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RISMEDIA, January 28, 2011—(MCT)—If you’re looking for outdoor family adventure and views of the natural world, a trip to Canada may be in store for you and your family this year. Here are five places to explore and get the most of the outdoors.

1. Klondike gold rush route, the Yukon. Relive one of the most colorful eras in Canadian history when you step back in time along the route of the Klondike gold rush. Be sure to make time for Dawson City, where dusty streets lined with old-time boardwalks and historic buildings evoke life in the Wild West. You’ll also learn about First Nations cultures and have opportunities to watch wildlife, fish and hike. Stop at visitor centers to learn about specific places and events.

2. Heli-hiking in British Columbia. Excitement grows when your family boards a helicopter bound for a high mountain lodge. Canadian Mountain Holidays offers activities ranging from rock climbing with world-class mountain guides to enjoying wildflowers by beautiful glacier lakes. Families can choose to divide by age, ability and interest during the day and gather for the evening. Or, members can explore together for the week. The company also offers heli-skiing during winter.

3. Whistler and Blackcomb, British Columbia. News stories from the Winter Olympics may have stoked your interest in this pair of charming ski resorts, but families will find plenty to do during any season. In summer, enjoy kayaking, rafting and horseback riding. Try the bungee trampoline, visit the climbing center or stroll the village. When the snow falls, there’s plenty of downhill and cross-country skiing as well as snowboarding, snowshoeing and dog-sledding to engage an active family.

4. Rocky Mountaineer. Kids love trains, making this family-owned company a good option for reunions or multigenerational travel. Rocky Mountaineer offers more than 70 Canadian train vacation packages through British Columbia, Alberta and the Canadian Rockies. Relax while taking in spectacular scenery from the comfort of your seat. Onboard attendants provide commentary and make sure everyone enjoys the ride. Best known for its two-day, all-daylight rail tour in the Canadian Rockies, the company this year is celebrating its 20th year in business.

5. Churchill, Manitoba. Find your way to this remote community for a chance to see polar bears, which migrate to this icy seaport on Hudson Bay in search of the ringed seal, one of its main foods. As night falls, glimpse the aurora borealis for an added thrill. During summer, it’s possible to watch beluga whales from small boats.

(c) 2010, The Dallas Morning News.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.