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Haliburton Forest ONTAR IO


Listen to the Trees The lush forests of the Pacific coast are an awesome but fragile ecosystem. Tucked in the heart of Tillamook State Forest, this remarkable interpretive centre teaches visitors about forest ecology and history, the power of wildfire and the art of sustainable forest management. Designed to blend into the surrounding forest, the centre seamlessly links indoor exhibits like a multi-media presentation on forest fire that is part theme park simulator, part educational film, with a climbable replica fire tower and a three- kilometre outdoor interpretive trail reached by a 250-foot suspension bridge. Families should be able to find something for everyone with a wide variety of guided activities including bald eagle spotting, animal tracking, tree identification and wildflower walks.


Stay Awhile Tillamook State Forest offers nearly 100 kilometres of hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding trails, as well as several serviced campgrounds. Cape Meares and Cape Lookout State Parks on the Pacific coast are less than an hours’ drive away.


Plan Your Visit The Forest Center is located along Hwy 6 inside Tillamook State Forest, 80 kilometres west of Portland. Open year- round; Free admission and programs. (503) 815-6800; www. tillamookforestcenter.org


Dive into a Wild Wetland Spanning 36 square kilometres of prairie marsh, aspen-oak forest and indigenous tall-grass prairie, Oak Hammock Marsh is one of North America’s bird watching hotspots. During the autumn migration, over 400,000 birds use the wetlands every day. Even if your kids aren’t aspiring John James Audubons, the marsh is worth visiting for the incredible variety of fun activities scheduled throughout the year at the interpretive centre. Marsh walks, critter dipping and nature surveys with the interpretive staff, bird banding demonstrations, voyageur canoe rides and winter snowshoeing are all on offer. You can also stay busy on a rainy day with a variety of indoor exhibits, nature films and workshops for kids and adults.


Stay Awhile Thirty kilometres of trails let you strike out on your own, or rent GPS receivers and maps at the interpretive centre for a family geocaching adventure. Stay for an evening of stargazing on select dates in 2009 as the centre celebrates the International Year of Astronomy.


Planning Your Visit Oak Hammock is off Hwy 220 just 25 kilometres north of Winnipeg. Open year-round; Adults $5, Children under 18 $4, Family $18. (888) 506-2774; www.oakhammockmarsh.ca


See a Wolf Pack The Wolf Centre at Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve is one of the largest of its kind in the world and offers an unrivalled opportunity to glimpse these magnificent animals in a natural setting. A pack of Grey Wolves roams freely within the 15-acre enclosure, materializing at feeding time beneath the interpretive centre’s glass-walled observatory. Descendents of a pair of Michigan pups captured in 1977, the wolves are not socialized to people and breed and maintain a wild pack hierarchy within the enclosure.


Stay Awhile Mountain biking, hiking and canoeing offer distractions in the surrounding 70,000-acre Haliburton Forest. You can also sign up for a four-hour interpretive tour that takes you from paddling a voyageur canoe to traipsing 10 to 20 metres above the forest floor along a half-kilometre canopy boardwalk.


Plan Your Trip The Wolf Centre is in Central Ontario’s Haliburton Highlands, 35 kilometres north of the town of Haliburton off Hwy 7. Open year-round; Adults $9, Children under 18 $6, Family $20. (705) 754-2198; www.haliburtonforest. com/wolf.html


Time Travel through 400 Million Years


Perched above 220 acres of exposed limestone fossil beds layered with the remains of prehistoric sea creatures, the Falls of the Ohio State Park interpretive centre brings to life 400 million years of history. Video presentations are on the 30-foot-long widescreen in the auditorium, while the full-size skeleton of a mammoth and replica Devonian fish are among the nearly 80 exhibits on display. It’s the living elements that really make Falls of the Ohio worth a visit though. An observation room overlooks the fossil beds and Ohio River and just beyond the glass, feeding stations and fountains attract songbirds and bathing


raccoons that kids can listen to via an exterior microphone. From June through October, you can also join a guided interpretive hike or canoe paddle through the fossil beds.


Stay Awhile The state park also offers fine hiking, bird watching and fishing in the Ohio River. Pack a picnic for the three-hour hike to the seldom-visited outer fossil beds.


Plan Your Visit Falls of the Ohio is just outside the town of Clarkesville, 170 kilometres south of Indianapolis on the I-65. Open year-round but fossil beds are flooded in winter; Adults $5, Children $2. (812) 280-9970; www.fallsoftheohio. org/visitor-info-center.html


www.canoerootsmag.com 29


Tillamook Forest Center OR EGON


Oak Hammock Marsh


MANI TOBA


Falls of the Ohio


INDIANA


PHOTOS: DUCKS UNLIMITED CANADA


PHOTOS: TILLAMOOK FOREST CENTER


PHOTOS: FALLS OF THE OHIO/IDNR


PHOTOS: HALIBURTON FOREST


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