Keep calm and camp on; Nature can decrease symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder

As the short cold days and long starry nights of winter set in, many feel the ‘blues’.  However, there are some individuals who are highly affected by the change in season, who are truly ‘SAD’ with Seasonal Affective Disorder.  However, a visit to your favourite park can be part of the solution to SAD.

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Plan an exotic winter adventure at Ontario Parks

Summer campers love Ontario Parks but many have never experienced their favourite park in winter.  Ontario Parks aims to change that. Nineteen provincial parks are open this winter season with cross-country trails to ski.  Thirteen have groomed or track-set trails. And eight of the nineteen have comfortable roofed accommodation for rent. Designated snowshoe trails are in many parks. Some have skating and tubing too. Three parks will host ski loppets. Another will host an annual snowshoe race and at least five plan to celebrate February’s Family Day weekend with special events. Below are tips to help visitors plan their own exotic park adventure this winter:

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Frontenac challenge: challenge accepted

Guest Blogger: Evan Holt, Traversing

I heard about the Frontenac Challenge a few years ago… which is to hike the provincial park’s 11 loops and 160km of trails between September 1 and October 31.  With the park’s All-Season Camping Challenge (camp at least one night in each month of the year for 12 consecutive months) and the Junior Hiking Challenge (Youth up to 12 years of age can take part in a mini Frontenac Challenge where they only need to complete six of the main loops in the park), Frontenac offers some great incentives to take in the sights and smells of the outdoors.

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10 ways to enjoy fall at Ontario Parks

1.    Book a Prince Edward County adventure

Maple Rest Heritage House  is a four-bedroom Victorian farmhouse. Jacques Cottage  has a beautiful view of Lake Ontario. You can book either for a fall getaway to Prince Edward County this fall through Sandbanks Provincial Park.

 2.    Find a quiet corner of Algonquin

Check out these tips from staff on how to explore a less busy side of Algonquin in the fall.

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Sporting events at Ontario Parks

All kinds of sporting events are held at Ontario Parks every year. Trail runs, road races, triathlons, cycling events, cross-country ski events, and even a hiker’s challenge. At least one of the running events is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.

Check the Ontario Parks’ calendar of events for listings.  New events are added all the time.  Friends volunteer organizations plan many of the sporting events and often have event information on their websites.

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Fall paddling

Are you dreaming of being surrounded by orange, yellow and red hues, endless landscapes and water as smooth as glass?  This means you are ready to plan your fall paddling trip!

Fall is a great time to get out in Ontario Parks; fall colours are amazing, blackfly season has subsided and the water is high this year.

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Trail running at Frontenac Provincial Park

Guest Blogger:  Derrick Spafford,  http://healthandadventure.com/

Trail running has grown tremendously in popularity over the past few years. Many runners are taking to the trails to enjoy benefits similar to hiking, such as being in nature, fresh air, solitude and amazing views. Trail running typically allows you to travel lighter and faster than hiking which makes it an attractive activity for some.

Ontario’s Provincial Parks feature some of the best trails to run on in the country, and Frontenac Provincial Park is a trail running paradise with over 100 kilometers of backcountry running bliss.

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