Hello & Happy New Year!
For my first post of 2017 I thought I would share a few things with you. First, it is Canada’s 150th birthday this year! To celebrate this, Parks Canada is giving away Discovery Passes for all Canadian National Parks, National Historic Sites, and National Marine Conservation Areas. These passes are good for a whole family (you need a pass per vehicle) so this is an awesome deal if you want to discover our beautiful country on a budget. Check out the Parks Canada site here for information on the passes and to get your own. And yes, you can order more than one if you want to share the wealth with someone you love!
I have been camping since I was a kid, so I have spent many hours in the beautiful spaces that make up the two national parks in my home province, New Brunswick. If you have never visited, this year is the perfect time to see both Fundy National Park and Kouchibouguac National Park (pronounced Koo-Chi-Boo-Gwack) and make some memories of your own. Both of these areas have their unique landscapes – with Fundy National Park being home to the world’s highest tides & being a place where you can also walk on the ocean floor; and Kouchibouguac having a mixture of Acadian Forest and beautiful beaches on the Northumberland Strait. As a bonus, both parks are fairly accessible to New Brunswick’s major centres – being approximately a 1 hour drive from the “Hub City” of Moncton.
While each park has its own charm, both offer breathtaking landscapes, plenty of family friendly activities (canoeing, swimming, hiking, educational programs, etc.), and great facilities to stay outside in the wilderness. If you have some camping experience or equipment on hand you can pitch a tent, or park your camper (it looks like Parks Canada are expanding serviced sites in some areas, if you require water or power). There are also lots of options for those who aren’t avid campers, or who are trying the whole outdoorsy thing for the first time: you can try equipped camping (just bring your food and your personal items), oTENTiks, cabins, yurts, or the trial site at Fundy in the Goutte d’Ô. Check out the other accommodation options available here. (PS: Reservations for both parks can be made online, and open on January 20th! If you’re looking to reserve for Winter dates, or for other parks, check the Parks Canada reservation site for further details)
Not only are there tons of things to do within the parks, both are within close proximity to some small communities that you can further explore should you come across a rainy day, or run out of some necessity. Fundy is next to the village of Alma, which is a cute little fishing community that offers some camping necessities, fuel, restaurants, gift shops, and (my favourite) Kelly’s Bake Shop which is where you can get the amazing Sticky Bun. Just outside of the Kouchibouguac park gates lies the village of Saint-Louis-de-Kent which offers restaurants, fuel, groceries, and soon enough – a Tim Horton’s for those campers who need a boost in the mornings.
If you want to beat the crowds, you could also try out some Winter activities at the parks. Kouchibouguac has some maintained trails available for walking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and for fatbikes – plus some equipment rentals available. Fundy has some space for sliding, as well as many trails for snowshoeing. You can check out all the Winter activities available here. I enjoyed some snowshoeing myself at Kouchibouguac over the Christmas break – and took the chance to snap some photos with my new camera – check them out below 🙂
Canada’s National Parks offer all sorts of adventures and natural beauty, and are a great way to spend more time outdoors with your friends and family. So, why don’t you try something new this year, and grab a *Free* park pass to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday with a camping trip in New Brunswick? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook if I’ve persuaded you with my little article. 😉 You can also check out my blog on PEI National Park and my camping necessities here.
Thanks for stopping by!