That’s 125 years of pitching tents, crackling campfires, mouth-watering s’mores, breathtaking sunsets, star-strewn nights, and unforgettable adventures.
It all started in 1893 with the creation of Canada’s first provincial park, Algonquin. Today, Ontario Parks protects 340 provincial parks, which encompass just under 8% of Ontario, an area larger than Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island combined!
We invite you to celebrate our anniversary all year with special events, cultural heritage programs, stewardship activities, a concert series, and a series of legacy projects. Make 2018 the year to visit the stunningly beautiful landscapes of our province, carry on traditions, and make new memories.
Continue reading 2018 is Ontario Parks’ 125th Anniversary!
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:
Continue reading Where to skate in Ontario Parks
Today’s post comes from Anna Scuhr, a naturalist with Lake Superior Provincial Park.
The arrival of snow and ice transforms the rugged landscape of Lake Superior Provincial Park into a stunningly beautiful, albeit unforgiving place to live.
As temperatures drop, the park can accumulate up to six feet of snow in the interior. This makes just about every aspect of an animal’s life more challenging.
Northern winters are a true test of an animal’s fitness. Let’s look at how they adapt to survive long, harsh winters.
Continue reading The scavenger hunt for survival
Pop quiz: do beavers hibernate? Today’s post — from Natural Heritage Education Specialist Dave Sproule — answers common questions about beavers.
If you’re near water, especially in our northern parks, you might see signs of one of the most important animals in the Ontario landscape, one that molds the landscape to its own needs.
But in the depths of winter, with much of Ontario frozen and white, what are these aquatic creatures up to?
Continue reading The beaver in winter
Today’s post is from Justin Peter, who was a Natural Heritage Education Specialist at Algonquin Provincial Park from 2006 through 2013. Now a professional travel planner, Justin is a keen local and worldwide explorer, and looks for birds everywhere he ventures.
It’s tempting to say that winter’s not the best time to look at birds in our Ontario Parks. Many species have migrated south. We’re hesitant to venture into the chilly weather.
But the quieter (and leafless) atmosphere of our parks during winter provides an excellent and unique challenge for our sense of environmental awareness.
Up for the challenge? Here’s a selection of birds (and bird signs) you can look for this winter:
Continue reading A winter birding challenge
Today’s post comes from Barb Rees, our Natural Heritage Education and Marketing Specialist in the Northwest Zone of Ontario Parks.
Winter is a great time to watch for woodpeckers. Why? Simply because there are less leaves on trees making most birds more visible.
Typically, there are also more birdfeeders placed out in the winter than the summer (since the bears are hibernating). So attracting birds closer to your home makes bird-watching possible right from the warmth of your living room window.
Continue reading Woodpeckers 101
Today’s post comes from Madeline McNabb, a 2017 Discovery Guide at White Lake Provincial Park.
We all dream of turning our passion into a job.
My chance came this past summer when I worked at White Lake Provincial Park as a Discovery Guide.
The Discovery Program is a new program focusing on inspiring curiosity in park visitors and encouraging exploration of our natural environment. I made so many amazing memories this past summer. There are too many wonderful things I want to share!
After much deliberation, I have narrowed it down to five top reasons why I loved being a Discovery Guide:
Continue reading 5 things I love about being a Discovery Guide
Today’s post comes from Alistair MacKenzie, Natural Heritage Education Supervisor at Pinery Provincial Park.
As 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 2018 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.
Continue reading A nature-lover’s New Year’s resolutions
The research is clear: spending time in nature improves our physical, mental and social well-being.
Yes. Even when it’s cold outside.
Ready for a healthier 2018? We chatted with parks planner Will Kershaw to find out how he stays fit and healthy during the winter months. These are his top tips:
Continue reading Healthy resolutions for a new year
Happy New Year, parks-lovers!
Throughout 2018, we’re sharing a free downloadable graphic. Each month will feature a photo from our 2018 OP125 anniversary calendar! This month features the icy caves of Lake Superior Provincial Park.
We’ve specially sized these images for your computers, tablets, smartphones and Facebook covers.
Continue reading January’s digital download