Are you an ethical wildlife photographer?

You’ve recently unwrapped the latest iphone or a shiny new digital camera, perhaps an SLR with some fancy lenses.

Now you have itchy shutter fingers. You’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?

A winter wander along a frozen Lake Superior

Today’s post comes from Bob Elliott, Superintendent of the winter wonderland that is Lake Superior Provincial Park.

Every so often, the winters around Lake Superior are cold enough to freeze the waters of Gitchee Gumee, providing a magical opportunity to walk on the ice of the world’s largest freshwater lake.

The winter of 2017/2018 has been cold enough to provide that magic.

Continue reading A winter wander along a frozen Lake Superior

Ice fishing safety all season long

Today’s post comes from year-round multispecies angler and writer Ashley Rae of SheLovesToFish.com.

Brr! Winter weather has hit Ontario hard.

As the ice freezes up across the province, anglers are beginning to venture out onto the hard water for some ice fishing action.

Ice fishing is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors during our long, cold winters. Trust me, when you’re outside hooking fish, winter passes by in a flash!

Thankfully with the wide range of equipment available today, ice fishing doesn’t have to be a chilling experience. In order to enjoy a safe and comfortable season from start to finish, make sure you are prepared by checking out the list below.

Continue reading Ice fishing safety all season long

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:

Continue reading How to dress for your winter adventure

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:

Continue reading Spring flooding at Ontario Parks

Which parks are free for Canada150?

In Canada we are very lucky to have a diverse system of national, provincial and local parks.

For Canada150, Parks Canada has offered free day-use admission to national parks. Unfortunately, provincial parks are not part of the Parks Canada initiative and visitors will still be required to pay for admission and services.

Continue reading Which parks are free for Canada150?

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?