How to have a safe winter hike

During the snowy season, parks can feel like our own personal winter wonderlands. Meandering through snow-covered trails and frozen forests can make an awesome day in the outdoors.

Nature lovers can celebrate the New Year with a First Day Hike in our parks this January 1. Here are some ways to make sure you have a fun and safe time on your frosty foray!

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Don’t leave it hanging

Pretty much all the leaves have fallen off the trees, a chill has filled the air, and people may be thinking about decorating trees for the holidays.

Our trees are spectacular organisms. They make oxygen, can live to be quite old, have beautiful foliage, provide homes and food for countless wildlife, and through transpiration of water through their leaves, can even influence the weather.

Maybe our trees do deserve some form of decoration or recognition?

I was out in my park the other day, and with the leaves gone, I did notice some brightly coloured decorations on a tree down the trail.

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Fall paddling safety

Fall is the perfect time to paddle.

As the temperatures cool there are no bugs and the lakes become less crowded. Plus you can catch some of our beautiful fall colours!

But fall weather can be fickle. Hitting the lake too late, failing to respect weather conditions, or paddling beyond your skill level isn’t just risky — it’s downright dangerous.

We chatted with Paul Smith, Superintendent of Kawartha Highlands Signature Site, to get some top do’s and don’ts for fall paddling safety:

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7 tips for cool-weather adventuring

For many, autumn is the ideal season for outdoor fun. But as the temperatures start to drop, we want to make sure our hikers and campers stay safe while exploring our parks.

We chatted with our friends at SAIL to gather some top tips for staying warm and dry during your fall forays.

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Hiking the trails with your dog

Today’s post comes from our friends at the Invasive Species Centre.

The beauty of a hike does not need to be enjoyed alone; your dog can be a great companion as you adventure through your favourite park.

Do it well by planning before stepping foot, or paw, on the trail.

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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?

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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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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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