Katannilik Territorial Park Reserve
Katannilik Territorial Park Reserve (established 1993, 1262 km2), which bisects the Meta Incognita Peninsula of Baffin Island, is currently the largest territorial PARK in the Nunavut park system.
Katannilik Territorial Park Reserve (established 1993, 1262 km2), which bisects the Meta Incognita Peninsula of Baffin Island, is currently the largest territorial park in the Nunavut park system. It was established primarily as a vehicle for economic development for Kimmirut, an Inuit community to the south. The name Katannilik, meaning "the place of waterfalls," was chosen by the community because of the innumerable cascades and trickles that line the valley walls from end to end.
The central feature of the park is the Soper River Valley, which is also recognized as a Canadian Heritage River, including its Joy and Livingstone tributaries. The steep valley walls create a microclimate that facilitates a lush ecosystem, including a stand of the tallest willows on Baffin Island, and wildlife such as caribou, wolves, arctic fox, geese, ducks, birds of prey and the occasional polar bear. Katannilik also protects upland areas on either side of the valley and a 2-km wide corridor to the north, that follows the Itijjagiaq Trail, the traditional dog-sledding route used by Inuit to travel across the peninsula.
The valley was also widely used by Inuit as a hunting ground for ptarmigan and caribou. Scattered throughout the valley are numerous archeological sites - tent rings and evidence of short-term habitation. When the Hudson's Bay Co moved into the Arctic at the dawn of the 20th century, attention was turned to trapping the arctic fox that were abundant in the valley at the time. Naturalist J. Dewey Soper, working for the Canadian department of the Interior, did an extensive survey of the valley in 1930.
Today a system of emergency shelters are available to visitors along the trail from Frobisher Bay to Kimmirut. Two of these sites are equipped with washrooms and garbage facilities. A visitor centre in Kimmirut also acts as the park management and visitor registration centre. The centre operates year round.