Parks Canada has announced that more than half of Canada’s national parks are set to partially reopen on June 1.
“It is important that people have access to natural spaces where they can go to get exercise and fresh air in settings that facilitate physical distancing,” reads a May 27 update from the federal agency.
All 48 national parks were closed on March 25 as part of a nationwide effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Highways running through the parks remained open.
Banff National Park in Alberta, Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan, Pacific Rim National Park in British Columbia, and Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia are among the 29 national parks that will be open to day visitors at the beginning of next month. Accessible features will include some trails, day-use areas and green spaces.
Federal Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson has emphasized that this move is aimed particularly at people who live relatively close to national parks, and that Canadians should continue to observe provincial and regional travel restrictions.
The Minister also told The Canadian Press that parks in areas that are especially vulnerable to COVID-19, including many in Canada’s North, will remain closed.
“There are also some of the parks that are co-managed with First Nations, like Haida Gwaii, where the First Nation has asked that the park not be reopened,” Wilkinson says.
All overnight camping facilities will remain closed until June 21, at which time Parks Canada will determine whether and how those facilities will start up again. All camping reservations until the 21st have been automatically cancelled.
Check the Parks Canada website for the latest updates.
Partially reopening June 1:
- Cape Breton Highlands National Park, N.S.
- Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site, N.S.
- Prince Edward Island National Park, P.E.I.
- Fundy National Park, N.B.
- Kouchibouguac National Park, N.B.
- Gros Morne National Park, N.L.
- Terra Nova National Park, N.L.
- La Mauricie National Park, Que.
- Forillon National Park, Que.
- Bruce Peninsula National Park, Ont.
- Rouge National Urban Park, Ont.
- Georgian Bay Islands National Park, Ont.
- Thousand Islands National Park, Ont.
- Pukaskwa National Park, Ont.
- Riding Mountain National Park, Man.
- Prince Albert National Park, Sask.
- Grasslands National Park, Sask.
- Banff National Park, Alta.
- Jasper National Park, Alta.
- Waterton Lakes National Park, Alta.
- Elk Island National Park, Alta.
- Yoho National Park, B.C.
- Kootenay National Park, B.C.
- Mount Revelstoke National Park, B.C.
- Glacier National Park, B.C.
- Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, B.C.
- Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, B.C.
- Wood Buffalo National Park, N.W.T/Alta.
- Kluane National Park Reserve, Yukon