Canada 150: Five national parks to visit with the free discovery pass
Published Wednesday, May 24, 2017 6:42AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 25, 2017 1:22PM EDT
With Parks Canada offering a free Discovery Pass for the country's 150th anniversary, CTVNews.ca has rounded up the best bucket-list destinations to visit.
Banff National Park – Alberta
Canada's first national park is also one of its most spectacular, with a glacier lake, breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains and some of the best ski slopes in the country. Banff is an ideal destination for cycling, hiking, camping and skiing, and a great spot for a sight-seeing road trip.
Fundy National Park – New Brunswick
The Bay of Fundy changes drastically with the tides, making it worth a day-long visit to take in all the majesty of Canada's East Coast. Walk on the seabed at low tide, paddle through the area in a kayak or hike into the nearby forests to truly experience all that the park has to offer.
Fundy National Park is also close to one of Atlantic Canada's most iconic landmarks, the Hopewell Rocks (a.k.a. Flowerpot Rocks). The striking sandstone and sedimentary rock formation near Moncton, N.B., is an incredible site to watch the Atlantic Ocean tides. Visitors can walk on the beach around the rocks at low tide, before the water sweeps in twice each day.
Fathom Five National Marine Park – Ontario
Take the plunge into Lake Huron at Fathom Five National Marine Park, where several historic shipwrecks lie just below the surface.
The marine park near Tobermory, Ont., is a popular destination for scuba divers, as well as tourists interested in seeing the shipwrecks from the safety of a glass-bottom boat. The park also boasts beautiful hiking trails and the Flowerpot Island rock formation.
Jasper National Park – Alberta
Located northwest of Banff in the Rockies, Jasper National Park is a true gem, with its towering peaks, glistening lakes and ruggedly beautiful forests.
This 11,000 square-kilometre park boasts the world's largest dark sky preserve, making it a spectacular place to camp for stargazers. Visit in October for the Dark Sky Festival, when locals turn down their lights to let the stars truly shine overhead.
It's also pretty spectacular by day.
Gros Morne National Park – Newfoundland and Labrador
Gros Morne National Park is a dream destination for photographers and geologists alike. Located on the west coast of the island of Newfoundland, the mountains and rugged scenery of Gros Morne have been shaped by thousands of years of glacier and tectonic plate movement.
Gros Morne has plenty to offer for nature-lovers, with lakes, hiking trails, bogs, fjords, waterfalls and plenty of wildlife.