The Canadian Prairies: Staff favourites
Hike Boundary Bog Trail in Prince Albert National Park this summer. Lie down on the boardwalk and push your fingers down into the wet mosses until you feel the permafrost. It’s there year-round, even when the temperature soars. Come back in winter and snowshoe the trail to see how the forest looks when the tamaracks have lost all of their needles.
Many people don’t know that Riding Mountain National Park is also home to a National Historic Site, the Riding Mountain East Gate Registration Complex. The East Gate was built in 1930 and is the only gate of its kind left standing in Canada. Don’t miss the grand reopening this fall, just in time for the 100th anniversary of National Historic Sites in Canada.
Hidden in plain sight is one of my favourite art installations, “The Path of Time” created by Marcel Gosselin. The bronze shell is forged from nearly 1600 kg of melted down railway car parts, and depicts the east to west movement of European influence and historical progression of events through 135 unique tools – it encapsulates the history of The Forks National Historic Site.
Walking into the Warehouse building at Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site, you would never know it was once a penitentiary from 1871 to 1877. But look up to the big wooden ceiling beams and you will see holes left over from where the prison cell bars once stood!
My favourite hidden gems at Fort Battleford National Historic Site are the Poundmaker’s War Club and Winchester Rifle, found in our First Nations’ Room. The Ceremonial War Clubs were cherished personal possessions of the men who carried them. It is truly an honour to be able to see them today.