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Central Boreal Uplands

Natural Region 18


White spruce, black spruce, balsam fir ... white spruce, black spruce, balsam fir ... this pattern repeats itself endlessly across the region. The forest is outstanding in its uniformity . Tamarack and jack pine, along with fast-growing deciduous species such as poplar and birch, are other important members of the forest cast. Along the southern edge of the region, white pine and red pine, sugar maple, black ash, eastern white cedar and other species from the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence forest intermix in sheltered areas and depressions in which soil has accumulated. Along the northern border, the harsh climate results in an open coniferous forest with a thick mat of lichens growing between the trees. Numberless bogs and fens support black spruce, Labrador tea, blueberries and their kin, bog rosemary, cloudberry and other acid-loving species.


For many, the beaver is the symbol of this area. It was the desirability of its pelt that shaped the history of this region.

For others, the loon is the symbol of the boreal forest.


Other typical wildlife include the moose, wolf, snowshoe hare, spruce grouse, ruffed grouse, lynx, black bear and caribou (old-growth forests providing their critical winter range). In summer, the spruce woods ring with the calls of warblers and other migratory birds.


This region is represented by Pukaskwa National Park (1,878 km 2 ), a rugged wilderness of rock-rimmed lakes, tumbling rivers and dense forests, bounded by the rocky headlands and sheltered cobble and sand beaches of Lake Superior. A small herd of woodland caribou, a rare species in Canada, shares the park hinterland with moose, wolf, black bear and a host of smaller creatures. Hike the challenging Coastal Trail or paddle the shore of Lake Superior to experience Pukaskwa's wild beauty.

Pukaskwa was established in 1978 pursuant to a federal-provincial agreement with the Government of Ontario. It is not yet proclaimed under that National Parks Act because outstanding claims by local First Nations are still being negotiated.

Natural Region 18


National Parks System Plan, 3 rd Edition

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