Ontario is home to 4 UNESCO World Biosphere reserves


Did you know that Ontario is home to four of the over 700 rare ecologies recognized in the world? The province is home to multiple ecotourist destinations that are so significant they have been given a prestigious award by none other than UNESCO.

According to Destination Ontario, UNESCO has awarded four of Ontario’s “most significant landscapes” with the designation of World Biosphere Reserve. And they’re also part of Canada’s Amazing Places project.

“In case you’re wondering, UNESCO recognizes World Biosphere Reserves as protected natural spaces that contain unique land and water ecosystems, maintain a sustainable balance between the environment and humans, protect at-risk species, contain important Indigenous and heritage sites, and focus on eco-education. These distinct ecologies are rare, with just over 700 recognized worldwide.”

If you’re in search of something thrilling this fall, it’s time to pack that bag and explore these four UNESCO ecotourist destinations scattered across Ontario.

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Frontenac Arch

The Frontenac Arch biosphere extends about 2,700 km across southeastern Ontario. It overlaps with the traditional territories of the Anishinaabe (Algonquin) and Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) lands and covers an area from Brockville and Gananoque, extending north of Kingston including Harrowsmith, Verona, and Westport, per the Frontenac Arch Biosphere website.

Destination Ontario suggests exploring Kingston’s Fort Henry site, Silver Queen Mine Trail, Spy Rock, the 1000 Islands Tower, or Mink Lake Lookout in Frontenac Provincial Park.

Georgian Bay

At some point during your provincial travels, you may have explored Georgian Bay. It’s home to the world’s largest freshwater archipelago, according to Parks Canada, and home to thousands of islands, big and small. If you’re looking for some of the best fall views, Georgian Bay is the place to be.

There’s lots to do in this region and just in Georgian Bay Islands National Park, alone. Hike, camp, go for a bike ride, waterfront cabins, and more.

Long Point

Long Point is one of those place that you need to experience at least once in your life. It’s home to the fourth oldest Provincial Park in Ontario, according to Ontario Parks, and it’s mainly composed of beaches, bluffs, marshes, and woodland areas. It has one of the largest bird and waterfowl migration and staging areas in North America and if you’re a fisher, there’s tons of opportunity to do so in Long Point Bay.

Destination Ontario suggests taking a hike or bike ride through marshlands in Big Creek National Wildlife Area, check out the Black Bridge Waterford Heritage Trail, check out Long Point Eco Adventures and its ziplining and glamping activities, too.

Niagara Escarpment

The Niagara Escarpment stretches from the Niagara Region to the end of the Bruce Peninsula. It’s “one or the world’s most magnificent natural landforms,” according to the Niagara Escarpment Commission. “More than 450 million years old, the Escarpment makes up almost one-quarter of Ontario’s Greenbelt and is home to Canada’s longest footpath, the Bruce Trail.”

Plan your trip and go for a hike on the Bruce Trail, check out Mount Nemo and Rattlesnake Point, explore Old Baldy Conservation Area and more.

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