Falling in love with the colours of Ontario’s southwest

“There is nothing permanent except change.”

— Heraclitus

As the blissful haze of summer fades, we confront the realities of the changing season: colder weather and back to school. Autumn brings change to our lives, and to our parks as well. Change can seem overwhelming, but southwestern Ontario is a shining example of the beauty of change.

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Eyes on the skies — October

Welcome to the Ontario Parks “Eyes on the skies” series. This will cover a wide range of astronomy topics with a focus on what can be seen from the pristine skies found in our provincial parks.

October is a month of transition as the last few warm days depart and we prepare ourselves for winter.

But cold weather does not mean we should abandon the great outdoors. On the contrary, the peace and serenity found at this time of the year make a trip to any park all the more enjoyable.

Here are our astronomical highlights for October 2018:

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Accessible locations to view fall colours

As the cold weather hits, opportunities to view a stunning array of fall colours are popping up around the province.

Ontario Parks is committed to making our parks as accessible as possible for visitors. If you’re planning a trip, we’ve rounded up a list of parks with accessibility features that are perfect for viewing the beauty of fall.

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Top 10 spots for a family picnic

It’s the perfect time to pack a picnic and spend a relaxing afternoon at Ontario Parks. Without the summer crowds, it’s a snap to find a quiet picnic shelter, table or spot for your blanket and basket.

Here are ten parks with gorgeous picnic areas that are easy drives from Ontario urban centres.

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Fall paddling safety

Fall is the perfect time to paddle.

As the temperatures cool there are no bugs and the lakes become less crowded. Plus you can catch some of our beautiful fall colours!

But fall weather can be fickle. Hitting the lake too late, 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 fall paddling safety:

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IBAs of Ontario Parks: the Frontenac Forests IBA

Welcome to the September installment of “IBAs in provincial parks,” brought to you by Ontario IBA Coordinator Amanda Bichel of Bird Studies Canada.

Break out the champagne! We don’t often add new IBAs to the Canadian family of sites, so when we do, it’s a special occasion.

The all-new Frontenac Forests Important Bird and Biodiversity Area encompasses Frontenac Provincial Park and Queens University Biological Station (QUBS), and is designated for one of the most beautiful warblers around – the Cerulean Warbler.

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Fall vistas of Ontario’s northeast

Ah, fall…the weather has cools down, the bugs are gone, and our parks turn into a kaleidoscope of stunning reds, oranges, and yellows.

If you’re a lover of fall hiking, northeastern Ontario is the place to be. The combination of rugged Canadian Shield and spectacular fall colours makes hiking in northeastern Ontario a bucket list item.

Our parks are home to some amazing must-see vistas that are illuminated each year by autumn’s changing leaves. Here are a few of our favourites.

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Restoule: a fall colours paradise

When we hear the words “fall colours,” our minds often jump to Algonquin. Trouble is, Algonquin’s gotten so popular that autumn brings long line-ups, crowded trails, and traffic-snarling “leaf jams.”

So where can we go to see awe-inspiring fall colours, hike to breathtaking lookouts, and avoid the crowds?

Restoule Provincial Park.

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