Parks Canada


Discover Parks Canada
Winter 2018
Discover Canada Contest
Canada’s favourite contest is back and better than ever! Enter for a chance to win an unforgettable 7-day trip for 4 people to Canada’s West Coast and more! In collaboration with:
Accommodations for all seasons
Experience what it’s like to have Canada’s most incredible places almost all to yourself! Have some fun outside and stay overnight this winter. Try our signature oTENTiks, cosy yurts, rustic cabins or historic stays. Don’t forget that warm weather will soon return, and most locations are already accepting camping reservations for 2018. Give yourself something to look forward to—the perfect trip. Reserve now!
Your Pass to Discovery
Still don’t have your Discovery Pass? Order your pass online or pick it up at any of our proud partner locations. Did you know, beginning in 2018, admission to Parks Canada places is FREE for all youth aged 17 and under?!
Get a sneak peek behind the scenes
Want the inside story on Canada’s protected areas? Meet the dedicated scientists and staff who work behind the scenes at Parks Canada. They’ll tell you about the joys and challenges of their work… and about the one thing they will never again do in the field. Check back often for new and exciting Parks Insider adventures to follow!

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Family winter fun

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Parks Canada – CB Minute March 2018 issue


Annual Slush Run and Walk is almost here The annual 5-Mile Slush Run & 3-Mile Walk is taking place on Saturday, March 3 in Louisbourg. The 3-mile walk will start at the Fortress Seniors Club in Louisbourg at 9:30 a.m. and the 5-mile run will start at the same location at 10 a.m. Registration begins at 9 a.m. It is $10 a person and includes awards and a hot lunch. For more information, contact Calvin Pitcher at 902-733-2678 or Cindy Hynes at 902-733-2351. Lace up your shoes and take in the view of the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site or come cheer on the walkers and runners in this year’s Slush Run and Walk!

Free Wagon Rides and more The Cape Breton Regional Municipality, Fortress Louisbourg Association and Parks Canada are co-hosting an afternoon of free wagon rides at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site on Sunday, March 4, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Enjoy a fun winter event with a historic twist and treat yourself to hot chocolate and s’mores by the fire. Weather permitting, our skating rink will also be available for all to enjoy. Check our Facebook page or call 902-733-3552 on the day of the event to ensure conditions are suitable. If they are, don’t forget to bring your helmet and a pair of skates!

Mi-Carême at the Park It’s tradition in the greater Chéticamp area during the middle of Lent for people to visit friends and family while fully disguised. This week-long event includes plenty of fun, food, music and laughter. Les Amis du Plein Air is joining the fun by inviting the public and those in disguise (les Mi-Carêmes) to visit the kitchen shelter next to the Visitor Centre at Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Chéticamp on Monday, March 5 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. There will be light snacks and beverages. Everyone is welcome to join them for a hike, snowshoeing or skiing (weather permitting).

Hike Nova Scotia Summit Anyone up for a hike? It’s never too early to start planning your attendance for Hike Nova Scotia’s Hiking Summit May 11-13 in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. The event is a celebration of hiking culture with sunrise, day and night hikes, campfires, workshops and a silent auction. There’s something for everyone who enjoys hiking. Parks Canada is proud to be co-hosting this annual event with Hike Nova Scotia, the Municipality of Victoria County, Naturally Active for Life Victoria County (Est. 2011) and the Keltic Lodge at the Highlands. Registration is now open! Sign up here!

International Women’s Day Thursday, March 8 is International Women’s Day! It’s an opportunity to celebrate women – in all their diversity – whose lives have touched and continue to touch us all. Historic and contemporary women have made significant contributions throughout history to establish a world of equality and prosperity. Here are three historic women who paved the way in Cape Breton: Mabel (Gardiner Hubbard) Bell (1857-1923) – The incredible mind and personality of Mabel Hubbard Bell is often overshadowed and under-recognized because of the fame achieved by her husband, Alexander Graham Bell. Mabel became a supporter of the suffragette movement and advocated roles for women including administrator, defender of the home, creator of a secure and peaceful home, and the provider of a refuge for the husband. She was also a supporter of the free enterprise system and was against state ownership of the railways (U.S.). The townspeople of Baddeck showed their respect and admiration for Mabel by passing an ordinance giving her the right to vote in municipal elections.

Jeanne Dugas (1731-1817) – Dugas’ personal history illustrates the experiences of Acadians in the 18th and early 19th centuries, before, during and after the Grand Dérangement. She and her family lived through eight dislocations over a period of 50 years of movement, proving that the expulsion was a longer and more complex phenomenon than generally thought. Her numerous displacements connect geographically distant places that together play an important role in Acadian history. Dugas and other Acadian women of the time ensured the survival of their families and communities, contributing to the survival of the Acadian people.

Marie Marguerite Rose (1717-1757) – Marie Marguerite Rose, a black slave who lived in Louisbourg in the 18th century, was a key figure in the initial phase of black slavery in Canada and stood out among emancipated slaves in New France (excluding Louisiana and the Illinois County). After having spent most of her adult life in slavery, she became a tavern keeper, formed a rare marriage with an Indigenous man, and became part of the retail business group of a colony in New France.

2017 by the numbers Last year was a record year for visitors on Cape Breton Island and many of those visitors came to Parks Canada’s special places. Have you been curious about where these visitors come from? We’re always curious about that too so we regularly survey visitors through a postal code system to find out a few interesting things. Here are some highlights from last year:

·        Over 65% of visitors were from Canada. The next largest group was from the United States. In fact, we attracted American visitors from every region of the United States and every U.S. state/district.

  •    Over 45% of American visitors came from the South Atlantic and New England regions.
  •    Most of our Canadian visitors came from Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Québec.
  •    About 80% of visitors were first-time visitors and about 2% were repeat visitors in 2017!

Issue 10 | February 2018


Winter magic at the Park La Magie de l’hiver à la Rigouèche is happening February 3 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Cape Breton Highlands National Park. This is a day of family February fun for everyone including a treasure hunt, games, food and music. If there’s snow, there will also be snowman building and snow art. Then join us at 7 p.m. under the full moon for a walk or snowshoe hike, followed by music with Sylvia LeLièvre!  Parks Canada is pleased to collaborate with La Société Saint-Pierre, ÉcolesPlus and Hike NS for this very magical event.

Second Annual Ice Skating Party Postponed to February 4 The second annual ice skating party scheduled for January 28, 2018 at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site has been postponed to February 4. We invite you to join us on from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. for an afternoon of family fun. Enjoy free Heritage™ hot chocolate and marshmallows by the fire. Dress warm and don’t forget to bring a helmet (mandatory for 12 and under) along with your skates. Call 902-733-3552 the day of the event to confirm that weather conditions are suitable.

Free admission for 17 and under Starting January 1, 2018, admission to Parks Canada places for youth 17 and under is free! That includes all national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas operated by Parks Canada. There’s no better time to create lasting memories with the whole family. Parks Canada is inviting Canadian families and their children, and youth and school groups to learn more about our history and nature around us. From lighthouses to battlefields, historic neighbours to contributions and traditions of Indigenous Peoples, there is an amazing array of places and stories to discover. Regular fees still apply for other experiences and services, such as camping, backcountry and other accommodations, guided tours and hikes and programs not usually included with admission, as well as some special event fees.

Calling all students! Are you someone who enjoys working in a job where you make a difference? Have you ever thought of a career in support of one of Canada’s iconic places? Then, Parks Canada is the place for you. The work you will do with Parks Canada will have an impact on the experience of Canadians and visitors from all over the world. We offer a variety of jobs and are looking for students with a wide range of interests and skills. Check out student jobs here as well as the Federal Student Work Experience Program and apply to work with us.

Planning your camping trip Camping reservations are now open at Cape Breton Highlands National Park! It’s never too early to plan your next camping experience. Camping is available from May 18 to October 28, 2018. There are five front country campgrounds and one back country campground, each unique in its own way. Visitors who camp for seven or more consecutive nights receive a 15% discount. Cape Breton Highlands National Park now offers 20 oTENTiks between the Chéticamp, Ingonish Beach and Broad Cove campgrounds. Part tent, part cabin, the oTENTik allows you to enjoy all the excitement of camping outdoors, while providing a soft bed and a cozy roof over your head. Chéticamp campground and Ingonish Beach campground also offer five reservable equipped campsites each. Call 1-877-RESERVE (1-877-737-3783) between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. or reserve your space online.

Winter activities to keep you busy –   Skating at Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. We’re extending the life of the skating surface this year so regular visitors can use the facility while they explore the snow covered fortress! We recommend you call ahead (902-733-3552) to ensure the conditions are suitable for use of the rink before you make the trip. –   Check out Take the roof off winter on Facebook for a list of upcoming winter activities in your area. –

Did you know it’s FREE to walk the trails in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park in the winter? Although the trails aren’t maintained during the winter months, many visitors choose this time of year to walk, ski or snowshoe in nature. Be safe and enjoy the outdoors. –        Hike Nova Scotia is organizing several guided snowshoe hikes throughout Cape Breton, including a free hike in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Join us at Warren Lake on March 17 at 10 a.m.

Beinn Bhreagh and Mabel Bell receive national historic designation! On January 12, 2018, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, announced the designation of 17 new national significant persons, places and events that helped define Canada’s history. Two of these designations are Mabel Hubbard Bell (1857-1923) as a national historic person and Beinn Bhreagh Hall as a national historic place. Mabel Hubbard Bell made important contributions to the work of her husband, inventor Alexander Graham Bell, and was a community leader on Cape Breton Island. An active partner of her husband, she provided business and financial guidance to his work as an inventor and scientist, personally financing the Aerial Experiment Association (AEA). In addition, she coped with deafness from childhood and became successfully integrated into North American society, ably demonstrating the effectiveness of the oral method of educating the deaf, as advocated by her father and husband. Beinn Bhreagh Hall was the summer residence, estate and laboratory of inventor and scientist Alexander Graham Bell. It was an inspiration to Alexander Graham Bell during his late career, serving as both a private home and the nerve centre for innovative experiments with kites, tetrahedral construction, and hydrofoils, as well as sheep breeding.

Winter road maintenance Parks Canada’s top priority is safety and keeping winter roads as clear and safe as possible. Experienced crews work in very challenging conditions to keep roads in the national park as clear and safe as possible while covering about 100 km of challenging mountainous terrain in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Here’s what we do to maintain roads in winter:

·        We start salting at the beginning of a storm, during and after as required. We salt to achieve a bare centre line.

·        Plowing often starts as soon as there is enough snow on the ground to plow, but our accumulation standard for plowing is 15 cm of snow.

·        At the end of a shift, road supervisors consult road conditions, monitoring stations and weather forecasts to determine if extended coverage is required. If 15 cm or more of snow is expected after the regularly scheduled shifts, crews will remain on the roads.

·        Crews are regularly scheduled seven days a week during critical winter months with supervisors patrolling roads and on call 24/7.

For the latest on road conditions, call 511 or visit