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Visit Canada's National Parks for free in 2017
Posted on 07/01/2017 45 shares

NatureCanada

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In celebration of 150 years since its confederation, Canada will offer free entry to all of its national parks for the entire year.

Discovery Pass

Discovery Pass
© sarawinter/123RF

As part of the country's year-long celebrations for its 150th birthday, Canada is offering visitors free entry to its national parks for the whole of 2017.

Parks Canada - stewards of the country's protected natural treasures - and Canada's environmental and climate change minister Catherine McKenna are inviting visitors from all over the world to experience the wealth of Canada's wild side with a new Discovery Pass that waives entrance fees to the country's 47 national parks and nature reserves, as well as other historic sites and marine conservation areas run by Parks Canada.

From January 1 to December 31 2017, any visitors holding a Discovery Pass will gain free unlimited access to some of the country's most remarkable sites, a privilege that would usually cost $136.40 (£65) annually.

The pass is valid for up to seven people arriving in the same vehicle at a national park, or arriving together at an historic site or marine conservation area. So whether you want unbelievable views of the Canadian Rockies in Banff National Park, whale-watching in Cape Breton Highlands, stargazing in Grasslands National Park, or polar bears in Wapusk, the Discovery Pass lets you do it all.

The special occasion comes as Canada celebrates the 150th anniversary of its founding, when the British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick united to form the Dominion of Canada on July 1 1867.

The nation has other reasons to celebrate this year too; 2017 marks the 100th anniversary since the beginning of Canada's park service and Montréal will be celebrating its 375th birthday with a programme of historic and cultural events all year long.

Also starting from 2018, entrance to national parks will be free for those aged under 18 and anyone who has become a Canadian citizen over the past 12 months will be provided with one year's free admission, after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau outlined his commitment to reconnecting the public with the country's remarkable nature, geography and history.

Visitors can register for the Discovery Pass online. It only covers entry and does not cover additional charges within the park, such as camping fees or tours with park rangers.

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