Two sites in New Brunswick and an attraction that spans Canada were among the five winners of 2010 Phoenix Awards.
They're given annually by the Society of American Travel Writers to recognize travel-related conservation, preservation, beautification and anti-pollution accomplishments.
Miscou Island was hailed as "one of the single most beautiful spots in the world."†
It contains a huge bog that turns scarlet in autumn. Judges said visitors can "beach comb, bird watch, climb the lighthouse, and walk the interpretive boardwalk through the bog while feeling as if they are on the very tip of the world."
Miscou is at the tip of the Acadian peninsula, on New Brunswick's north coast.
Birders know the other New Brunswick winner, Mary's Point Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve. Between 75% and 90% of the world's population of migrating shorebirds stops there for food and rest. The reserve is near Hopewell Rocks, on New Brunswick's Bay of Fundy, where the world's highest tides have been recorded.
The other Canadian winner was the Trans Canada Trail. This work-in-progress was created as part of Canada's 125th anniversary, mostly along defunct rail lines, old logging trails, and historic waterways and pathways. At more than 16,000 km, the trail is already the world's longest. The goal is to eventually have 22,000 km of multi-use pathway from the Atlantic to Pacific and to the Arctic oceans.
Both of the other Phoenix Awards involve New York City:
-- The High Line, a vertical public park originally built in the 1930s to lift dangerous freight trains off Manhattan's busy streets. Section 1 reopened to the public in June 2009.
-- Central Park Conservancy, founded in 1980 by civic philanthropists dedicated to ending Central Park's decline and restoring it. It was the first public park built in America and is the most frequently visited urban park in the country.