Are Hamilton Conservation Areas Free in 2017?
Information regarding the Parks Canada Discovery Pass
What is the Parks Canada Discovery Pass?
To celebrate Canada’s 150 birthday, the government of Canada is offering a FREE Parks Canada Discovery Pass to all National Parks and National Historic Sites across Canada. This pass is active from January 1, 2017 until December 31, 2017.
Will my Parks Canada Discovery Pass admit me to HCA Conservation Areas?
No. There is a big difference between National Parks and Conservation Areas.
The Parks Canada Discovery Pass only allows free entry to National Parks across Canada - areas that are funded through the Federal Government of Canada. Conservation areas are operated by Conservation Authorities within Ontario, including the Hamilton Conservation Authority - who self generate monies along with a municipal levy to operate these areas. We are completely separate organizations.
This means that your Discovery Pass will not permit entry into any of HCA’s areas (or other conservation areas).
How many different kinds of outdoor areas and parks could there be?
Put simply, hundreds!
The Hamilton Conservation Authority has conservation areas within the HCA watershed. Parks Canada has national parks. But there are also:
- amusement parks
- provincial parks
- municipal parks (like the local playgrounds in your community)
- regional forests
What National Parks that are in Ontario?
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
Where can I go in Hamilton?
The only place in Hamilton the Discovery Pass grants access is the HMCS Haida, located at Hamilton waterfront. Click here for more information.
How do I gain entry into HCA conservation areas?
The best way to enjoy HCA’s conservation areas is to become a member. As a member, you'll have year round access for you and your vehicle passengers (up to 6 people total) into HCA conservation areas, including:
- Christie Lake
- Crooks Hollow
- Devil's Punchbowl
- Dundas Valley
- Eramosa Karst
- Fifty Point
- Spencer Gorge/Webster Falls (limited access)
- Tiffany Falls
- Valens Lake
Your HCA Membership also includes…
- Three one-day passes to share with friends and neighbours (each pass is good for a carload of up to 6 people)
- One entrance to the Christie Antique & Vintage Show
- One 2-for-1 ticket for Wild Waterworks
- 10% discount on nightly camping
- 15% discount on boat rentals
- 15% discount on HCA rentals (pavilions and group picnic sites)
- Access to Westfield Heritage Village public events for 2 adults and 4 children
- Special programming and event discounts
- Early morning access to automated gates
- Monthly e-newsletter and e-blast
So what is the value of becoming a member?
Every HCA membership pass purchase contributes directly to protecting, preserving and restoring ecosystems and heritage sites through important conservation work across our watershed. Becoming a member also assists with HCA education programs and teaching the importance of conservation for future generations.
Besides supporting the maintenance of HCA’s Conservation Areas, you’ll also be able to take full advantage of all the health benefits that come along with outdoor activity on our trails. The mental and physical health benefits of green spaces have been proven to; reduce stress, increase energy, boost immunity, assist with weight loss and fitness and also reduce risks of diabetes, heart attacks and cancer.
So celebrate Canada’s 150 birthday by using the most of your HCA Membership Pass by getting outside and exploring HCA!! Learn more about the events happening at HCA.