The boreal forest (also called "taiga", "the subarctic", "near north", or "the bush") is a huge region stretching across the middle latitudes of North America and Eurasia . It includes everything north of the temperate grasslands and forests and the true Arctic further north.
- 1 Wood Buffalo National Park, together with other, neighbouring parks forms the largest patch of protected boreal forest in the world. This is also home to the Peace-Athabasca Delta, the world's largest inland freshwater delta.
- Almost all Finnish national parks save for a few in the far north are in the boreal forest zone.
- The Pole of Cold is the coldest place in the Northern Hemisphere, in Yakutia, Russian Far East.
This is a vast band of forests that ring the globe. It's too cold here for most leafy trees, so spruces dominate. It's so cold that the fire season is short, and fires are spaced many years apart, giving trees time to compete with grasses.
Water evaporates slowly here, so and tends to collect from year to year in every available depression. There are literally millions of lakes across the subarctic.
Soils are generally poor and the growing season is short, so agriculture is limited but does thrive in small belts. The main lifestyles of most peoples indigenous to this region are hunting, trapping, gathering, and fishing. Forestry has been important for the last centuries in some regions – and in recent decades mining and hydroelectricity generation has spread to many previously roadless locations.
Road connections are almost entirely from the south. As a general rule, the further north one goes, the more one relies on air and sea travel to get to the region.
If one happens to be travelling by road, planning the route is crucial, as it is often hundreds of km between fuel and food stops. See also winter driving.
In this part of the world, it's also not uncommon to travel by canoe, dog sled, snowshoe, or cross-country skis. While hiking in the wilderness is one of the best reasons to come here, it will often be near a city or highway. As anywhere, hiking farther in the wilderness requires planning and experience, but in the Nordic countries it is easy to access routes with few people and seemingly untouched nature, but still find huts or lodges for most nights.
Observe wildlife (North American wildlife or Eurasian wildlife), enjoy birdwatching or wildlife photography, or go fishing or hunting. Try being truly alone, and experience what silence really sounds like.
Eat what the local indigenous people eat (the local wild game and forest plants and mushrooms), or be willing to pay the shipping costs involved in bringing farmed produce all the way up here.
To get the Arctic, you can take the Dalton Highway in Alaska or the Dempster Highway in Canada, either of which will bring you to the shores of the Arctic Ocean. Otherwise, travel in that region is almost entirely by boat or aircraft. The European routes E6, E45 or E75 or Russian M-18 will likewise take you to the Arctic, through significantly more but still sparsely populated regions.