Parks at the national, provincial and municipal level are being closed as part of COVID-19 social distancing measures. To avoid disappointment or inappropriately gathering with others, The Fur-Bearers have created a simple list to help you figure out if your destination is closed before you head out. No matter where you are, please remember we’re keeping everyone safe by isolating and following government recommendations on social distancing.
For general information on COVID-19 in Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html
Parks Canada announced that as of March 25, 2020, they were temporarily suspending all motor vehicle access to national parks, historic sites and national marine conservation areas. All visitor services and visitor facilities remain closed. According to the Parks Canada COVID-19 page, this includes “all parking lots, vehicle services, washrooms, day use facilities, showers, visitor centres, and camping facilities, including oTENTiks, yurts and backcountry camping are closed until further notice. Many trails and day use areas across the Parks Canada network are also closed for public health or public safety reasons, to protect ecological or cultural resources, to protect the health and safety of employees, or due to limited availability of search and rescue response.” Learn more and get updates: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/voyage-travel/securite-safety/covid-19-info
Each province or territory is managing their COVID-19 response with guidance from their own as well as federal and international health experts. This means that each province or territory also has their own changes to rules surrounding visiting park sites. Here’s a summary of how to find information for each jurisdiction and a summary of current messaging:
Alberta – Services and facilities are all closed, including vehicle access; Alberta Environment and Parks is residents to not visit. Get all the updates: https://www.albertaparks.ca/albertaparksca/news-events/alberta-environment-and-parks-response-to-covid-19/
British Columbia – Services and facilities are all closed, campgrounds are closed until April 30. Some parks are closed entirely. Get the full list and updates: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/covid-19/
Manitoba – Parks remain open but with limited access to facilities. Some services require appointment. Get the updates: https://www.gov.mb.ca/sd/parks/
New Brunswick – Parks are closed as non-essential services. Get the updates: https://www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca/See/Parks/
Newfoundland and Labrador – No information on parks currently available. The Fur-Bearers have sent an inquiry and will update this page when more information is received. For updates in Newfoundland and Labrador on COVID-19: https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/
Northwest Territories – No information on parks currently available. The Fur-Bearers have sent an inquiry and will update this page when more information is received. For updates in the Northwest Territories on COVID-19: https://www.hss.gov.nt.ca/en/services/coronavirus-disease-covid-19
Nova Scotia – Provincial parks, beaches and trails within provincial parks are close to all visitors. Reservations for 2020 camping season are on hold. Get all the updates: https://parks.novascotia.ca/content/current-advisories
Nunvaut – No information on parks currently available. The Fur-Bearers have sent an inquiry and will update this page when more information is received. For updates in Nunvaut on COVID-19: https://www.gov.nu.ca/health/information/covid-19-novel-coronavirus
Ontario – All parks are closed to the public (inclusive of car camping, backcountry camping, roofed accommodations, day use opportunities and all public buildings) until April 30, 2020. Get all the updates: http://www.ontarioparks.com/en
Prince Edward Island – There is a lack of certainty as to whether parks and facilities are closed. As of 5:10 pm ET on March 30, 2020, the PEI parks website suggests “our guests and visitors to follow all public health measures outlined by the health professionals in your area.” The Fur-Bearers have sent an email requesting clarification. Get all the updates: https://www.tourismpei.com/pei-provincial-parks
Québec– Sepaq (Société des établissements de plein air du Québec), which manages Québec'snational (provincial) park system, states that all national parks, wildlife reservations and tourist establishments are closed until further notice. Get all the updates: https://www.sepaq.com/annexes/mesures-preventives-coronavirus.dot
Saskatchewan – Provincial parks are closed. There is no access to park facilities, including washrooms, visitor centres, picnic areas, campgrounds and campsites. Get all the updates: https://www.tourismsaskatchewan.com/COVID-19-Information
Yukon – No information on parks currently available. The Fur-Bearers have sent an inquiry and will update this page when more information is received. For updates in the Yukon on COVID-19: https://yukon.ca/covid-19
Many municipalities across Canada are closing community parks, playgrounds and other areas where people may congregate. This could include trails, beaches, and other recreational areas. Please contact your municipality directly to find out what services and facilities are closed and what other recommendations they have. Most municipal governments have COVID-19 information available on their websites but calling City Hall or 311 can also get you information. If your’e uncertain as to your municipality check your taxes (they’ll be listed) or simply follow the advice of provincial/territorial health officials.
Are you finding ways to enjoy nature that fall within self-isolation and social distancing? We'd love to know! Send us an email at info@TheFurBearers.com or tag us on social media.