woman with brunette hair and a blue backpack waiting for a train

Parkbus – Public Transit for Ontario Parks and Parks Canada

Are you interested in booking a camping getaway, but you don’t have access to your own vehicle? Great news! Parkbus offers affordable and accessible public transit for Ontario Parks and Parks Canada. So, pack your bags! Your next adventure is just around the corner…

A report from Statistics Canada released in March 2018 revealed that 7 in 10 Canadians participated in at least one type of outdoor or wilderness activity.

Examples included hiking or backpacking, wildlife viewing or photography, camping, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking.  

It’s no surprise that we’re embracing the great outdoors. After all, we live in a beautiful country with access to so many incredible, picture-perfect settings.

For many, camping is seen as a lower-cost vacation option.

Campsites are priced significantly lower than booking hotel and there are a number of great options to lower the costs associated with purchasing gear.

Don’t believe me? Check out my post ‘Camping On A Budget: Where to Find Second-Hand Camping Gear’  

However, if you don’t currently have access to your own vehicle (or if you don’t drive), that dream camping vacation may feel out of reach.

group of 4 people eating outside in a forested area with a tent in the distance

Introducing: Parkbus – Public Transit for Ontario Parks and Parks Canada

Originally founded in 2010, Parkbus provides accessible transportation from major cities across the country to a number of our most popular National and Provincial Parks.

In doing so, they open the doors to enjoying our great Canadian wilderness for thousands of Canadians!

Not only does this mean you don’t need to own a vehicle to embrace your love of outdoor travel, Parkbus helps you minimize your environmental impact.  

After all, we all want to protect our environment so that we can enjoy these activities for years to come!

Each Parkbus motorcoach means that there are less vehicles on the road.

Bonus -they offer WiFi!

Note: This year, in light of COVID-19 restrictions in the country, Parkbus has cancelled all trips through July 2020.

Visit their COVID-19 Update page for updates about the August 2020 season.

The Parkbus program is operated by BEST (Better Environmentally Sound Transportation), a non-profit charitable organization based in British Columbia.

two brunette women sitting in an orange tent with the door open, showing a forested area with camping gear

Available Ontario Parkbus Destinations

Are you planning your next big outdoor vacation?

The destinations in Ontario currently listed on the Parkbus website include…

From Toronto:

  • Algonquin Provincial Park
  • Bruce Peninsula
  • Killbear Provincial Park
  • Killarney Provincial Park
  • Grundy Lake Provincial Park
  • Georgian Bay Islands National Park
  • Lion’s Head
  • Elora Gorge
  • Christie Lake
  • Rockwood Conservation Area
  • Rattlesnake Point & Kelso
  • Rouge National Urban Park

From Ottawa:

  • Gatineau Park Main Parkway
  • Gatineau Park Lac Philippe

Additional destinations are available departing from Edmonton, Halifax, and Vancouver. Check out the ‘Our Destinations’ page for more information!

Don’t live in one of the listed cities? Each of these major cities is accessible via Greyhound and VIA Rail!

brunette woman wearing a blue backpack standing looking at a train with text announcing public transit for Ontario Parks and Parks Canada

Were you aware of the availability of public transit for Ontario Parks and Parks Canada? If so, have you ever considered using the Parkbus program?

I’d love to hear all your thoughts in the comments below!

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30 thoughts on “Parkbus – Public Transit for Ontario Parks and Parks Canada”

    1. Not only does it allow those who don’t drive or don’t have a vehicle to travel, but it also provides a transportation option that minimizes our impact on the environment – a win/win for everyone!

    1. I love that there are so many different options here in Ontario. My husband and I try to make a point of visiting at least 1 new park every year.

    1. It really opens the world up for those who may not otherwise have the ability to get to some of these places!

  1. This is so neat! Love the concept of inexpensive, eco-friendly transport. Everyone can get out and take in the scenic beauty. That 7 in 10 Canadians get outdoors that much is amazing. I don’t think we get outdoors that much in the U.S.

    Hope you take advantage of the relaxing ride.

    1. Isn’t it great that this option is there? I know of quite a few people that don’t drive or don’t have access to a car that will LOVE visiting the parks now that they know that the option is available!

  2. Parkbus sounds such a cool idea for public transport and whenever travelling abroad I hugely depend on public transport, it’s surely more reliable and of course cheaper too.

    1. A lot of people rely on public transit. That’s one of the reasons why I’m so impressed that this service is available. Outdoor travel like camping and hiking should be available to everyone and this breaks down one of the big barriers.

    1. The pickup cities for Parkbus are still pretty limited here BUT the Greyhound buses and via rail trains will take you from nearly anywhere in the country to these cities – so that’s an option!

  3. Love this. Much prefer it to ‘traditional’ public trasnport to be honest! That being said my anxiety around taking public transport has become worse so I’d much rather drive if I can (or stay home!).

    1. Right now in our current climate, we’re sticking with driving ourselves. They actually aren’t operating for July, but even if they open in August, I don’t think I’d feel comfortable. That being said, when the time comes that the world returns to a more ‘normal’ state, I could definitely see myself opting for public transportation!

  4. Public transport is a great option! I wish a lot more of UK public transport was more affordable like this – the parks look amazing.

    Paige // Paige Eades

    1. I am SO happy that this organization stepped up and made it possible. It really does open up SO many more doors for those who can’t drive to their destination for whatever reason (or just don’t want to drive).

    1. That’s one of my favourite parts about the ParkBus program, the fact that it allows people to enjoy all these great locations while still travelling in an environmentally friendly way.

  5. I love the fact that there is such accessible and environmentally friendly public transport. Here in South Africa, public transport is less than subpar and I hope we can start progressing this way too.

    1. This is a great new development and a big step forward! While our public transport options here aren’t perfect, it really does provide the opportunity to travel to almost any major city as well as a number of smaller areas with little to no stress. We are lucky.

    1. There is SO much to see, especially if you love spending time outdoors. We are very lucky to have so many beautiful areas so close at hand.

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