Romantic winter adventures worth travelling for

If you love to cross-country ski, snowshoe, skate or simply explore the outdoors with your significant other, Ontario Parks has a romantic winter adventure for you.

Rent a cozy cabin, cottage or heated yurt at one of seven parks that offer winter accommodation. Pro tip? Book mid-week if you can. That’s when you’ll find the best availability.

Cozy winter getawaysTwenty-six provincial parks offer drop-dead gorgeous landscapes where you can reconnect with nature on a fun day trip or try an overnight park stay. Local ski clubs help keep hundreds of kilometres of park trails groomed or track set for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Try skating through the woods on a cool ice path at Arrowhead or MacGregor Point Provincial Parks.

And don’t fret: our roofed getaways have all the facilities you need to cook up a romantic candlelit dinner for two.

Holiday and New Year’s Eve events, ski loppets, snowshoe races, and other events are planned every winter.

Here is a sampling of winter adventures worth travelling for:

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Tips from a trail manager: prepping for the perfect cross-country ski day

Ready for a day of cross country skiing? Preparing your skis properly can make a big difference in whether you have a fun outing – or a frustrating one.

Peter Crooks, the trail manager for Kamview Nordic Ski Centre in Thunder Bay, has been cross-country skiing for nearly half a century.

Here are his top 7 tips on how to “read” the snow and use the right waxes for your classic skis:

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Mark S. Burnham buckthorn blitz

Today’s post was compiled by Zone Ecologist Corina Brdar, Project Ecologist Christine Terwissen and other members of Team Invasive Alien.

If you’ve visited Mark S. Burnham Provincial Park lately you might have noticed many freshly cut small stumps. This is the result of a recent blitz to remove an alien invasive species — European buckthorn — from the park.

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Introducing…IBAs in Ontario Parks!

We’re jazzed to introduce a new series for 2017 — IBAs in provincial parks — brought to you by Ontario IBA Coordinator Amanda Bichel of Bird Studies Canada. If you love birds, you won’t want to miss these monthly features.

Wondering what an IBA is? The acronym stands for “Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas.”

The IBA program aims to identify, monitor and protect the world’s most important sites for birds and biodiversity.

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Where to snowshoe in Ontario Parks

Nature looks completely different under a glittering blanket of snow. Why not strap on some snowshoes and experience Ontario Parks in a whole new way this winter?

Check out our list of winter parks with top-notch snowshoeing opportunities:

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How to get your kids to love cross-country skiing

Did you know 19 of our parks have cross-country trails, about half of them groomed?

Cross-country skiing is a great way for families to get outdoors and enjoy the winter together! It’s less expensive and safer than alpine skiing, it helps keep kids fit, and it’s a skill they’ll have their entire life.

Here are our top seven tips for getting kids hooked on cross-country skiing:

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Where to skate in Ontario Parks

The air is crisp and clean. The evergreens are covered with snow. If you’re lucky – and observant – you might spot a cardinal, a finch, a waxwing or a blue jay as you glide along the ice.

And when the sun goes down, you can huddle around a big bonfire with a cup of hot chocolate and warm up before relacing your skates and heading back out to skate under the stars.

It’s simply magical.

This winter, plan a skating trip to these four provincial parks:

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A nature-lover’s New Year’s resolutions

Today’s post comes from Alistair MacKenzie, Natural Heritage Education Supervisor at Pinery Provincial Park.

Alistair at PineryAs we begin a brand new year, many of us make personal resolutions to try to better ourselves, or to help our families and communities.

I’ll be making several personal resolutions (darn sour-cream-glazed dougnuts!), but in addition, I am choosing 2017 as the year to make some resolutions for parks and protected areas. 

As I work and play in Ontario Parks’ many incredible landscapes, most of my efforts will take effect there, but I am not planning on limiting my efforts…I’ll include any green spaces I can find!

I’m just one person, so I would encourage you to help.  You may want to create a different list for yourself, but our parks can certainly use the help, so please consider giving back to our protected areas.

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Our best-kept winter secret: the MacGregor Point ice trail

If you haven’t explored a snow-covered MacGregor Point Provincial Park, you don’t know what you’re missing! Good roads and a scenic drive gets you to the park, nestled against the shores of Lake Huron in Port Elgin.

The ice skating trail is the premier winter attraction (and best-kept secret!), but MacGregor Point also offers skiing, snowshoeing, camping and other winter fun!

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