Canada's National Parks will be free to all visitors in 2017

cross country skiing
© Parks Canada (via Twitter)

This unusual promotion is one of the ways in which Canada will celebrate its 150th anniversary since Confederation. What better reason to get out and enjoy the wilderness?

Canada’s national parks will offer free entry for all visitors in 2017. This is a wonderful opportunity to explore any of the nearly 100 locations across the country that showcase the best of Canada’s geography and history – old sites where battles were fought and fur-trading posts built; marine parks with shipwrecks and whale-sightings; beautiful islands and reefs, lush forests, caves, rocks, hiking trails, bird and butterfly sanctuaries, and more.

Canada is famous for its parks, which were created in 1911 as the world’s first national parks service. Many Canadians identify strongly with the parks and the unique features of each one that have become so symbolic of the nation.

Parks Canada’s unusual announcement about the free entry was influenced by a recommendation made by the new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his mandate letter to the new Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna. He wrote:

“Make admission for all visitors to National Parks free in 2017, the 150th anniversary of Confederation. Beginning in 2018, ensure that admission for children under 18 is free, and provide any adult who has become a Canadian citizen in the previous 12 months one year’s free admission.”

Any pass purchased in 2016 will automatically be valid for a full 24 months, or else you can pick up a pass at any point in 2017 for free and it will be valid for 12 months. The pass, which usually costs $136.40 for a family of up to seven people, does not include camping, parking, or other activity fees; it simply covers the cost of entry.

See a full list of Parks Canada locations here and order your pass today!

Kids' Ski Pass also available:

The Canadian Ski Council offers a special Snow Pass for all grade 4 and 5 students (born in 2005 or 2006). For only $29.95, you can ski or snowboard three times at each participating location, listed here. It is valid until the end of grade 5, regardless of when it was purchased, which means you could get two years out of it. Order online.

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