Are Ontario’s provincial parks free in 2017?

If you ordered the FREE 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass, we wish you a wonderful time exploring Canada’s national parks.

BUT before you hit the road, make sure you know the difference between national and provincial parks in Ontario…

…because only national parks (Parks Canada) are offering free day-use in 2017.

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Are you an ethical wildlife photographer?

The holidays have come and gone, and many of us unwrapped the latest iphone or a shiny new digital camera, perhaps an SLR with some fancy lenses.

We now have itchy shutter fingers. We’re ready to point our camera at something spectacular and capture a beautiful memory forever. But where to go?

Not to brag, but Ontario Parks are beautiful, iconic places. Covering nearly 10% of the province and protecting some of Ontario’s most rare and scenic habitats, our parks are home to a variety of wildlife, from fascinating insects to enormous moose.

Basically, they’re a photographer’s dreamscape.

We’re animal lovers too. We know how exhilarating wildlife encounters can be. We understand how badly you want that perfect photo.

But before you hit the road, ask yourself: is taking the perfect photograph worth risking an animal’s life or an ecosystem’s health?

If your answer is “no,” check out our list of 7 common photography infractions to ensure you’re keeping our parks safe and healthy.

Continue reading Are you an ethical wildlife photographer?

How do provincial parks prepare for forest fires?

Ever wondered how wildfires are handled in parks? Assistant Superintendent Anne Young recounts a recent training exercise completed in her park.

It’s 9:30 am. Thick smoke hangs in the air.

The MNRF Fire Base in Dryden has contacted Aaron Provincial Park to advise that there is a wildfire east of the park. The fire has an east wind; they are predicting it may impact the park by early evening.

The simulation has begun…

Continue reading How do provincial parks prepare for forest fires?

So there’s a fire ban. Now what?

Today’s post comes from Meg Bethune, an assistant naturalist at Killbear Provincial Park

Campfires are an essential part of any camping trip. Whether you’re toasting marshmallows and spider weenies, or just chatting with friends,  the memories made in the flickering glow of the fire are ones we hold dear to our hearts.

So what happens when a fire ban hinders one of our favourite camping traditions?

Continue reading So there’s a fire ban. Now what?

Campfire safety: If you love Ontario Parks, don’t burn them!

Today’s post comes from Marketing and Communications summer student Mitch Jackson. His campfire talents include cooking stuffed peppers, grilling barbecue chicken, and always managing to forget to pack a lighter. 

For many campers, a fire is a must. Gathering ’round the flames, sharing stories with friends and family, making s’mores, and burning marshmallows are all part of the quintessential camping experience.

While you may have the perfect campfire recipes, or the perfect campfire building technique, you should also be aware of how to keep your campfire perfectly safe.

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Stay safe on the water this summer!

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 lifejacket!

Continue reading Stay safe on the water this summer!

How to dress for your winter adventure

What you wear can make all the difference between having an amazing winter adventure or a disappointing – even dangerous — one.

Winter camping enthusiasts say it’s all in proper layering: you burn up energy and get warmer as the day goes on, so being able to shed a layer or two is critical to staying dry, and that’s the key to being comfortable and safe.

We chatted with MEC to cobble together our top 8 rules for safe, comfortable winter-wear:

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