Park It!

As Canada marks its 150th an­niver­sary this year, what bet­ter way to cel­e­brate than a (free) visit to a na­tional park. From Klu­ane to Gros Morne, we of­fer a list of some of this coun­try’s most in­ter­est­ing na­tional parks

Canadian Wildlife - - FEATURES - By Fraser Los

As Canada marks its 150th an­niver­sary this year, what bet­ter way to cel­e­brate than a (free) visit to a na­tional park. From Klu­ane to Gros Morne, we of­fer a list of some of this coun­try’s most in­ter­est­ing na­tional parks

In 1885, just 18 years af­ter Canada’s Con­fed­er­a­tion, the

young coun­try cre­ated its first na­tional park. It was fo­cused on keep­ing in public hands, and de­vel­op­ing for tourism, Banff’s re­mark­able hot springs, which un­til then had been known only to the lo­cal in­dige­nous pop­u­la­tion. Within 30 years, there were five na­tional parks (all in the Rocky Moun­tains) and in 1911 the Do­min­ion Parks Branch was formed by the fed­eral De­part­ment of the In­te­rior. Fit­tingly, for a coun­try so iden­ti­fied with wildlife and wilder­ness, it was the world’s first na­tional park service.

Now known as Parks Canada, today it over­sees and op­er­ates 38 na­tional parks, 3 na­tional marine con­ser­va­tion ar­eas, 171 na­tional his­toric sites, and one na­tional landmark in Canada, found in every prov­ince and ter­ri­tory. The parks alone cover more than 300,000 square kilo­me­tres and to­gether rep­re­sent about 3% of the coun­try’s land area. To help com­mem­o­rate the 150th an­niver­sary of Con­fed­er­a­tion, vis­i­tor en­try to Canada’s na­tional parks, his­toric sites and marine con­ser­va­tion area is free in 2017. In keep­ing with this spirit, we at Cana­dian Wildlife mag­a­zine, are pleased to present a list of some the coun­try’s most no­table parks from each re­gion, in­clud­ing the new­est and the old­est, the small­est and the big­gest, and the qui­etest and the busiest. We hope we will in­spire you to visit one or more this year.

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Hik­ers in Glacier Na­tional Park, B.C.

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