A2A is anchored by two world-class protected areas: Algonquin Provincial Park, in Ontario, and Adirondack Park, in New York State. In addition to these parks, A2A includes more than 30 protected areas, including one national park: Thousand Islands National Park, Ontario.
The A2A landscape is recognized globally by two designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserves: the Frontenac Arch Biosphere, in Ontario, and Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Reserve, in New York (and Vermont).
Algonquin Provincial Park
The first provincial park in Canada, Algonquin Provincial Park was established in 1893 and lies in a transition zone between deciduous and coniferous forests, creating habitat for more than 1,000 plant species, 53 fish species, 272 bird species and 53 mammals, including wolves, moose, deer and bears. According to the park's management plan, Algonquin attracts over half a million visitors per year as a destination for canoeing, hiking and backcountry camping.
Algonquin Provincial Park's most famous artistic legacy is as inspiration to the Canadian painters, the Group of Seven, in particular Tom Thomson. Much of the park interior is open to industrial logging, which is prohibited throughout the rest of the Provincial parks system.
Established in 1892, Adirondack Park was constitutionally protected as "Forever Wild" and stretches across 6 million acres — an area bigger than U.S. national parks Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier and Great Smoky Mountains combined. According to the Adirondack State Agency, the park has more than 3,000 lakes, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, and various habitat types, including globally unique wetlands and old growth forests.
Adirondack Park has been described as "America's cauldron of conservation" for its unique melding of protected wilderness and private settlement. New York State owns 43 percent of land (roughly 2.6 million acres) within the park’s boundaries, which is protected as Forest Reserve. On the remaining private lands, there are 103 towns and villages, in which about 130,000 people live year-round. Forestry, agriculture and recreation make up the park's economic base.
Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario
Click to enlarge Algonquin PP management plan
Adirondack Park, New York, U.S.
Click to enlarge; courtesy of
Adirondack Research Consortium