March Break at Ontario Parks

Affordable March Break activities are planned at Ontario Parks. They include a maple syrup festival, two birdwatching celebrations, and one of Ontario’s most unique ski events.

Freshly made maple syrup with hot pancakes and sausages will be served in a heated pancake house at Bronte Creek Provincial Park during March Break (March 14 -18). Bronte’s annual Maple Syrup Festival will also have wagon rides and the park’s 112 year old Spruce Lane Farmhouse will be open for tours. The Children’s Barn, with its giant jungle gym on the upper floor and farm animals below will also be open. Maple syrup festivities run 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. daily. Further event details on Bronte Creek click here

We posted in an earlier blog about Wings of Spring. This year, the event celebrates the arrival of spring and the birds at Rondeau Provincial Park on March 19 – 20. This annual birdwatching festival promises lots of family activities this year including birdhouse building, children’s craft, waterfowl viewing stations along the bay, a live bird of prey show (19th and 20th at 1 pm), local artisans, and a BBQ lunch. The cost of a park day use permit covers all activities (excluding the BBQ lunch).

If you live further east, consider heading to Presqu’ile Provincial Park on the same weekend (March 19-20) for its Waterfowl Weekend. As many as 10,000 birds representing 25 different species of ducks, geese and swans are expected to make a rest stop in Presqu’ile Bay, in this Lake Ontario Park, south of Brighton.

Volunteer naturalists and telescopes will be positioned at various viewing hides around the park during the weekend event. The Lighthouse Interpretive Centre will be open 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and will be the focus of the indoor activities with duck displays and children’s activities. A Bushnell representative will be on hand to showcase and discuss optics and the Friends of Presqu’ile will host a fund-raising BBQ from 11:00 a.m. onwards. All events are free with a day-use permit to the park.

Peter Briand, the Park Superintendent at Arrowhead Provincial Park wants everyone to know that even if the snow is disappearing in southern Ontario, Arrowhead will still likely have plenty of the white stuff around during March Break. The park, north of Huntsville off of Highway 11, is a favourite with cross-country skiers. Twenty-nine km of groomed track set cross-country ski trails are here along with 12 km of skate skiing trails. Each trail is rated for difficulty and ranges from beginner to expert. Arrowhead has over 6 km of snowshoeing trails and a terrific tubing hill. Ski and snowshoe rentals are available and tubes can be borrowed free of charge with the purchase of a day-use park permit.

The challenging and spirit-lifting Cross Quetico Lake Tour is an annual cross-country ski event that many regard as the most unique event of its kind in Ontario. Organized by the Beaten Path Nordic Trails Association, it welcomes avid dog team mushers, skijorers and skiers for an all-day adventure across the frozen lakes of Quetico Provincial Park. This year’s tour date (weather permitting) is March 19. Three possible lake routes range from 35-55 km. Yurt accommodation is available in Quetico’s Dawson Campground.
Further tour details are found at http://atikokancanoe.tripod.com/beatenpath/
Advance yurt reservations are a must: ontarioparks.com/reservations

Before you travel, be sure to check the Ontario Parks Ski Report for current conditions!