Dreaming of What to do with My Parks Canada Discovery Pass

In honor of Canada’s 150th anniversary, the Canadian government is giving free access to all of Canada’s national parks, national marine conservation areas, and national historic sites with the 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass. And my pass arrived in the mail today!

I have no idea how I’m going to use it. I’m not familiar with many Canadian national parks. I’ve never been to a Canadian national park. But with the arrival of my pass, I’m beginning to research some parks to visit this year. These are my top dream picks so far. It would be amazing to get to all three of these this year and maybe a few more!

Glacier National Park of Canada, British Columbia

The hikes in Glacier National Park are challenging, but rewarding. The terrain was carved by glaciers and there are still glaciers to see here. The views from the summit of Balu Pass include glaciers, icefields, and, in late summer, fields of wildflowers.  But Balu Pass is also grizzly bear territory, which, honestly, scares the crap out of me even though I grew up playing in woods filled with black bears. Some of the best views of glaciers are apparently from the Glacier Crest Trail, so that’s at the top of my hiking wish list.

I imagine a trip to Glacier National Park would be similar to my trip to the Aran Islands: hearty breakfast, three to five hours of hiking, lunch, a nap, and a late dinner with a beer.

Thousand Islands, Ontario

Considering that I lived in northern New York for over a decade, the Thousand Islands are one of my most egregious travel oversights. However, Thousands Islands is just a seven hour drive from Pittsburgh, so it’s a relatively easy trip that I could plan at the last minute, which makes it highly likely to happen this year. I could also see my family enjoying staying in an Airbnb near Thousand Islands to relax around the campfire and explore somewhere new, too. That puts this trip high on the list if they get on board because we love taking summer family vacations in the woods.

Doesn’t this boathouse on it’s own island look like a fun place to stay? It’s in New York, but so close to the Canadian border it would be easy to visit Thousand Islands National Park.



Island Boat House Bed and Breakfast


Clayton, NY, United States

This rustic and charming two bedroom living space is located in the upstairs of a historic boathouse, directly over the water and dock, on a stunning private 2 acre island. Up to 4 adults and 2 chi…

Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

Whenever I think of Saskatchewan, I picture snow, so this would be an ideal trip for the early part of next winter. I’d like to finally try cross country skiing and snow shoeing. Prince Albert National Park even has a disc golf course that can be accessed on snow shoes in the winter, which makes me think my husband would adore this trip. And after all that time in the snow, I’d like to curl up by a fireplace with a coffee and a Saskatoon berry pie made with local berries stored from summertime.

And in the winter, there’s also the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights, which would be incredible. I’ve never seen them before and can’t wait to see them someday.

Get the Parks Canada Discovery Pass

This pass is available to anyone, so if you’re planning a trip to Canada this year, go order your pass here: Parks Canada Discovery Pass.

It takes about six weeks to arrive in the mail if you’re in the U.S.

Where would you go?

There are 148 locations included in the Parks Canada Discovery Pass. Check them out at Parks Canada. Let me know where you’d like to go in the comments below!



14 thoughts on “Dreaming of What to do with My Parks Canada Discovery Pass

  • So fun! I really wish we could get the pass and do this, but visiting Canada isn’t in the cards for us this year. Still, Canada is such a gorgeous country! So many parks, so little time. 😀 Can’t wait to see where you decide to go!

  • If I could I would move to Canada and spend 2017 exploring! Without doubt one of my favourite countries and sooooo beautiful- I would start in Vancouver and travel across by train. What an experience that would be!! #feetdotravel

  • My pass still hasn’t arrived so I am beginning to think Canada doesn’t want me to visit! I think I would head out west and explore some of the amazing national parks – Banff and Jasper spring to mind! Your plan sounds amazing too though!

  • Canada is celebrating 150 years in 2017? Awesome, plenty of partying on Canada this year I’m guessing? What a way for Canada to itself to celebrate – by handing out a free pass to its National Parks, that’s fantastic! So many to choose from as well …. but where will you start? #feetdotravel

  • Saskatchewan would be my first pick, especially to see the Northern Lights. That berry pie sounds pretty good too! I’m looking forward to seeing what you decide. 🙂

  • So cool, I am looking forward to seeing what you decide in the end. The house boat looks so nice, would love to stay there for a while.

  • :O Is the Thousand Islands where Thousand Island Dressing comes from?!?!?! I just thought it was called that because lots of different islands all made the same thing 😛 hahaaha. You learn something new every day! (Also, this pass is awesome and I’m going to have to get one!)

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