Ten ways to enhance your next Parks Canada experience
Make time spent at one of Parks Canada’s National Parks or National Historic Sites even more special by booking one of the hundreds of unique enhanced experiences that are on offer for you to enjoy. Did you know that Parks Canada offers everything from a chance to dress up in authentic historic costume and learn to shoot muskets, to dark sky storytelling hikes and multi-day wilderness adventures?
There are programs to fit all budgets, from audio tours under a fiver to high-end immersive experiences in the heart of nature. No car? No worries! Plenty of Parks Canada’s enhanced programming happens a stone’s throw from the city, just grab your free Discovery Pass and book now for an awesome day out.
Two centuries ago First Nations, Métis trappers, and traders of the North West and Hudson Bay Companies lived along the winding banks of the North Saskatchewan River. Spend a night in a First Nations tipi or Métis trapper tent and step back in time as you walk in their shoes. Learn to light your campfire with flint and steel then enjoy a warming stew with fresh pan-baked bannock for supper.
Saddle up and ride back to the days of the Old West on a 48-hour adventure riding the range with a local rancher. Get in touch with your inner cowboy or cowgirl on an all-inclusive expedition through the Badlands. Reconnect with nature as you sleep under the stars in a cozy bed roll, eat rib-sticker meals from the chuck wagon and let the pace of life slow down from a gallop to a trot.
Take a stroll on the Tablelands with a knowledgeable Parks Canada guide and discover why the ground beneath your feet changed the way that we look at our world. Tectonic plate theory was proved thanks to Gros Morne’s unique geology. See the earth’s mantle revealed after being pushed into place as continents collided almost half a billion years ago, marvel at Newfoundland’s floral emblem the carnivorous pitcher plant, all just an easy stroll from the fascinating visitor centre with its museum and interactive displays.
Sign up to try one of the most delicious Parks Canada programs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout July and August at Lower Fort Garry with the Heritage Chocolate Workshop. Back in the days of the fur trade in the 1850s, chocolate was a rare treat for the trappers and traders who lived on the western bank of the Red River. Discover its yummy history and learn how to make an authentic heritage hot chocolate recipe surrounded by Canada’s oldest collection of stone fur trade buildings.
Access issues? Not with this fall favourite. Join in and be part of the ‘Elk Caravan’ and follow a Parks Canada interpreter from the comfort of your own vehicle as they share stories about the elk and the park from September to early October. Keep a good look out for the other large mammals who call Riding Mountain Park home, such as moose, deer and bison. Hush! Listen for the spine-tingling bugle of the elk during their mating season.
Take a break from hitting up the shops, museums and delicious food outlets at Winnipeg’s Forks market and dive into a fascinating 60-minute journey through 6,000 years of history in the company of a Parks Canada interpreter at The Forks. Stroll in the footsteps of First Nations and fur traders, and hear stories of the colourful characters who’ve met at on this spot for thousands of years. Enjoy the thrill of feeling the past come alive!
Say cheers to an ancient tradition; the sipping of a wee dram! Join like-minded spirited fans for a special whisky seminar guided by an expert. Discover the history of this storied spirit and find your new favourite liquor as you explore whisky and food pairings in a historic setting.
Did you know that right in the heart of the nation’s capital is one of Parks Canada’s National Historic Site treasures? Laurier House is the former residence of two of Canada’s most important Prime Ministers: Sir Wilfrid Laurier and the Rt. Hon. William Lyon Mackenzie King. Make a booking this summer for afternoon tea on the very veranda where these influential figures entertained dignitaries and politicians. Enjoy a delicious date with history over feather-light pastries and cakes served up by le Cordon Bleu's Signatures Restaurant and accompanied by tea.
Make time when you visit Montreal to set sail aboard the Petit Navire, a zero-pollution electric-powered boat which will carry you back through 150 years of history in the heart of the city’s Old Port. Once wealthy merchants plied this route through an intricate system of locks which bypassed the treacherous Lachine rapids. Relax and let the years fall away on a two-hour trip through this historic route.