Are Conservation Halton’s Conservation Areas Free in 2017? Information regarding the Parks Canada Discovery Pass and Conservation Halton
What is the Parks Canada Discovery Pass?
To mark Canada’s 150th birthday, the Government of Canada is offering a FREE Parks Canada Discovery Pass to all National Parks across Canada. This pass is active from January 1, 2017 until December 31, 2017.
Will the Parks Canada Discovery Pass allow me free admission to Halton Parks in 2017?
No it will not, as Conservation Halton is not affiliated with Parks Canada. The Halton Parks system consists of seven conservation areas that have their own gate fees. If you ordered the FREE 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass in celebration of our country’s 150th birthday, you’ll have an incredible time exploring Canada’s national park system.
Before you hang that pass on the mirror and head out to explore the many natural wonders that our country has to offer, you should know the difference between our national parks and the many great parks within the Conservation Halton watershed.
How many different types of outdoor areas and parks could there be?
Plenty! Conservation Halton has seven conservation areas to welcome visitors, offering a variety of recreational opportunities. When you arrive at a Conservation Halton conservation area, you’ll see the Conservation Halton logo at these locations:
- Crawford Lake Conservation Area
- Hilton Falls Conservation Area
- Kelso Conservation Area
- Mount Nemo Conservation Area
- Mountsberg Conservation Area
- Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area
- Robert Edmondson Conservation Area
In addition to national parks and conservation areas there are:
- Provincial parks (Bronte Creek in Oakville is a provincial park)
- Municipal parks (like the local playgrounds in your community)
- Regional forests
- Amusement parks
By the way, Conservation Halton is one of 36 Conservation Authorities in the Province of Ontario. You can learn more about conservation authorities and the important role they play by visiting the Conservation Ontario website.
So where are the national parks in Ontario?
National parks offered by Parks Canada are easily recognized by the logo that greets you at the entrance to their parks. There are five* national parks (Parks Canada) in Ontario:
- Bruce Peninsula National Park
- Georgian Bay Islands National Park
- Point Pelee National Park
- Pukaskwa National Park
- Thousand Islands National Park
*The free 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass is also accepted at National Marine Conservation Areas and National Historic Sites.
Does Conservation Halton offer a park pass?
We offer an annual Halton Parks membership which is valid for one year from the date you purchase it. There are individual and family memberships available; a family membership provides admittance to everyone in your vehicle. Click here to learn more about the Conservation Halton membership and the benefits you will receive.
You can buy your membership online or at the Crawford Lake, Hilton Falls, Kelso and Mountsberg Visitor Centres, as well as the Conservation Halton Administration Office (Monday to Friday) located at 2596 Britannia Road West, Burlington, just west of Guelph Line.
Why aren’t Halton Parks memberships free this year?
Canada’s national parks system is operated by our federal government, while the Halton Parks system is owned and operated by Conservation Halton.
Federal parks operated by Parks Canada, and even Ontario Parks operated by the provincial government, receive tax dollars to provide the access and services they do to visitors. Halton Parks generate their own operating revenue which comes from memberships, day passes, special events and pay-for-use items like boat rentals.
Conservation Halton will be commemorating Canada 150 with some special events and programs including Maple150 which is on at Crawford Lake and Mountsberg from February 25 until April 2. Be sure to visit our website and Events Calendar for more details.