Several enthralling attractions symbolising friendship and peace dot the US–Canada border. Significant among them is Upper Waterton Lake which straddles two countries, one part is in Alberta, Canada, and the other in Montana, USA.
To get to the place, you have to take one of the ferries heading towards Goat Haunt, Montana. It’s a daily service that begins from Waterton, Alberta. Visitors who take the ferry are regaled with live commentary from the moment the crossing begins: “Ladies and gentlemen, we are now in USA, without any immigration check, because it’s a lake that marks love between USA and Canada, and is part of Waterton International Glacier Peace Park…”
In 1932, Waterton Lakes National Park (in Alberta, Canada) was combined with the Glacier National Park (in Montana, United States) to form the world’s first International Peace Park. It is situated on the border between the two countries and has some outstanding scenery. The park is exceptionally rich in plant and mammal species as well as prairie, forest, and alpine and glacial features. Both parks are declared Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO and the Glacier/Waterton International Peace Park is a transnational property listed as a World Heritage Site in 1995.
Besides the final stop in Goat Haunt, USA, where all those on board get an opportunity to plant their feet on American soil as a ritual, the ferry makes many stops en route, for rare photography opportunities of wildlife or the breathtaking scenery.
If you are up for it, US Immigration at Goat Haunt allows Canadian and US citizens, with required IDs, to hike in their part of the park. The rest have to return in the same ferry.
Don’t forget to explore the visitor centre there to know more about the history of the park, and about the rich flora and fauna. The return journey, including stops, takes a little over two hours.
Waterton is worth exploring. It’s a charming town surrounded by many lakes, mountains and waterfalls. Located just three hours from Calgary and nearly six hours Edmonton, it is also known for amazing hike routes and mountain peaks that unfold Instagram-worthy scenes.
Intriguingly, a walk in the town may remind you of one of Europe’s resort towns with flags of both the US and Canada fluttering in every nook.