Paddle like it’s 1796 at Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park!

Experience the life of a voyageur at the height of the fur trade by paddling a voyageur canoe on the beautiful Mattawa River.

Our knowledgeable guides will help you discover part of our Canadian heritage.

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Temagami: an ancient canoe country

Today’s post comes from Natural Heritage Education and Marketing Specialist Dave Sproule.

It’s a rugged, time-worn landscape. A fractured piece of the Canadian Shield, with fault lines criss-crossing the roots of ancient mountains for hundreds of kilometres. More than 2,500 lakes fill those fault lines, and at over 600,000 hectares, it’s almost as large as Algonquin Provincial Park.

Is it any wonder so many paddlers lose their hearts to Temagami?

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The beaver: architect of biodiversity

Ontario Parks is recognizing iconic Canadian species this year to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. Next up, we join Natural Heritage Education Specialist Dave Sproule for a chat about the ecological and cultural significance of the beaver, which became Canada’s official symbol in 1975.

We all know beavers are industrious. They builds dams, canals and sturdy homes called lodges, which are warm in winter. They repair all those dams and collect enough food to survive long northern winters.

We know beavers are well-suited to the Canadian environment. Beavers are amphibious – more at home in the water than on land — with webbed hind feet, nostrils that can close, a third see-through eyelid that protects the eye when they’re underwater, and a big flat tail that acts as rudder while swimming.

The biggest reason to celebrate the beaver during Canada150, however, is that the beaver built Canada, shaping both its historical and ecological landscape.

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Spirit walks and storytellers

When paddling a river or toasting marshmallows, it can be easy to forget the rich cultural history of Ontario’s provincial parks.

We’ve got all kinds of storytelling going on in our parks this August,  especially in the evenings. Care to stop by for a yarn?

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How Pancake Bay got its name

Today’s post comes from Brian Irvine, a Natural Heritage Education Leader from — you guessed it — Pancake Bay Provincial Park.

Where did the name Pancake Bay come from? The answer changes depending on who you ask.

Ask a local and they’ll tell you one story. Ask a Pancake Bay naturalist and they’ll tell you another. Ask a child and they will tell you it’s because the beach is flat like a pancake 😉

But no matter whom you ask, the name is closely tied to the voyageurs.

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Welcome to Grey Owl country

Archie Belaney — the man many know as “Grey Owl” — dreamed of living in the wilds of Canada. Here’s how the now-famous author, public speaker and early Canadian environmentalist described the North Country:

It is a land of shadows and hidden trails, lost rivers and unknown lakes, a region of soft-footed creatures going their noiseless ways over the carpet of moss, and there is silence, intense, absolute and all-embracing.”

The following film retraces conservationist Grey Owl’s path through the northeastern Ontario’s legendary Temagami region – n’Daki Menan Aboriginal community.

Experience the old growth forest and beauty that captured Grey Owl’s heart:

Continue reading Welcome to Grey Owl country