Algonquin Outfitters

2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass

Welcome to 2017 and FREE park passes to everyone… well not quite. 

Park Canada 2017 Discovery PassYes, it is true that Parks Canada is indeed providing free passes for the entire 2017 year to anyone who would like one. All you have to do is sign up on their website (http://www.pc.gc.ca/).  It only took me about 4 minutes to complete the online order form with my name and mailing address.  They didn’t even charge me any shipping, how simple is that!  So simple in fact that over 900,000 people ordered their Discovery Pass earlier this year and they even were able to crash the Parks Canada servers in December because the amount of demand was so great.

Let’s answer some questions you may have

Q) Can I use the Parks Canada Discovery Pass when I visit provincial parks like Algonquin Provincial Park?

A) No, the Parks Canada Discovery Pass is only valid at National Parks, National Marine Conservation Areas and National Historic Sites.

Discovery Pass not for Ontario Parks

Q) What parks in Ontario can I use the Parks Canada Discovery Pass at?

A) Here’s a list of all of the National Parks in Ontario:

  1. Bruce Peninsula National Park of Canada
  2. Georgian Bay Islands National Park of Canada
  3. Point Pelee National Park of Canada
  4. Pukaskwa National Park of Canada
  5. Thousand Islands National Park of Canada

For all of 2017 this pass gives you unlimited opportunities to enjoy National Parks, National Marine Conservation Areas and National Historic Sites across the country!

Parks Canada Discovery Pass Map

Yep got it all my Parks Canada visits are unlimited and Free for all of 2017!  Ontario Parks are indicated by dark green areas on the above map while the red leafs indicate Park’s Canada operated national parks where the Discovery Pass is valid.

You only need to order one pass for your group or family if you are all traveling together.  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.

Great I can bring all my family and friends with me, perfect!

The Discovery Pass is only accepted at national historic sites which are operated by Parks Canada.

Ok got it all National Historic Sites in Canada…. wait a minute slow down there, let’s take a look at “National Historic Sites operated by Parks Canada”. There’s got to be a list somewhere…

National Historic Sites in Ontario

  • Battle Hill National Historic Site of Canada -Wardsville, Ontario
  • Battle of Cook’s Mills National Historic Site of Canada – Cook’s Mills, Ontario 
  • Battle of the Windmill National Historic Site of Canada – Prescott, Ontario 
  • Battlefield of Fort George National Historic Site of Canada – Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
  • Beausoleil Island National Historic Site of Canada – Georgian Bay Islands National Park of Canada, Ontario
  • Bellevue House National Historic Site of Canada – Kingston, Ontario
  • Bethune Memorial House National Historic Site of Canada – Gravenhurst, Ontario
  • Bois Blanc Island Lighthouse and Blockhouse National Historic Site of Canada – Bois Blanc Island, Ontario
  • Butler’s Barracks National Historic Site of Canada – Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
  • Carrying Place of the Bay of Quinte National Historic Site of Canada – Carrying Place, Ontario
  • Fort George National Historic Site of Canada – Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
  • Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada – Amherstburg, Ontario
  • Fort Mississauga National Historic Site of Canada – Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
  • Fort St. Joseph National Historic Site of Canada – St. Joseph Island, Ontario
  • Fort Wellington National Historic Site of Canada – Prescott, Ontario
  • Glengarry Cairn National Historic Site of Canada – Cairn Island, Ontario
  • HMCS Haida National Historic Site of Canada – Hamilton, Ontario
  • Inverarden House National Historic Site of Canada – Cornwall, Ontario
  • Kingston Fortifications National Historic Site of Canada – Kingston, Ontario
  • Laurier House National Historic Site of Canada – Ottawa, Ontario
  • Merrickville Blockhouse National Historic Site of Canada – Merrickville, Ontario
  • Mississauga Point Lighthouse National Historic Site of Canada – Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
  • Mnjikaning Fish Weirs National Historic Site of Canada – Atherley, Ontario
  • Murney Tower National Historic Site of Canada – Kingston, Ontario
  • Navy Island National Historic Site of Canada – Niagara Falls, Ontario
  • Peterborough Lift Lock National Historic Site of Canada – Peterborough, Ontario
  • Point Clark Lighthouse National Historic Site of Canada – Amberly, Point Clark, Ontario
  • Queenston Heights National Historic Site of Canada – Queenston, Ontario
  • Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada – Ottawa / Kingston, Ontario
  • Ridgeway Battlefield National Historic Site of Canada – Ridgeway, Ontario
  • Saint-Louis Mission National Historic Site of Canada – Victoria Harbour, Ontario
  • Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site of Canada – Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
  • Shoal Tower National Historic Site of Canada – Kingston, Ontario
  • Sir John Johnson House National Historic Site of Canada – Williamstown, Ontario
  • Southwold Earthworks National Historic Site of Canada – Iona, Ontario
  • Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site of Canada – Trenton / Port Severn, Ontario
  • Woodside National Historic Site of Canada – Kitchener, Ontario

Ok that’s a lot of National Historic sites operated by Parks Canada just in Ontario, but I don’t see a lot of “Parks” there, I’m more interested in camping, canoeing and maybe hiking than visiting an old battle ground, let’s read on.

Activities such as tours or parking that normally carry a separate fee may not be covered by the Discovery Pass.

Ok got it anything extra, day tours, rentals, parking I still have to pay for.

Camping fees are not included with the Discovery Pass

If it’s not for camping then what is it for?  Lets dig a little further into the “Terms of Use”

The 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass provides the passholder with unlimited entry to all participating National Parks, National Marine Conservation Areas and National Historic Sites administered by Parks Canada. (Note: Discovery Passes provide the holder with all of the opportunities and services that normally come with a daily entry pass or permit. Activities such as camping, tours, or parking that normally carry a separate fee may not be covered by the Discovery Pass. Camping fees are not included with the Discovery Pass).

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.

Ok got it so it’s just a day use pass and not an over night camping pass.

Want to know more about which parks are free for Canada 150 visit the Ontario Parks, Parks blog at the link below.

Which parks are free for Canada150?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Start planning your next visit at parkscanada.gc.ca/visit.

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