Beach accessibility at Ontario Parks

Beaches can be an accessibility challenge for park visitors using walkers or wheelchairs. Because of the soft sand, wheels and legs of walkers can sink in, making them tough to maneuver.

As a part of our commitment to making parks as accessible as possible, more parks are offering beach accessibility measures to help visitors explore our shorelines.

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Why driftwood matters

Today’s post comes from Laura Myers, Senior Park Interpreter of Neys Provincial Park.

Driftwood – it makes a great bench to watch the sunset, a balancing beam to play on, or that perfect element to your photograph.

There’s something about driftwood that gives beaches that rugged beauty factor. Walking on a beach, listening to the waves and the birds, and looking at the different pieces of driftwood can be wondrous and relaxing.

Has a piece of driftwood ever caught your eye and made you wonder where it originally came from? How it got that far up the beach? The size of the wave that put it there? What species of tree or how old it is?

Each piece of driftwood has its own journey and its own story. But its story isn’t over when it washes up on the beach.

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Front crawl, butterfly, and backstroke your way to better health

Whether you walk through the waves or jump off the dock, there’s no better way to cool off than going for a swim.

This summer, as you escape the sweltering heat in one of Ontario’s lakes, think about these head-to-toe benefits your body is receiving from that dip:

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Piping Plovers

Today’s post comes from Assistant Ecologist and Piping Plover specialist Ian Fife.

If you’ve visited some of our popular Great Lakes beaches, you may have noticed restricted areas for a tiny bird no larger than a sparrow.

What’s so important about these birds, and why do we fence off parts of our beaches to protect them?

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Spring flooding at Ontario Parks

Due to this spring’s high water levels, many provincial parks experienced flooding that delayed their opening or closed their trails and campgrounds.

Our staff have been working hard to help our parks dry out and re-open for visitors. Take a look at what our teams had to contend with this spring:

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Our free PFD Lending Program

Our visitors enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches and waterfronts in Ontario – from the barrier dune formations of Sandbanks to the Caribbean blue waters of Pancake Bay.

While swimming, boating and other water activities are a centrepiece of any Ontario Parks adventure, there are also risks associated with these activities.

We want our campers and day-trippers to stay safe when they hit the waves.

And that starts with a PFD (personal flotation device)!

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Beach therapy: some TLC for our most popular shorelines

Today’s post comes from Assistant Zone Ecologist Jenni Kaija, who shares a story of ecological restoration unfolding at Long Point Provincial Park.

As I made my way down to the sandy shoreline of Cottonwood campground in Long Point Provincial Park, I was overjoyed to spot a huge flock of gull and tern species resting just off shore.

Fall is one of my favourite times to spend time in our provincial parks. Everything was quite peaceful, and the birds seemed to be enjoying the quiet as much as I was.

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The trouble with balloons

Today’s post comes from David Bree, our Senior Natural Heritage Education Leader at Presqu’ile Provincial Park, and passionate protector of Ontario’s shorebirds.

I don’t know Jason. But I do know he turned six sometime in the last two months and he had a wonderful party with cake, presents and balloons, surrounded by friends and family.

I hope he had a good time, but I wonder if he knows the legacy of his sixth birthday — from my perspective — is unsightly litter, extra work and possibly untimely death.

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Switch it up this summer

Can’t get into your favourite campsite? Or are you ready to try a new park this summer?

If you love Sandbanks Provincial Park – and what’s not to love about its long, sandy beaches, warm water and walking trails along the dunes? – you might consider Presqu’ile. The park offers more than 300 camping sites in a variety of settings, 2.5 kilometers of beach, lots of trails and paths including a boardwalk that takes you into a large protected marsh, and the second oldest operating lighthouse in Ontario.

Lighthouse, a young boy dressed as a pirate with a natural heritage education staff member, a trailer having a fire at their campsite.

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