“Giant” generosity

Our favourite natural spaces can move us. Scenic views, outdoor adventures, and breathtaking experiences all hold a special place in our hearts and minds.

Recently, one generous donor was so moved by the Kabeyun Trail at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park that they made a $25,000 donation to improve the trail.

Talk about “giant” generosity!

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Your winter preparedness guide

If you’re reading this, you’re likely a not-very-furry mammal with a core body temperature around 37ºC.

Your body works very hard to maintain this temperature. If it drops even a few degrees, moving, thinking, and other basic tasks become difficult. You will need to warm up quickly, or you may find yourself in a dangerous situation.

To prevent cold-related emergencies, it’s important to plan your winter adventures with care.

Here’s what you need to know to stay safe in cold weather:

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First Day Hike destinations

New Year’s Day is coming up fast — have you picked out a park for your First Day Hike?

This 10-park list rounds up some top options for your first foray into 2021:

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This is your brain on nature!

Nature? We’re here for it and so are our friends at Coleman Canada. Read on to find out how they’re helping us encourage Ontarians to spend more time outside!

It’s easy to feel a bit low at this time of year. It seems to get dark outside immediately after lunch, the sun is elusive, and our bodies are still adapting to cooler temperatures.

There’s a part of our brain that really wants to hibernate.

But we’re going to fight that urge, and you should too! Here’s why: our brains need nature! Continue reading This is your brain on nature!

6 essential items to pack for your winter hike

Trail guide and cellphone and water in bottles,
Flashlight just in case your hike is a dawdle,
High energy snacks secured with drawstrings,
These are a few of our essential things… (can’t you just hear Maria von Trapp’s voice?)

A walk through a pine tree forest in crunchy snow can be dreamy, however your snowy paradise can go south quickly if you’re missing important items.

Being prepared with a few essentials in your bag will help keep you safe on your adventure. Here are six items that should always be in your day pack on a winter hike:

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Waldeinsamkeit: solitude in the forest

Picture this: you’re alone, deep into a forested trail. Your only companions are the birds fluttering from branch to branch around you. As you walk, you follow a corridor made of pillars of ancient trees, and smell the earthy aroma of moss and damp leaves.

How do you feel? It’s hard to describe, but the words which immediately come to mind are calm, peaceful, and contemplative. You feel a deep-rooted connection to the world around you, and you are reminded of the importance of our natural environment.

There’s a word for that feeling: waldeinsamkeit.

Continue reading Waldeinsamkeit: solitude in the forest

The ultimate Pinery challenge

In today’s post, Sarah Fencott, a naturalist at Pinery Provincial Park is sharing her journey to completing the ultimate Pinery challenge. The goal? To complete all ten trails at Pinery, including lookouts and extensions. 

Last year, my goal was to hike every trail before the end of the summer. I completed my goal with three days left in my contract.

This year, my goal was to hike all of the trails in one week. This worked out well, as we needed to do an infrastructure survey of the park trails anyway! By hiking three trails per day I had completed my goal within my first week back at work.

With my initial goal so easily achieved, I set my sights on a new challenge that would be harder than anything I had done in the park before: the Tour de Pinery.

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4 top tips for fall hiking adventures

Fall is our favourite hiking season.

It’s not too hot. The bugs are gone. Solitude is easier to find.

But fall hiking has its own complications, especially when it comes to weather.

We teamed up with our friends at SAIL to create this handy fall hiking checklist:

Continue reading 4 top tips for fall hiking adventures