What Is the Significance of the Parks Canada Red Chairs?

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Close up of a red chair in one of Canada's national parks.

Have you ever stumbled across an incredible view and wanted to pull up a chair and sit for a while? If so, Parks Canada’s famous red chairs are waiting for you.

These chairs have been the site of countless picnic lunches and marriage proposals. But you might be wondering what the big deal is and why they exist.

Today, we will look at the importance of these red chairs and why you should take a seat. Let’s get started!

What Are the Parks Canada Red Chairs?

The Parks Canada red chairs aren’t just any ordinary Adirondack chairs. More than 200 of these chairs sit in Canada’s national parks. Some are harder to find than others. However, the views make the effort almost always worth it. 

The chairs use 100% recycled plastic rescued from landfills throughout Canada. This feeds into Parks Canada’s mission to care for the environment.

Whether you’re searching them out or stumble upon them by chance, they provide the perfect place to take a break.

What Is the Purpose of the Parks Canada Red Chairs?

These plastic red chairs aim to invite guests to slow down, connect with nature, and enjoy the view.

Officials recognize the tremendous impact that spending time in nature can have on our physical, mental, and spiritual health. They believe in it so much that they’ve saved a seat for you to pause for a minute or two.

The red chairs enhance the visitor experience and allow for a deeper appreciation for the natural beauty of the great outdoors. They want visitors to take a moment to reflect and create memories they’ll never forget.

History of the Red Chairs in Canada Parks

The red chairs date back to 2011 when a group from Gros Morne National Park installed 18 sets of Adirondack chairs throughout the park. Officials were strategic about placing the chairs in some of the most overlooked spots in the park.

The goal was for visitors to snap selfies and share them on social media. To ensure word got out, they awarded prizes to the first 18 guests who photographed all 18 sets of chairs in the park. Their prize? Their very own set of red Adirondack chairs.

Two red chairs in Banff national park.

Don’t Miss These Parks Canada Red Chairs

Want to set out on an adventure to find some of the best Parks Canada red chairs? We’ve got a list of some of the best parks to visit. Let’s take a look!

Banff National Park (Alberta)

Banff National Park has 11 sets of red chairs. A trio of them have been spread throughout Banff, and some sit along the famous roads. You can find a set along Glacier Lake Trail, the Muleshoe Picnic Area, and the Valley View Picnic Area.

Feel free to explore the park and search for them on your own. However, to find them all, you’ll likely need to use the handy-dandy map when you need help.

Jasper National Park (Alberta)

Banff’s next-door neighbor, Jasper National Park, has eight sets of these iconic chairs. While they may not all be easy to access, you’ll know exactly where to find them.

The park’s website provides you with a map and the coordinates for each chair. You’ll find some epic views at Mt. Christie viewpoint, Pyramid Overlook Trail, and Wilcox Pass Trail.

Gros Morne National Park (Newfoundland and Labrador)

Gros Morne National Park is where the party started for the red chairs. Today, 16 sets hide throughout the park.

Grab your bestie and see if you can locate all of them. However, you better lace up those hiking boots because more than half lie on hiking trails. Thankfully, three sit along scenic pull-offs, and the remaining four sit in the park’s day-use area.

Unfortunately, if you were expecting some help, prepare to experience disappointment. Gros Morne National Park provides a description on their website but keeps the exact locations a secret.

Keep in Mind: Relax comfortably around the campfire with some of the best camping chairs you’ll actually love!

A sign on a tree in a Canada national park pointing to where the red chairs are located.

Fundy National Park (New Brunswick)

With 12 sets of chairs, Fundy National Park provides plenty of opportunities to take selfies with your friends. You’ll find not only adult-size chairs but also six sets that include kid-size chairs. 

Finding these chairs can be fun for the whole family. However, do yourself a favor and check the park’s website for the coordinates and note the sites with kid-size chairs. If you want a fun road trip, this could be your next adventure!

Cape Breton Highlands National Park (Nova Scotia)

Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia has nine sets of red chairs. As with other parks, some are easier to find than others. Unfortunately, you won’t find any kids’ chairs in this park. However, the park offers some helpful information for finding the pairs.

On their website, you can click on the location of the chairs. For example, the Acadian site tells you the trail takes approximately three to four hours to complete. It features steep inclines, stream crossings, and rugged sections.

If you’re uncomfortable hiking a moderate trail, pick a different location. You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew.

Keep in Mind: Can You Random Camp in Alberta? Click the link to find out!

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (British Columbia)

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve currently has three sets of chairs. However, according to their website, a fourth is in the works at Broken Group Islands. If you find it, be sure to let us know! 

We love that the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve doesn’t provide a map or coordinates. They offer clues in the location description to help you locate them. Can you find them all? If you do, make sure you enjoy the view.

Two red chairs in one of Canada's national parks.

Riding Mountain National Park (Manitoba)

Manitoba’s Riding Mountain National Park has 11 sets of red chairs. Additionally, the South Lake site has a set of kid-size chairs. The Park Canada’s website provides you with the coordinates for each site and a Google map of all the chair locations.

Armed with this information and a bit of determination, you can track down each set. However, expect some of them to be challenging to find. Some will take some effort and planning to reach.

Take a Seat in Nature with Parks Canada Red Chairs

The Parks Canada red chairs revive the original purpose of national parks. Many people treat some of the best views and features of the parks as a checkbox.

They take a picture and move on with their day. However, with a comfortable place to sit, you can soak in the view and truly appreciate the landscape’s natural beauty. 

How many red chairs have you found in Canada’s national parks? 

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