In celebration of its 150th birthday (the anniversary of the founding of the Canadian Confederation on 1st July) and the 100th birthday of its national parks (47 across 13 provinces), Canada is offering visitors free access to the latter throughout 2017.
They include Banff National Park (the country’s first, with amazing Rockies views), Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia, with its whale-watching and coastal hiking paths, Grasslands National Park, a dark-sky preserve with fantastic star-gazing, and Auyuittuq National Park with its glaciers, ice valleys and summer midnight suns.
To get a pass, which offers free access to 171 national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas from the Pacific and the Atlantic to the Arctic, visitors need to register online at pc.gc.ca. Camping fees and ranger tours are not included.
Other Canadian birthday celebrations will take place in Charlottetown (its birthplace), the capital Ottawa, and Vancouver with its 11-day First Nations Dance Festival.
Also new (or rather completed) this summer is the Trans Canada Trail or Great Trail, stretching nearly 25,000km.
Read more about family holidays in Canada.