Sweepstakes run through the end of July.

people in canoes glide across blue water with tall mountains in background
Noel Hendrickson via Banff & Lake Louise Tourism

From its rugged coasts and rainforests to dense evergreen wilderness and sprawling plains, Canada’s network of enticing outdoor playgrounds is ripe for exploration.

Now, thanks to a promotional collaboration between Destination Canada and the Parks Canada system—the nation’s equivalent of the U.S. National Park Service—the physical and mental benefits of Canada’s parks are being extended to Americans.

From now through the end of the month, you can enter the Canada Refresh sweepstakes to have a chance at being one of 4,000 winners of a free year-long parks pass—a $113 value—good for visits to any of Canada’s parks. And considering there are 48 national parks, 171 national historic sites, five national marine conservation areas, and even one national urban park comprising Canada’s parklands, an abundance of unique features to entice any and all adventurers awaits.

Additionally, one lucky winner will receive what’s being billed as a “Dream Nature Sabbatical,” a trip valued at $20,000 that features a customized experience including all transportation, accommodations, excursions, outdoor gear, a travel stipend for food and incidentals, a Parks Canada Annual Discovery Pass for unlimited access to more than 80 destinations, and itinerary tips.

“We’re next-door neighbors, and we want to welcome back our American friends with access to places we know will lift their spirits and send them home with more than just a memory, with that good feeling you get after spending time at an old friend’s home,” Gloria Loree, Destination Canada’s chief marketing officer, said in a release. “We have the lush forests, endless coastlines, towering mountains and spectacular lakes, but we have more than that. We have the ability to help Americans refresh, connect with nature, and take the time to deepen their appreciation for the richness that exists within these beautiful spaces.”

The multitude of benefits associated with outdoors immersion recently prompted Parks Canada and the BC Parks Foundation to allow participating doctors—there are more than 1,000 health care professionals taking part—to prescribe a Parks Canada Discovery Pass as part of a patient’s treatment plan.

“Research demonstrates the wide-ranging health benefits of increased nature contact, and I am proud to support the Canada Refresh program in bringing a healthy and restorative experience to so many people,” Dr. Melissa Lem, a family physician and director of the Park Prescriptions program, or PaRx, said in the release. “I’m excited that so many Americans will get to experience the incredible natural environment of Canada.”

Those interested in entering the sweepstakes can do so here. For more information, check out the Canada Refresh program.


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