeing

Photo by Daria Sannikova from Pexels.

Be sure to carry an ax, matchsticks, any fire starter, and a teapot filled with something volatile. A luncheon and drinking water would also be an intelligent thing to pack. Firewood is provided! Venture on the 11 km road to the majestic Salt Plains from Highway. 

Park at the Parsons Lake Road access along Pine Lake Road and experiment through the Boreal Forest. Wait for the animal tracks thrust into the snow.


Photo by Lukas Kloeppel from Pexels.

These were a few of the unique facts about these fascinating Woods. To know more about the must-visit places or things to do when in the Wood Buffalo National Park, visit here.

Also, read https://icycanada.com/the-guide-to-gulf-islands-national-reserve-park/.


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