National parks across the country will become free for people 17 and under starting in 2018.

Parks were free to all visitors in 2017 to celebrate Canada 150.

​Catherine McKenna, the federal environment minister, made the announcement in Ottawa on Thursday alongside Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Parks Canada's honourary guide for families and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wife.

"There is no better way to celebrate families than by enjoying the outdoors and discovering the countless benefits of nature for our health and wellness," Grégoire Trudeau said in a news release.

"I invite all youth 17 and under to visit our national parks and national historic sites for free in 2018 and beyond. These experiences will create memories that will last a lifetime for Canadian youth and their families, as it has done for our family."

William Beckett

Tourists rejoice — you won't pay for admission to Parks Canada sites if you're 17 and under. (Submitted by William Beckett)

2018 discovery passes available 

Attendance was up 12 per cent at national parks for the first seven months of the year. 

Canada budgeted about $76 million on the free parks program this year, including lost gate revenues, addressing increases in visitors and distributing free discovery passes.

The 2018 discovery passes are now available online and admission fees for adults and seniors will not increase over 2016 prices.