Fall paddling at Restoule

Imagine. 

You put your canoe or kayak into the lake. The water is smooth and reflective. The sky’s a deep, dark blue, and the clouds are brilliant white. The day is sunny, cool and crisp, and the trees that cover the hills around you…well, they’re a stunning display of red, orange, and yellow.

There’s something special about paddling in Ontario’s provincial parks in the fall, particularly secluded Restoule Provincial Park.

Continue reading Fall paddling at Restoule

5 reasons to visit Esker Lakes Provincial Park

Esker Lakes Provincial Park surrounds a chain of sparkling lakes set in an ancient glacial landscape, carpeted in boreal forest.

A quiet, family-oriented park, Esker Lakes sits just east of the historic mining town of Kirkland Lake in northeastern Ontario.

Here are five reasons Esker Lakes will delight family campers and nature-lovers alike:

Continue reading 5 reasons to visit Esker Lakes Provincial Park

Backcountry basics: know your limits

You’ve heard about this fantastic new adventure through a friend, route guide, or Instagram. It looks kind of tough, and you’re pretty new to the whole backcountry thing.

Still, you don’t want to miss out, so you decide to go for it.

But as you start planning, there’s a little voice wondering if this is really the best idea.

Listen to that voice.

Continue reading Backcountry basics: know your limits

5 things I learned on my first hike-in backcountry trip

In today’s post, Ontario Parks’ marketing intern Megan Birrell recounts her first hike-in backcountry adventure. 

Last year, I tried backcountry camping by canoe for the first time. This summer, my camping crew and I decided to take it up a notch and try hike-in camping.

We selected Bon Echo Provincial Park’s Abes and Essens Trail as our hike-in destination and the planning began.

Continue reading 5 things I learned on my first hike-in backcountry trip

Backcountry canoeing with your dog

Today’s post comes from Jill Legault, Information Specialist at Quetico Provincial Park

Summertime means puppy playtime!

Dogs love the opportunity to be outside as much as you do. A little planning means every family member is happy and safe in the backcountry.

Continue reading Backcountry canoeing with your dog

Backcountry basics: drinking water

Whitney Arnott is a hiking and canoeing enthusiast that likes to spend days at a time in the backcountry when she’s not working at Ontario Parks branch office.

Here are her tips for safe drinking water when you’re in the wilderness.

When it comes to drinking water in the backcountry, you may think it will be simple. There’s lots of water all around you, right?

While that is true, it’s not as simple as turning on a tap at home or dipping your bottle below the water’s surface to fill it.

Untreated water found in lakes, rivers, ponds, etc. isn’t safe to drink. It can contain waterborne parasites and diseases like Giardiasis (also known as beaver fever) or E. coli, which can make you sick.

Continue reading Backcountry basics: drinking water

Backcountry basics: storing and disposing of food

We don’t know about you, but when we pack food for our backcountry trip, we plan on eating it.

That plan can go downhill quickly when raccoons, squirrels, and bears dip into your trail mix, or rain soaks through your pack, ruining your soft sausage buns.

You want to see a grumpy bear? A weekend away without food will turn us into one in no time!

Instead, learn how to store food and dispose of scraps so you don’t end up with soggy food or, worse, unexpected dinner guests.

Continue reading Backcountry basics: storing and disposing of food

Say “no” to axe-idents

You’ve just paddled your heart out to get to your campsite. You put on your flannel and grab your axe to prepare your campfire.

Something about being in the wilderness that brings out our inner woodsperson.

We know the feeling.

However, for the preservation of your toes, please read this before you swing that axe!

Continue reading Say “no” to axe-idents

An Ontario Parks glossary

Are you new to parks, or maybe a park veteran looking to brush up on your knowledge?

We’ve assembled a handy guide to all the terms you’ll need to know and understand before you visit the park…

Continue reading An Ontario Parks glossary

How to avoid getting lost

We can definitely recommend “losing yourself” in our provincial parks by delighting in the sights and sounds of nature, and living in the moment.

We do not, however, recommend getting actually lost.

Park visitors get lost more often than you’d think. It can be a scary, stressful, and dangerous situation. It can also result in complicated and expensive search-and-rescue operations.

While we know no one sets out to get lost, there are steps you can take to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

Continue reading How to avoid getting lost