The Maukinak Trail: paddling from Dryden to Quetico

Today’s post comes from Lise Sorensen, Quetico’s Atikokan Entry Station Gate Attendant and off-season Trails Officer with the Path of the Paddle. If you’re planning to paddle the Maukinak Trail, this info will be indispensable.

Follow the path. It will lead you through boreal rivers and crystal-clear lakes, and past silent, watchful cliffs. Your guides will be eagles and your destination endless.

An integral segment of The Great Trail (Trans Canada Trail), the Path of the Paddle is a ribbon of water that stretches from Thunder Bay to the Manitoba border.

The Maukinak segment of the Path of the Paddle transects vast tracts of uninhabited crown land and connects the small communities of Atikokan and Dryden.

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10 signs of spring at Ontario Parks

Spring has sprung at Ontario Parks!

The sun is out, the birds are chirping, and the days of snow and sleet are (hopefully!) behind us. As the snow melts, enjoy the sensory delights of spring in our provincial parks as we see and hear signs of warm weather to come.

You know it’s spring in Ontario Parks when…

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Quetico’s backcountry routes without portages

This post comes from Park Information Specialist Jill Legault of Quetico Provincial Park.

“Portaging is like hitting yourself on the head with a hammer: it feels so good when you stop.” — Bill Mason

Did you know Quetico Provincial Park’s solitary wilderness experience and pristine nature is available without portaging?

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Five outdoor activities to improve your health

Who needs a gym membership when you have the outdoors?

Outdoor exercise has a stronger effect on blood pressure and mood than indoor exercise. Stress is relieved within minutes of exposure to nature as measured by muscle tension, blood pressure, and brain activity.

To put it simply, time spent outside is good for you! On World Health Day, let’s take a look at a few fun outdoor activities that can improve your health.

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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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Exploring the Great Trail in northwestern Ontario Parks

Today’s post comes from Michelle Halstead, a travel, tourism and eco-adventure placement student with Ontario Parks Northwest Zone.

Canada is proud to be the home of the greatest recreational trail in the world. A 24,000 km trail of land and water that stretches across 10 provinces and three territories.

The Great Trail (formally known as the Trans Canada Trail or TCT) is a project that started in 1992 and with the help of various donors and volunteers working together across the nation has become one of the greatest trails in the world. The trail offers a variety of outdoor recreation activities and scenery throughout Canada’s urban, rural and wilderness areas.

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The battle of paddlers: eliminating “Portage Rage”

Today’s post comes from Roger LaFontaine, Outdoor Recreation Specialist at Ontario Parks.

With the warm weather, our minds wander from day-to-day drudgery like the terrible commute, the clicking of keyboards, the abstract shapes, and disjointed words of a presentation.

Suddenly, you’re dreaming about pine trees, a campfire, and great people you don’t get to spend enough time with.

Glazed-over eyes slowly make their way to the window, and you begin to plan your escape.

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Temagami: an ancient canoe country

Today’s post comes from Natural Heritage Education and Marketing Specialist Dave Sproule.

It’s a rugged, time-worn landscape. A fractured piece of the Canadian Shield, with fault lines criss-crossing the roots of ancient mountains for hundreds of kilometres. More than 2,500 lakes fill those fault lines, and at over 600,000 hectares, it’s almost as large as Algonquin Provincial Park.

Is it any wonder so many paddlers lose their hearts to Temagami?

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Backcountry for beginners: the best destinations

When executed safely, your first backcountry trip forges lifelong memories, opening an immersive getaway into nature.

But the leap from car camping to backcountry requires preparation and learning. New paddlers and hikers can find themselves in serious trouble if they overestimate their skills or choose a too-challenging route.

Here are some recommended trips for backcountry beginners:

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