Great Job Parks Canada: #ShareTheChair Initiative

As the days slip by and we find ourselves well entrenched into our fall routine, I have fleeting thoughts of our summer road trip.  Living in Alberta, we often hit Banff, Jasper, and Waterton National Parks, as well as visits to Revelstoke, Kootenay, Glacier, and Yoho due to our great fortune of being in close proximity, only a day’s drive away.

In the wake of Canada 150, we switched it up this past summer and we drove east with intentions of seeing some of the National Parks that aren’t as easy for us to access.  Regrettably, we didn’t make it as far as Newfoundland, however we managed to see some of the parks on our stops. We visited the following National Parks: Riding Mountain, Pukaskwa, Fundy, Cape-Breton Highlands, Kouchibouguac, Forillon, and La Mauricie. 

 Cape-Breton Highlands National Park in Nova-Scotia before we hiked the Skyline Trail, on the hunt for the Red Chairs. We didn't find any but the hike did not disappoint!!

Cape-Breton Highlands National Park in Nova-Scotia before we hiked the Skyline Trail, on the hunt for the Red Chairs. We didn't find any but the hike did not disappoint!!

 The kids meet Parka in Kouchibouguac National Park.

The kids meet Parka in Kouchibouguac National Park.

Every park offered a unique perspective of our country and a glimpse of the diverse geography found from east to west.  The parks were a great collection of the beauty and attractive features of the provinces we visited, namely, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. The kids collected booklets with engaging outdoor activities along the way. The parks were a wonderful depiction of the regions we found ourselves in and not a single one was disappointing. It doesn’t matter where you are in Canada, there is a National Park a day’s drive away, and if you haven’t done it, I strongly urge you to take the time and go visit one.

Beside their inherent beauty, each park included interesting pieces of our Canadian history, culture, and the foundation for what our country represents. In addition, the Canadian National Parks have something for everyone.  I feel very fortunate that the government has worked to preserve these areas for Canadians and foreigners to gain a deeper appreciation of the geography that makes up our fine country.

 The Canada Parks logo on the Red Chairs make them official!

The Canada Parks logo on the Red Chairs make them official!

This past summer, one of the fun things that kept my kids engaged were the Red Chairs. The minute we would park it in a National Park, the kids were on the lookout for them. This was an initiative by Parks Canada to place red chairs throughout the parks to allow visitors to  “connect with nature in the country’s most unique and treasured places.” 

It turns out that the Red Chair project started because Gros Morne National Park in NFLD placed chairs around their parks and visitors started seeking them out. Well, great job Parks Canada, because that worked for my kids too! They would seek them out. And with today's connection to social media, this outstanding idea became fun to post and see other’s post.

And so, thank you Parks Canada!!

If you get out and head to a National Park, don’t forget to take a load off and plant your cheeks in a set of red chairs. Then take a picture and share it with a hashtag (#ShareTheChair) on facebook, instagram, twitter or whatever your choice of social media is because, well…it’s fun!

Here are some of our Red Chair finds from the summer:

 Family photo-op in the Red Chairs in Kouchibouguac, New Brunswick. These chairs weren't vacant but we kindly asked the occupants to Share The Chair and take a picture of us! So fun!

Family photo-op in the Red Chairs in Kouchibouguac, New Brunswick. These chairs weren't vacant but we kindly asked the occupants to Share The Chair and take a picture of us! So fun!

 The first chairs we came across at Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba. A gem of a park that exceeded my expectations. There's more than farmer's fields in the 'Tobe'!!

The first chairs we came across at Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba. A gem of a park that exceeded my expectations. There's more than farmer's fields in the 'Tobe'!!

 Another set of chairs in Manitoba's Riding Mountain National Park where we paused for lunch between Geocaching on the Brule Trail and searching for bison at the park's enclosure.

Another set of chairs in Manitoba's Riding Mountain National Park where we paused for lunch between Geocaching on the Brule Trail and searching for bison at the park's enclosure.

 After many kilometres of hiking in search of these chairs, we finally found them in Pukaskwa National Park, Northern Ontario.

After many kilometres of hiking in search of these chairs, we finally found them in Pukaskwa National Park, Northern Ontario.

 Pukaskwa's chairs offered breathtaking views straight out of a Group of Seven painting. Well worth the hike! Now to rest and take a load off.

Pukaskwa's chairs offered breathtaking views straight out of a Group of Seven painting. Well worth the hike! Now to rest and take a load off.

 Wonderful views of the Bay of Fundy from these chairs parked in Fundy National Park, New Brunswick. The kids and I thought that they may have received the Cape-Breton Highland's National Park's shipment of chairs since we saw many in Fundy, and none in the Highland's. Guess we've got to leave some hunting for next time! 

Wonderful views of the Bay of Fundy from these chairs parked in Fundy National Park, New Brunswick. The kids and I thought that they may have received the Cape-Breton Highland's National Park's shipment of chairs since we saw many in Fundy, and none in the Highland's. Guess we've got to leave some hunting for next time! 

 More red chairs looking out into the Bay of Fundy from a different vantage point on a drive-by look out. The photo is courtesy of the chair's occupants when we arrived and kindly asked them to "share-the-chair!"

More red chairs looking out into the Bay of Fundy from a different vantage point on a drive-by look out. The photo is courtesy of the chair's occupants when we arrived and kindly asked them to "share-the-chair!"

 These kids were always excited to find chairs on hikes. These were on the Matthews Head trail in Fundy National Park, NB.

These kids were always excited to find chairs on hikes. These were on the Matthews Head trail in Fundy National Park, NB.

 Another set of chairs closer to the end of Matthews Head Trail. They also had a wonderful view of the Bay but these kids were a little too tired to pay attention and got some rest before the hike back up and out. (Fundy National Park, NB)

Another set of chairs closer to the end of Matthews Head Trail. They also had a wonderful view of the Bay but these kids were a little too tired to pay attention and got some rest before the hike back up and out. (Fundy National Park, NB)

 Although we didn't find chairs in the Cape-Breton Highlands following Fundy's many sightings, Kouchibouguac National Park in New Brunswick had several that got the kids amped to find the chairs again.

Although we didn't find chairs in the Cape-Breton Highlands following Fundy's many sightings, Kouchibouguac National Park in New Brunswick had several that got the kids amped to find the chairs again.

 The hike portion of our 'Hike and Bike' in Kouchibouguac: another set of red gems.

The hike portion of our 'Hike and Bike' in Kouchibouguac: another set of red gems.

 At Forillon National Park, Québec, we found these chairs on our way up to the Observation deck on Mont-Saint-Alban. We tried to get up to the deck for the sundown. It was a beautiful hike with stunning views.

At Forillon National Park, Québec, we found these chairs on our way up to the Observation deck on Mont-Saint-Alban. We tried to get up to the deck for the sundown. It was a beautiful hike with stunning views.

 The kids were always triumphant when they found a set of Red Chairs. And it often meant break time and photo op! Forillon National Park, Québec. 

The kids were always triumphant when they found a set of Red Chairs. And it often meant break time and photo op! Forillon National Park, Québec. 

 These chairs were the same chairs from the previous photo, but on the descent back to the lot at Cap-Bon Ami in Forillon. It became the most talked about hike on our 64 days on the road because of the novelty of hiking in the dark. It was a first for the kids! 

These chairs were the same chairs from the previous photo, but on the descent back to the lot at Cap-Bon Ami in Forillon. It became the most talked about hike on our 64 days on the road because of the novelty of hiking in the dark. It was a first for the kids! 

 A bike and hike kinda day to find these chairs at the Cap-Gaspé lighthouse in Forillon National Park, Québec. The Gaspé Peninsula is a must see if doing Canada and this park did not disappoint.

A bike and hike kinda day to find these chairs at the Cap-Gaspé lighthouse in Forillon National Park, Québec. The Gaspé Peninsula is a must see if doing Canada and this park did not disappoint.

 A lone chair to share on Chute Trail in Forillon National Park, QC.

A lone chair to share on Chute Trail in Forillon National Park, QC.

 The waterfalls and the Red Chair, waiting for you on Chute Trail in Forillon.

The waterfalls and the Red Chair, waiting for you on Chute Trail in Forillon.

Thank you Parks Canada!!

We will continue to look for the Red Chairs in the West!

And if you find them, don't forget to #SHARETHECHAIR !

 

Parks Canada