Parks Canada sites in Mainland Nova Scotia officially open for visitor season 2023!

News release

Dreaming of exploring the stories of the past? 450 000 km² of stories await you at Parks Canada administered places from coast to coast to coast!

May 17, 2023                                 Halifax, NS                                Parks Canada

The vast network of protected areas administered by Parks Canada is a gateway to nature, history, and 450 000 km² of stories from coast to coast to coast.

Parks Canada sites in Mainland Nova Scotia officially open for visitor season 2023! Highlights for visitors include:

Halifax Citadel National Historic Site

The new signature exhibit, Fortress Halifax: A City Shaped by Conflict, chronicles the history of Kjipuktuk, through its establishment as Halifax in 1749, to the mosaic of a city that it is today. The exhibit recounts fascinating stories of the people here – the Mi’kmaq, and settlers of British, French, Acadian, Black Loyalist, and other immigrant cultures, told through the lens of the four forts that stood atop Citadel Hill. It’s the most comprehensive history of Halifax’s social and military past in one location.

Entry includes guided tours, noon gun, pipes and drum performances, period rooms, exhibits, family programs, and the Army Museum – celebrating 70years of preserving Atlantic Canada’s military history!

Additional programs this season with Halifax Citadel Society include experiential military programs, spirit tasting programs with Compass Distillery, and ghost tours. Season started May 7.

Georges Island National Historic Site

Do not miss the opportunity to visit this special gem located in the heart of Kjipuktuk, “The Great Harbour.” Enjoy scenic views from a new perspective and immerse yourself in the rich history of Halifax with a guided tour. New panels share more of the island’s past: see and hear stories of Acadians, Mi’kmaq, and lighthouse keeper families. Along with touring the underground tunnels, visitors can now also see inside the Married Officers’ Quarters.


The ferry to Georges Island is available for booking with Ambassatours, or plan to arrive as part of a guided kayak tour with Harbour Watercraft Tours.  Open weekends, June 10 to October 8, now 5 days/week (Thursday to Monday) in July and August! Season starts June 10.

Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site

Visitors will enjoy 6.3 km of twists and turns with optional mountain bike features on the new multi-use Ukme’k Trail, crossing the new Mill Falls bridge and the inclusive rainbow crosswalk.

Whynot Adventure – the Keji Outfitters offers equipment rentals and guiding services. We are very pleased to welcome Todd Labrador back to the canoe-building shop at Merrymakedge to offer public birchbark canoe-building experiences. Mi’kmaw cultural programs include daily petroglyph tours, evening petroglyph paddles in the Big Canoe, and Mi’kmaw encampments.

Other interpretation activities include guided hikes, guided paddles, dark sky programs, family campfires, puppet theatre, dark-sky kit rentals, geocaching, and more!

Infrastructure update: we’re investing in a climate-resilient, four seasons, permanent pedestrian bridge at Jake’s Landing! There will be no bridge at Jake’s Landing for the 2023 season. Visitors can enjoy two separate biking/hiking areas: the Visitor Centre to Jeremy’s Bay Campground, and Jake’s Landing to Merrymakedge and beyond.

Kejimkujik Seaside National Park, on the Atlantic coast, offers a wild and isolated stretch of coastline with white sand and turquoise water. The newly revitalised Port Joli Head Trail is now open following extensive trail work.   

Port-Royal National Historic Site and Fort Anne National Historic Site

Guides are the key to Port-Royal, where first-person interpretation powerfully connects visitors with characters of the Habitation. Visitors can enjoy talking to artisans and labourers inside the fort or in the “potager” vegetable garden – and perhaps get to use the “new” reproduction seventeenth  century garden tools from Ross Farm Museum, or the “new” reproduction seventeenth century astrolabe, used by explorers to navigate based on star positioning. 

The immersive A Meeting with the Governor program brings visitors into the colony to receive their orders for work and provides a unique glimpse of what life was like in the Habitation in 1605. Season starts May 19. 

At Fort Anne, site tours are our specialty! Visitors have an opportunity to learn so much about what has happened over the years at this hotly[MT1]  contested territory. Vauban Fortification and Cradle of Acadia tours are offered daily on-demand, while White Glove tours of the extensive collection of artifacts can be pre-booked in advance.

In the Tapestry Room, a new mural by Mi’kmaw artist Loretta Gould presents Mi’kmaw presence since time immemorial, and connections between Mi’kmaq and the land. Together with the existing tapestry that depicted the arrival of Europeans, the room holds 3,000 years of rich stories of this place. Season starts May 19.

Fort Edward National Historic Site

The West Hants Historical Society offers on-site interpretation at the national historic site in Windsor. Visitors can check out the oldest surviving Blockhouse in Canada, enjoy a walking trail, picnic area and geocaching!

New special events this year will highlight British as well as Acadian histories. In the heart of the French Acadian settlement of Pisiquid, this site was an important site of the Acadian Deportation. Free entry. Season starts June 30.

To make the most of their Parks Canada experience, visitors are asked to plan their trip in advance, by visiting the Parks Canada website and signing up for the e-newsletter, to be among the first to find out about new and noteworthy events and activities, special offers, trip planning ideas and much more – all delivered directly to their inboxes! Visitors can also download the Parks Canada app, listen to Parks Canada’s new podcast ReCollections, and follow Parks Canada on social media for destination inspiration and to help plan their perfect visit.

Parks Canada staff in Mainland Nova Scotia are excited to welcome new and returning guests back to experience everything that national historic sites and national parks have to offer?


Additional multimedia

Fort Anne National Historic Site: a new mural by Mi’kmaw artist Loretta Gould presents Mi’kmaw presence since time immemorial, and connections between Mi’kmaq and the land. Photo: Parks Canada
Georges Island National Historic Site: a special gem located in the heart of Kjipuktuk, “The Great Harbour.” Photo: Parks Canada All Photos – available here:


“As we near summertime, I encourage everyone to connect with nature and culture and make lasting memories at Parks Canada administered places. National historic sites, national parks and national marine conservation areas represent the very best that Canada has to offer where Canadians and visitors to Canada can explore nature and learn about Canada’s history. The vast network of protected areas administered by Parks Canada has something for everyone to enjoy.”

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

“The visitor season coming into full swing at Parks Canada’s administered places is always an exciting time of year. The Parks Canada team works extremely hard to provide visitors with high quality and meaningful experiences across the country. We look forward to welcoming new and returning visitors to the national parks and national historic sites in Nova Scotia to create lasting memories!

Ron Hallman
President & Chief Executive Officer, Parks Canada 

Quick facts

  • Parks Canada has launched a new podcast series, entitled ReCollections. Five initial episodes share the captivating stories behind various national historic sites across the country. Delve into Canada's rich natural and cultural heritage as you uncover these cherished treasures.

  • Parks Canada administered places are a source of shared pride for all Canadians. That is why the Government of Canada is pleased to continue to offer free admission to all Parks Canada’s administered places for youth aged 17 and under. By encouraging young people to discover and connect with these incredible natural and cultural places, we can inspire the next generation of stewards for these protected places. 

  • In celebration of diversity, Parks Canada continues to offer free admission to new Canadian citizens for one year through the Institute for Canadian Citizenship’s Canoo mobile app. Visiting Parks Canada’s national heritage places is a great way for Canadians to experience the outdoors and learn more about our environment and heritage.

  • Want the ultimate ticket to nature, history, and adventure? The Parks Canada Discovery Pass provides unlimited admission for a full year to over 80 destinations across the country. Visitors can purchase their Parks Canada Discovery Passes online, on-site, and at partner retailer locations across the country.  

Associated links


Kaitlin Power
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Parks Canada

Jennifer Nicholson
External Relations Manager,
Parks Canada, Mainland Nova Scotia

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