Canada turns 150 years old in 2017 and to celebrate, YOU get the gift of free entry to any Parks Canada locations for all of 2017.
What a dream, amiright?
Parks Canada manages 46 national parks, 171 national historic sites, four national marine conservation areas, one national urban park and eight historic canals and the Discovery Pass earns you free entry to all of them until 2018.
The Discovery Pass is available for you to order online as well as at the entrance and visitor centres of Canada’s National Parks.
- A 2017 Discovery Pass is valid for everyone arriving in the same vehicle at a national park, or arriving together at a marine conservation area or historic site, so you don’t need to order one for every person in your house.
- The Discovery Pass offers you free day-use admission, but if camping is offered at your park of choice, camping fees are not included.
- Parks Canada is a National Park system, which means the Discovery Pass does not include your local provincial parks. BC Parks, Saskatchewan Parks, Manitoba Parks, Ontario Parks, Sepaq, Nova Scotia Provincial Parks, New Brunswick Provincial Parks and PEI Parks locations are not included when it comes to free entry.
- Visitors to the park are encouraged to share their adventures and explorations on social media by using the hashtags #DiscoveryPass and #Canada150 when posting to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Parks Canada was established on May 19 (*cough* also my birthday *COUGH*), 1911 and is managed by the Minister of the Environment, who mandates it “to protect and present nationally significant natural and cultural heritage, and foster public understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment in ways that ensure their ecological and commemorative integrity for present and future generations.” “Parks Canada Agency Annual Report, 2003–2004”.
Pro tip: You don’t actually need to order the Discovery Pass ahead of time, as it can be bought on the day of your visit BUT it is encouraged mainly so that Parks Canada can also send you information on code of conduct within the park, and how best to interact with the landscape without compromising fragile ecological systems or leaving a path of destruction behind you and therefore doing precisely the opposite of their mandate (i.e. ensuring the parks “ecological and commemorative integrity for present and future generations”).
For example, enjoy these camping rules and etiquette that I found out the hard way (see: a park ranger scolding me):
- Don’t make a fire from the dead sticks/leaves that are on the ground near your campsite because dead wood is an important habitat element for many plants and animals; it adds organic matter to the soil.
- Transporting wood from elsewhere may spread invasive bugs and disease so always buy your wood from the Park entrance or nearby to ensure no invasive species are released.
- And lastly, don’t be a l̶o̶u̶d̶ a̶n̶d̶ d̶r̶u̶n̶k̶ rowdy camper at night. Or if you are definitely going to be a rowdy camper, choose a campsite far away from the families and solo campers that are relying on a good night’s sleep to make the best of their time there. You WILL be kicked out of the park after a warning (it happened to, er, a friend of a friend of mine).