5 ways to spice up your spring birdwatching

Think birdwatching is limited to sitting silently in the woods for hours on end?

Think again.

From waterway adventures to birding safaris, Canada’s South Coast Birding Trail serves up innovative opportunities to get up-close and personal with more than 250 migrating species.

This spring, follow the feathers to Canada’s migration hotspot and experience birding in a whole new way!

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The Lake Superior Water Trail: the greatest of trails

Today’s post comes from Joanie McGuffin (paddler, author, and executive director of the Lake Superior Watershed Conservancy (LSWC)), and Holly Drew (LSWC Marketing and Communications Coordinator).

For thousands of years, people paddled birchbark canoes along the shores of Lake Superior to get from place to place. Travelling and trading, hunting and fishing; these were the activities of the historic Lake Superior Water Trail, now being celebrated as part of The Great Trail by Trans Canada Trail.

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Would you like fries with that campsite?

If you are visiting one of many Ontario Parks this summer, there is a very good chance you will receive some added value or discounted opportunities with your overnight campsite permit this year.    Ontario Parks is proud to partner with several companies that will offer sample products and discounts to visitors.   Beyond samples and/or discounts, partners also financially invest into other important projects and programs like:   Science and research initiatives, PARKsmart Lifejacket lending program and Ontario Parks Partners student bursary program.    Here are some of our partners, and product offers that you may see when you visit an Ontario Park this summer.

Left: A husband and wife in a gate house. Right: A gate staff talking to a visitor entering the park in a car.

Continue reading Would you like fries with that campsite?

SAIL – VIP adventure contest in Temagami

Winter is over and summer fun awaits – you and a guest could be going on a Temagami adventure!

Temagami is one of Ontario’s special places offering wilderness experiences amongst countless lakes and rivers embedded amongst untouched old growth Red and White Pine forests. Hundred year old trails navigate the rugged terrain featuring several of Ontario’s highest peaks, and legendary fishing opportunities await those who explore this region.    Seven provincial parks offer the best of Temagami; an ideal playground for anglers, paddlers, hikers, photographers, and adventure seekers of all types.

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Invasive species on the run thanks to corporate sponsors like Swish, MEC

As the caretaker of some of the most beautiful, unspoiled, yet in some cases threatened, natural wonders in Canada, Ontario Parks has taken an innovative approach towards achieving greater environmental sustainability and enhancing visitor experiences.

By partnering with private industry (companies such as Swish Maintenance, a manufacturer and distributor of sanitation and maintenance supplies, and outfitter Mountain Equipment Co-op, for example), Ontario Parks has been able to leverage the combined brainpower and resources of both entities and achieve some pretty cool results.


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Friends of Ontario Parks

The next time you walk the boardwalk at Presqu’ile Provincial Park or attend the Huron Fringe Birding Festival at MacGregor Point Provincial Park, thank a Friend. 

Friends of Ontario Parks are not-for-profit, charitable organizations full of dedicated volunteers. These volunteers usually hail from a nearby community or they’ve camped in a park that they’ve grown to love and respect. Today, there are 27 not-for-profit Friends organizations dedicated to enhancing the educational, recreational, research and resource protection mandates of the parks they are affiliated with.

If you want to become a Friends volunteer at your favourite park, contact a Friends group directly. But if your park doesn’t have a Friends group and you are interested in starting one, speak to your local park superintendent.   http://www.ontarioparks.com/partnerships/

Some of Ontario Parks’ best events are organized by Friends. Here are two you won’t want to miss in 2014:

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Parkbus gears up for another season

Guest Blogger:  Alex Berlyand from  Parkbus


Spring is finally here, and with it comes the 2014 Parkbus schedule for the upcoming season. The first Parkbus of the season leaves Toronto on Victoria Day long weekend (May 17-19), which is now almost a month away. It’s time to get that dusty backpack out of the garage, open up the maps and start planning! Continue reading Parkbus gears up for another season