This year Canada will celebrate its 150th anniversary — what a great milestone! She has come a long way and there is so much that we have to celebrate about this great county. As part of the birthday celebrations, this year Parks Canada is providing their Discovery Pass free for all. What a great present! I ordered mine as soon as I heard about it. You can go to the Parks Canada website and order it .
You can visit any of the many of the National Parks, National Marine Conservation Areas and National Historic Sites across Canada for free, any number of times for the entire year! One pass is valid for a group of people travelling in the same vehicle.
So I thought this is the perfect year to try and visit some of the national parks on my bucket list! If we had the time and money, we would have visited them long ago since we are a family that love to visit national parks.
Here are some of the parks that I would love to visit:
Banff National Park, Alberta
This national park has been on my bucket list ever since I heard of it. I never get tired of looking at pictures of Lake Louise and the snow covered mountains. It’s the first national park of Canada! It’s a beautiful park situated about an hour and half’s drive from Calgary. There are many campgrounds and lodges inside the park. Why do I want to visit this amazing park? Mainly due to the sheer beauty of it — snow capped mountains, pristine lakes, pine forests and glaciers all come together to create a picturesque scenery that will stay in your memory forever. There are also plenty of activities to do; like hiking, canoeing, and horseback riding to name a few.
Jasper National Park, Alberta
This park is situated in Alberta, north of Banff and west of Edmonton. If I can visit Banff, I will certainly make it a point to visit this beautiful park close by. It is the largest national park in the Canadian rockies. Why do I want to visit this park? I want to take a drive through the world famous Icefields Parkway, where i will see ancient glaciers, pristine lakes and waterfalls, and spot bears, elks and sheep. It is another park with beautiful scenery and plenty of things to do.
Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia
This is another beautiful park that I want to try and visit; located in the northern most tip of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. To me it’s the Scotland of Canada. One of the most scenic routes in North America, the Cabot trail runs through the national park. Cliffs, mountains and highlands and quaint little fishing villages make it a scenic drive worth doing. There is also no shortage of activities to do while you are there; breathtaking hikes, freshwater and ocean swimming, fishing, cycling, kayaking and more. I would love to camp their in their new oTENTik: part tent, part cabin; as we are not very fond of rouging it out in the open.
Bruce Peninsula National Park, Ontario
I came this close to visiting this national park last year but when we reached the park gates around late morning, the parking lot was full and we couldn’t enter. So if you are planning on visiting this park, I would strongly advise you to go on a weekday and shoulder seasons or plan on staying the night at Tobermory a beautiful fishing village near by and go early the next morning.
Why do I want to visit this park so badly? Again, for the beautiful scenery that you cannot see else where — cliffs, turquoise waters, abundant wildlife, beautiful forests and the famous grotto — I want to go inside and explore this beautiful sea cave!
Fundy National Park, New Brunswick
Located in New Brunswick, along the Atlantic coast of Canada, Fundy National Park is another great park that I would love to visit. Where else will I get the chance to walk the sea bed at low tide and paddle in a kayak at the very same place at high tide — all in the same day! While I am there I would like to stay in Park Canada’s new oTENTik tents (like the ones they have at Cape Breton) and hike the rugged trails and see some of the waterfalls.
Point Pelee National Park, Ontario
While this park may not be as big as the others, I can’t afford not to visit this as it is the closest one to where I live. It’s only three and half hours drive from Toronto — a perfect park for a day trip! Point Pelee is the southern most point in Canada! I would love to see the migration of the birds and paddle through the wetlands and have a picnic on the sandy beaches.
While these are my favourite national parks, there’s plenty more that I would love to visit. This year is a good time to start visiting the national parks — at the very least the ones that are close to you as they are completely free 🙂 Now who doesn’t like free stuff!!