Ever flap an owl’s wing or held a century-old insect? You can at the Algonquin Park Collections Room!

The century-old skins, skulls and specimens inside the Collections Room at Algonquin Park live like little hermits in the basement of the Visitor Centre, stunningly preserved and rarely seen by anyone except park naturalists and visiting scientists.

Yet every now and again, the doors swing open and the public is invited to visit this treasure trove of natural history dating back 50 to 100 years.

Continue reading Ever flap an owl’s wing or held a century-old insect? You can at the Algonquin Park Collections Room!

Christmas is for the birds at Killarney

Christmas bird counts have been a tradition that has been taking place for the past 114 years.  In 1900, A single man set out to count the number of different bird species and now these counts take place in over 2000 localities in Canada, US, Latin America and the Caribbean.  Bird Studies Canada now coordinates with all the local organizers to help make these counts possible.  This year, all counts must take place between December 14 and January 5.  Birds are counted in a 24km diameter circle; the same area is then used every year.

Continue reading Christmas is for the birds at Killarney

Famous shipwrecks in or near Ontario Parks

There is a fascinating book called, “Mysterious Islands: Forgotten Tales of the Great Lakes”.  It mentions thousands of wrecks that lie at the bottom of the lakes which have been sailed since the 17th century. Many Ontario Parks are near these huge ship graveyards and in one park visitors can actually visit a wreck dating back to the War of 1812.


Illustration of the HMS Speedy

Continue reading Famous shipwrecks in or near Ontario Parks

Flocking to Wasaga Beach

Many people flock to Wasaga Beach Provincial Park for the sandy beach… but so do the birds!

Piping Plovers are small shorebirds seen scurrying along sandy shorelines or backs of beaches where water has pooled, searching for insects and small crustaceans.  Although well camouflaged, Piping Plovers are identifiable by their short orange bills and bright orange legs.  These shorebirds may be little, weighing about 2 ounces and 6 inches in length, but they are mighty.  Twice a year they migrate approximately 2,000 miles to the Atlantic Coast of Mexico.

Continue reading Flocking to Wasaga Beach

Halloween is back at Ontario Parks (2014)

Witches in the woods, skeletons in closets and shivers on the shale. Camper Halloween is back at twelve Ontario Parks this October. Park staff and the Friends of Ontario Parks are putting the final touches on their spooky night hikes, owl prowls, wolf howls, and more. Many activities are cleverly linked to park and species ecology.  Halloween events have become so popular that campers are encouraged to book their campsites now, if they plan to participate. Below is a sample of this year’s events. You’ll find more on Ontario Parks’ Calendar of Events. Food plays a major role on any camping trip. This Park blog post highlights classic campsite recipes, new family favourites for fall and links to a post on how to cook a Thanksgiving turkey outdoors: BBQ turkey for thanksgiving? Why Not?

Continue reading Halloween is back at Ontario Parks (2014)

Discovering the beauty of Ontario’s southern belle: the Carolinian Forest

Why not enjoy a deliciously lazy afternoon fanning yourself beneath a leafy sassafras tree, sipping lemonade and reading your favourite book? Or take a relaxing stroll among the tulip trees or red oaks, with their luxurious canopies whispering from above?

Inhale the beauty, exhale the stress.

Continue reading Discovering the beauty of Ontario’s southern belle: the Carolinian Forest

Announcing new video series: Cool Things in Ontario Parks

Our park staff know some pretty cool stories about our parks and stories are meant to be shared!

We are excited to announce the upcoming launch of our Cool Things in Ontario Parks video series!  This series will take you on an adventure across the province for a behind the scenes tour of some of  the cool things in Ontario Parks.  You may learn something new about one of your favourite parks, or get inspired to visit a new one!

 Series host Doug on set in Wasaga Beach Provincial Park.


Ontario Parks’ own, the comedic and curious Doug, will be your guide for the series as he sets out in search of the cool.  Exploring a different provincial park in each episode, the series leads Doug on an awesome adventure from the mines at Murphys Point and the ski trails at Windy Lake, to the swamp at Presqu’ile and pictographs at Bon Echo.  At each park, Doug goes to the experts – our awesome staff –  to find out what’s cool.  Together, they uncover some really cool things in parks!

The first video will launch on our YouTube Channel on February 20.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates and to join the discussion and tell us about the cool things in your favourite park!