Parks Canada announced on Wednesday which national parks will be reopening on June 1.
National parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas have been closed since late March to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on May 14 that some parks would soon be reopening, but only those where physical distancing is possible for visitors.
On Wednesday, Parks Canada announced it would gradually resume some operations at 29 of Canada’s 48 national parks starting June 1, including:
- Cape Breton Highlands National Park (N.S.)
- Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site (N.S.)
- Prince Edward Island National Park (P.E.I.)
- Fundy National Park (N.B.)
- Kouchibouguac National Park (N.B.)
- Gros Morne National Park (N.L.)
- Terra Nova National Park (N.L.)
- La Mauricie National Park (Que.)
- Forillon National Park (Que.)
- Bruce Peninsula National Park (Ont.)
- Rouge National Urban Park (Ont.)
- Georgian Bay Islands National Park (Ont.)
- Thousand Islands National Park (Ont.)
- Pukaskwa National Park (Ont.)
- Riding Mountain National Park (Man.)
- Prince Albert National Park (Sask.)
- Grasslands National Park (Sask.)
- Banff National Park (Alta.)
- Jasper National Park (Alta.)
- Waterton Lakes National Park (Alta.)
- Elk Island National Park (Alta.)
- Yoho National Park (B.C.)
- Kootenay National Park (B.C.)
- Mount Revelstoke National Park (B.C.)
- Glacier National Park (B.C.)
- Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (B.C.) (opens on June 4)
- Gulf Islands National Park Reserve (B.C.)
- Wood Buffalo National Park (N.W.T./Alta.)
- Kluane National Park Reserve (Yukon)
In a news release, Parks Canada explained that in most cases, the gradual reopening will include access to day-use areas, trails, beaches and green spaces and some access for recreational boating and fishing.
“That’s really meant for people who live relatively close to parks to be able to actually not only experience nature, but to do so in a manner that creates space for people to be outside,” federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Johnathan Wilkinson said on the Ryan Jespersen Show on Wednesday morning.
“So it really is intended largely for people who live reasonably close to the parks.”
LISTEN BELOW: Minister of Environment and Climate Change Johnathan Wilkinson joins the Ryan Jespersen Show
All camping facilities remain closed until at least June 21 while Parks Canada assesses how to safely bring back those services.
“We will get to camping and we certainly will get to the back country. And my expectation is folks who like to get into the back country will be able to do so this summer.”
Wilkinson said the government is also in the process of making sure staff who can’t physically distance – like at park gates – are getting outfitted with PPE.
Remote national parks where there are travel restrictions will remain closed.
At national historic sites, the majority of grounds and trails will be open, but access to interior spaces will remain closed for now.
Direct visitor services — like visitor centres — remain closed, Parks Canada said.
Specific opening dates, visitor access and services may vary across the country.
More information on which locations are open, what visitors can expect and how to prepare is available on the Parks Canada website.
With files from Kirby Bourne, 630 CHED