provincial parks ontario

Ontario is now offering free passes to provincial parks for the whole summer

The provincial government is offering a free park pass this summer to make it easier and cheaper to visit the many breathtaking parks across Ontario, which have been more popular than ever due to the pandemic.

Those looking to get outside and appreciate the great outdoors this summer will be happy to hear that day-use permits will be free at provincial parks until Sept. 2.

This means you'll be able to visit any operating provincial park from Monday to Thursday for day use at no cost. Most permits are valid from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. but they vary by park.

Starting June 7, visitors will also be able to guarantee a vehicle permit up to five days in advance at 17 provincial parks in order to help with overcrowding.

The parks where the advance permits will be available will be:

  • Algonquin
  • Arrowhead
  • Batchawana Bay
  • Craigleith
  • Darlington
  • Forks of the Credit
  • Kakabeka Falls
  • Kettle Lakes
  • Lake Superior
  • Long Point
  • Mono Cliffs
  • North Beach
  • Pinery
  • Presqu'ile
  • Sandbanks
  • Sibbald Point
  • Turkey Point

You can get and check daily permit availability for each of these parks the same place you'd book a camping reservation as of the first week of June. Permits at all other parks will have to be obtained on arrival at the park.

Although overnight stays at parks won't be allowed until the province reaches Step One of its reopening plan, big changes and upgrades will be underway for electrified campsites, cabins and yurts over the next four years, according to the Ministry of Environment, Conservation.

Remember to adhere to public health advice by visiting a park close to home and stay safe by physical distancing on the trails. And as always, respect nature by picking up after yourself on your day excursion.

Lead photo by

Jack Nobre of Killarney Provincial Park

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