4 Boreal Forest Facts to Know Before You Visit Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail

4 Boreal Forest Facts to Know Before You Visit Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail

Oct. 14, 2018

What are the lungs of the world? They’re forests, of course!

The boreal forest in North America is one of the largest. In fact, this one forest alone represents 25% of the world’s remaining intact forests.

The forest is home to over 600 Indigenous communities! Plus, of course, the innumerable animals and birds living within its confines.

Nature and animal lovers flock to this area to enjoy some of nature’s most pristine views. If you’re planning a visit you should check out these 5 boreal forest facts. They’re fascinating!

1. The Boreal Forest Is Big

The boreal zone in North America stretches all the way from Canada’s eastern shore to the western edge of Alaska. It boasts 1.5 billion acres of land. Try wrapping your head around that number.

Canada lays claim to about 85% of the zone. The US contains the rest within Alaska’s borders.

2. A Forest For the Birds

Over 300 species of birds live in or migrate to the boreal forest. To put that in perspective, they represent almost half of all bird species in North America!

Each summer somewhere between 1 and 3 billion birds gather in the boreal forest to breed. Once the young are born there are estimated to be 3-5 billion birds scattered throughout.

That’s a lot of birds! If you are an avid birdwatcher, this is the place to visit. Summer is a good time as the migratory birds don’t stick around for the winter. Some of them have a very long trip as they end up all the way down at the bottom of South America!

3. Animal Life

The boreal zone has a wide range of resources to offer. This means that a wide variety of animals make their homes here.

The streams and lakes are filled with many different species of fish, plus beavers, otters, and other small mammals of the like. Legendary large animals wander the uninhabited portions of the zone.

These include:

  • Caribou
  • Moose
  • Elk
  • Wolves
  • Cougars
  • Grizzly & Black Bears

Though perhaps not as exciting, this zone is also home to a vast array of insects. You might not like that idea too much, but the animals that eat them sure do!

4. People Live There Too

With the pristine image that’s developing in your mind, you probably wouldn’t guess that people live in this zone. About 70% of Canada’s Indigenous communities are located in this area.

However, don’t expect to see sprawling cities or opulent skyrises. The humble, rural communities here have a more back-to-nature philosophy of life.

More Boreal Forest Facts

These are just a few of the many fascinating boreal forest facts to know. If you plan to come to visit this majestic area, do a little research first. You’ll enjoy your trip so much more.

Looking for fun things to do in Canada’s boreal region? Be sure to check out all the great information we have on our site.

Choose from activities like hiking or cycling along the Iron Horse Trail. There truly is something for everyone in this beautiful piece of the world.

Contact us today for help planning your exciting excursion!

Categories : Trail