The Biggest Lake
Great Bear is the largest freshwater body entirely within Canada. At 31,000 square kilometres, it covers more of the Earth’s surface than Belgium, with enough ice-blue water to supply Canada’s current household water needs for 500 years.
The Longest Trail
At 355-kilometres, the Canol Trail is the most extensive wild hiking path in North America. Backpackers often require three weeks or more to complete the route, and must be totally self-sufficient: They’ll encounter no communities or services of any kind, and often, no other hikers.
The Greatest River
With a watershed encompassing one-fifth of Canada, the Mackenzie is the country’s most significant river, stretching 4,000 kilometres from source to sea. In front of Norman Wells, the river is more than four kilometres wide; meanwhile, at a canyon near Fort Good Hope called The Ramparts, it chokes to just half a kilometre across.
The Newest Park
Tucked against the Yukon border, Nááts'ihch'oh is the North’s newest national park, having officially opened in 2014. It’s home to epic paddling rivers like the upper Nahanni and the Keele, plus alpine menageries that include stately Dall’s sheep, grizzlies, moose and woodland caribou.
The Oldest Building
Our Lady of Good Hope church, in Fort Good Hope, influenced the design of later Oblate mission churches in western Canada. It is one of the oldest surviving buildings of this type and its design, particularly the interior detail, offers a fine and unique example of church decoration in the northwest. Construction started way back in 1865, and was overseen by Oblate Father Émile Petitot, a student of contact-era Dene language and culture. It was named a National Historic Site in 1977.