National Parks of Canada
If you think of Canada you automatically think of National Parks. This is quite understandable, if you imagine, that Canada is a country full of beauty and expanse. Canada's National Parks are designed to preserve this natural beauty for future generations.
History of Canadian National Parks reaches back to November 1885, when about 26 square kilometres on the northern slope of Sulphur Mountains were set aside for protection. This was the beginning of what is today known as Banff National Park.
In 1887, the Rocky Mountain Park Act established Banff National Park. This was the first Canadian National Park ever.
Soon to follow were Yoho, Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Parks of Western Canada. In 1904, the first National Park of Eastern Canada was established with St Lawrence Islands National Park.
Today, there are 38 National Parks and National Park Reserves. National Park Reserves are established in areas with unresolved land claims. As soon as those claims are settled, the area will become a National Park. In 1997, the total area covered by National Parks was as large as 224,465.9 sq km, which is about the size of two per cent of Canada's total land mass. Not included are numerous Provincial Parks, that can be found in all provinces.
National Parks are protected by federal legislation. All activities, that use up natural resources, such as mining, forestry, agriculture and hunting are prohibited. Some designated areas are open for sport fishing, however special rules apply.
Recreational activities, such as hiking, canoeing, cross-country skiing or snow-shoeing are considered compatible with the park rules. Therefore Canadian National Parks play a major role in recreation of Canadians and visitors to Canada. The parks allow you to enjoy nature to its fullest. Activities include wildlife viewing, overnight hiking experiences, canoe or kayak tours through the county's endless waterways, wilderness camping or simply enjoying of nature. Canadian National Parks offer unlimited fun in unison with nature.
If you visit one of Canada's National Parks, make sure you know about the rules and behaviors within the parks. The park offices will kindly give you all information necessary!
National Parks by Province
Further information can also be obtained in our Provincial & Territorial Travel Guides