Exploring the Great Trail in northwestern Ontario Parks

Today’s post comes from Michelle Halstead, a travel, tourism and eco-adventure placement student with Ontario Parks Northwest Zone.

Canada is proud to be the home of the greatest recreational trail in the world. A 24,000 km trail of land and water that stretches across 10 provinces and three territories.

The Great Trail (formally known as the Trans Canada Trail or TCT) is a project that started in 1992 and with the help of various donors and volunteers working together across the nation has become one of the greatest trails in the world. The trail offers a variety of outdoor recreation activities and scenery throughout Canada’s urban, rural and wilderness areas.

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The makings and teachings of the birchbark canoe

Chuck Commanda grew up part of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, an Algonquin First Nation. As a young boy, he helped his grandparents make birchbark canoes. Now, years later, Chuck enjoys sharing his knowledge and showcasing his skills to the public.

Chuck recently attended the “Politics of the Canoe” workshop in Winnipeg, where he says much of the discussion focused on reconciliation through the canoe.

“The canoe is a shared experience that all Indigenous and non-Indigenous people can relate to. That makes it an effective tool for reconciliation.”

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Campsite vacancy highlights: June 22 – June 24

Celebrate the first weekend of summer by spending it outside! Whether you spend the day on the beach, in the woods, or in the water, all of these sites could be a great place to come back to.

Looking like rain? No worries! There are plenty of roofed accommodations still available this weekend in Ontario Parks — even in southern Ontario.

Scout out your ideal campsite on our Campsite Browsing/Reservation tool (including pictures of most campsites), or check out these featured campsites (available as of 12:00 pm on June 21, 2018):

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Greetings, Boozhoo, Aaniin, Sekoh, Wachay, Ullakut!

National Indigenous Peoples Day invites us to learn more about Indigenous history, perspectives and culture, and helps us build stronger relationships rooted in mutual respect and understanding.

We’re taking the opportunity to spotlight some of the wonderful partnerships and events shared with us by Indigenous leaders and communities across Ontario:

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Nama-stay in nature at Ontario Parks

This July, yoga instructor Adelle Leonard is travelling across Canada spreading her love of outdoor yoga through free classes in parks.

Inspired by Healthy Parks Healthy People, this program aims to bring people outdoors with an opportunity to practice yoga in breathtaking natural environments.

Yoga outdoors boasts a large amount of benefits, as well as an opportunity to try something new and connect with a new community.

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Top 3 paddling destinations in Ontario’s Sunset Country

Ever paddled through the hush of the boreal forest at dawn? Watched the sun rise over a network of Canadian Shield lakes?

Whether you prefer canoe, kayak or SUP, Sunset Country is a paddler’s paradise.

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Guess how many bee species call Ontario home?

When we think of bees, we often picture Honey Bees. We imagine a swarm buzzing around a honeycomb hive.

But the Honey Bee is just one of 400 different types of bees in Ontario (and we’re discovering new bee species all the time!).

And Honey Bees aren’t even a native species.

In fact, Honey Bees are relatively new to Ontario. They were an agricultural import, brought to North America for honey production and crop pollination. Before Honey Bees crossed the ocean, Ontario’s major pollinators were native bees, whose behaviour is often very different from the stereotypical honey bees.

Here are five other types of bees buzzing around our parks:

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365 days in Quetico

Gary Fiedler is a Minnesota-based photographer about to undertake a 365-day journey in Quetico Provincial Park. In this post, Gary shares his passion for Quetico and his underlying motivations for this journey of a lifetime. 

On June 21, 2018, I will embark on a 365-day solo canoe and winter camping adventure of a lifetime in Quetico Provincial Park.

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Bobo-what?

When Bobolinks are mentioned in mixed audiences, you invariably get muffled laughter, quizzical looks and finally the question, “A bobo-what?”

Bobolinks are small songbirds in the same family as grackles and meadowlarks.  The breeding male is most recognizable by its black body and white back with a buff patch at the nape.

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