A naturalist’s letter to Santa Claus

One of our naturalists left his letter to Santa out on his desk, and we wanted to share a copy, in case anyone out there wants to lend Mr. Claus a hand this year.

Dear Santa,

I don’t really need a lot this year as I have the privilege of working in one of our great provincial parks: Presqu’ile. Perhaps you’ve visited or seen it as you fly over?

It is pretty easy to pick out from the air, sticking into Lake Ontario like it does. We get lots of birds landing here on migration to rest, which many people like to come and see. You’d be welcome to have a break here too.

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Where to skate in Ontario Parks

The air is crisp and clean. The evergreens are covered with snow. If you’re lucky – and observant – you might spot a cardinal, a finch, a waxwing or a blue jay as you glide along the ice.

And when the sun goes down, you can huddle around a big bonfire with a cup of hot chocolate and warm up before relacing your skates and heading back out to skate under the stars.

It’s simply magical.

This winter, plan a skating trip to these four provincial parks:

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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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Winter adventure in Arrowhead Provincial Park

Skating through the forest under the stars has become a bucket-list item for Ontarians.

But the secret’s out. On busy weekends, Arrowhead Provincial Park often hits capacity and has to turn away eager visitors.

Get the latest capacity updates here:


We’ve assembled a list of frequently asked questions and top tips for planning your Arrowhead adventure:

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10 hot chocolate hacks

In today’s post, Chef Deb Rankine, a.k.a. The Fridge Whisperer, shares her favourite hot chocolate recipe along with 10 BEST ways to kick it up a notch!

What’s more welcoming than a hot mug of cocoa after a day’s hiking or a nature walk through a frosty forest?

In addition to our recipe for a rich tasting, velvety smooth hot chocolate mix, we’ve given you 10 fun and creative ways to make your hot chocolate experience the best one ever.

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5 ways to stay active in the cold

Brrr! Temperatures are dropping, and winter’s icy grip is almost upon us.

We bet you’re feeling just about ready to tuck into a nice, long winter’s hibernation. Not so fast! Outdoor activity is important for our mental and physical health all year long. Getting outside is good for you even when the weather is not ideal.

Ontario Parks has 26 parks open in the winter. Each park offers plenty of ways for you to get active in the chilly months.

Here are some great ways to stay healthy, and enjoy winter!

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Underground, underwater or frozen solid: how do frogs & toads spend the winter?

Today’s post comes from David LeGros, one of our Algonquin Provincial Park naturalists.

As the crisp fall days get colder and the occasional dusting of snow whitens the landscape, we know that winter is just around the corner. For the countless songbirds of our forests, they avoid our cold winters and lack of food by migrating south.

Other animals are adapted to the cold conditions and may grow a thicker coat of fur or feathers. Some, we think, have the enviable ability to sleep away the long Ontario winter by hibernating.

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