Travel Guide to Canada
WHAT’S NEW AT PARKS CANADA IN 2017
Do you like presents? To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, Canada is giving you a fantastic gift! In 2017, you’ll enjoy free admission to all Parks Canada national historic sites, national parks and national marine conservation areas, including lockage on historic canals.
PICNIC AND CAMPFIRE PROGRAMS
Food always tastes better alfresco by picturesque lakes, waterfalls, beaches and forested hills. Many national parks and national historic sites offer picnic facilities with panoramic views (www.parkscanada. gc.ca/sault; www.parkscanada.gc.ca/ gulfislands; www.parkscanada.gc.ca/ grosseile).
Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Highlands National Park has a new May-to-October program with 10 picnic areas and several menu options. Simply place your order for sandwiches, fruit, cheese, dessert and bottled water at Keltic Lodge in Ingonish or Harbour Restaurant in Chéticamp. Pick up your picnic and enjoy it at scenic spots such as Mary Ann Falls or Middle Head, where you’re surrounded by ocean on three sides. You can even buy a souvenir picnic basket and blanket (www.parkscanada.gc. ca/capebreton).
Few family activities are more fun than sitting around a glowing campfire while listening to storytellers, singing songs and roasting marshmallows or s’mores. Check out these campfire programs: (www.parkscanada.gc.ca/mauricie; www.parkscanada.gc.ca/kouchibouguac; www.parkscanada.gc.ca/terranova; www.parkscanada.gc.ca/pei).
100TH ANNIVERSARY OF NATIONAL HISTORIC SITES
Parks Canada administers more than 170 of nearly 1,000 diverse places where you can walk in the footsteps of history, interact with characters from the past and experience
Canada’s uniqueness. The oldest of these national historic sites, Fort Anne, was established in Nova Scotia 100 years ago.
With free admission in 2017, you can simultaneously celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday and the national historic sites’ centennial with special programs that bring to life stories, people and events from Canada’s history (www.parkscanada.gc.ca/ fortanne; www.parkscanada.gc.ca/cartier; www.parkscanada.gc.ca/laurier; www.parkscanada.gc.ca/chilkoot; www.parkscanada.gc.ca/baru; www.parkscanada.gc.ca/hawthornecottage; www.parkscanada.gc.ca/roddhill).
Canada’s Indigenous Peoples have deep, long-term connections to nationally protected areas. At several Parks Canada places, you can learn about First Nations, Inuit and Métis culture on guided walks and Indigenous interpretive programs which show you how to bake bannock, weave and identify birds, whales and plants.
An example? Listen to Haida songs and stories and join fun, free and family-friendly hands-on activities such as identifying barnacles and shoreline creatures at British Columbia’s Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site. During hikes with Gwaii Haanas interpreters, discover how the Haida harvested plants and trees to obtain chewing gum, sun block and baby diapers (www.parkscanada.gc.ca/gwaiihaanas).
Do you want to be a citizen scientist? Team up with Parks Canada ecologists and field naturalists to identify and count birds, butterflies, wildflowers, plants, animals, bumblebees and other critters. Snap photos with your mobile devices or record sounds and upload your observations to the iNaturalist.ca app. Previous participants have recorded new types of mushrooms, plants and bats. What biodiversity will you and your family discover? (www.parkscanada.gc.ca/gulfislands; www.parkscanada.gc.ca/fundy; www.parkscanada.gc.ca/chamblycanal; www.parkscanada.gc.ca/superior; www.parkscanada.gc.ca/rouge; www.parkscanada.gc.ca/woodbuffalo; www.parkscanada.gc.ca/waterton).
With free sesquicentennial admission, 2017 is the year to experience more than 200 Parks Canada special places from coast-tocoast.
For more information about national parks and historic sites: www.parkscanada.gc.ca; 1-888-773-8888.