Spring paddling safety

Itching for ice out? We certainly are.

But spring weather can be fickle. Hitting the lake too early, 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 spring paddling safety:

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5 backcountry gems of Southeastern Ontario

Ontario’s wilderness is a lot closer than you think.

Did you know you can leave downtown Toronto and be paddling out to your campsite in less than 3 hours?

These five southeastern parks are perfect for finding backcountry solitude close to home:

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Are you ready for the Northwest Wilderness Quest?

Do you dream of paddling the vast wilderness of Northwestern Ontario, gliding past moose, caribou and wolves? Can you hear the gentle sound of your paddle smoothly caressing endless lakes and rivers, drops of water slowly tumbling off the tip of your blade? Does the scent of pine and spruce forests invite fond memories of past backcountry canoe trips and inspire dreams of future adventures?

Just picture it. This is the Northwest Wilderness Quest.

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Maintaining the Missinaibi

The Missinaibi River is one of the longest and most famous canoe routes in the Hudson Bay watershed – 500 km of whitewater river, from the Arctic watershed divide down to James Bay.

This summer, our Northeastern Resource Stewardship Crew traveled 185 km of that river working to maintain Missinaibi Provincial Park‘s backcountry.

Check out this video of their travels:

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5 questions with a backcountry ranger

Welcome to our “5 Questions” series! We chat with park staff around the province to give you an inside look at what it’s like to work at Ontario Parks.

Jason Lorbetskie has worked as a backcountry ranger in Algonquin Provincial Park for over 17 years. He is currently a Group Leader for Operations South, where his job duties include supervising other rangers, maintaining trails and campsites, and assisting with all facets of the backcountry program.

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Take a walk on the wild side on Lake Superior’s Coastal Trail

Today’s post comes from Carol Dersh, our natural heritage education leader at Lake Superior Provincial Park.

Slippery, steep and rugged sections ahead. . .

…what a fitting description of Lake Superior Provincial Park’s 65 km Coastal Trail.

If you like wild places, rugged hikes, varied terrain, dark night skies, an endless horizon, fewer biting insects and spectacular rocks, this is the trail for you.

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Backcountry fishing in Quetico

For today’s post, we chatted with Trevor Gibb, Superintendent of Quetico Provincial Park (and longtime angling addict!).

You’ve spent the day on the water. It rained all morning, and you spent the afternoon paddling against that strange weather phenomenon, best described as the multi-directional headwind.

Time to make camp, kindle a fire, and relax listening to the crackling logs and sizzling frying pan.

For backcountry campers at Quetico Provincial Park, the tantalizing aroma wafting from that frying pan is the smell of fresh-caught fish.

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Are you ready for the Missinaibi River?

Backcountry-lover Scott Elliott, a Partnership Development Specialist from our main office, shares the story of his nine-day wilderness adventure.

Many parks are easily accessible; you just pack your tent and sleeping bag, hop in the car and roll into your weekend campground.

But some parks require planning, motivation, and a refined skill-set.

Missinaibi Provincial Park is one of those parks.

Continue reading Are you ready for the Missinaibi River?