400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s exploration of Ontario

Many of us learned about Samuel de Champlain — French explorer and founder of New France back in the 1600s — in history class. Many of us have forgotten what we learned about him, and some of us have never heard of him. This year, 2015, marks the 400th anniversary of the exploration of Ontario by Samuel de Champlain, so it seems like a good time to take another look.
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Ontario Parks to visit in 2015

Because of the 5 month booking window at Ontario Parks, to reserve a specific (and popular) campsite for the August Civic long weekend, reserve now. Over 40% of reservations made by the end of March are for the most popular parks. Park staff suggests these provincial parks as alternatives to Ontario’s busiest five.

 

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The many colours of fall

The countdown to fall has begun; children are returning to school, sweaters and long pants are reappearing and birds and butterflies are beginning their migratory journeys.  Some of us experience a kind of grieving at this time of year; we mourn for the long hot days of summer.  But others celebrate fall – a time of glorious colour, quiet parks and few bugs.

Only a few regions of the world offer the kind of spectacular, showy fall colours that Ontario is famous for. The climate and deciduous trees of Northeastern North America provide the perfect storm for transforming our lush green foliage into the brilliant reds, yellows and oranges.

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What are we doing this weekend?

Guest Blogger: Matt Olsen from Paddle In

 

“What are we doing this weekend?”  

 A question posed to me by my three year old daughter on a cold and blustery January afternoon.  It’s a simple enough question but at the time, for the life of me, I had no answer.  I don’t quite remember what I ended up answering her but I believe it was along the lines of, “we’ll see.”  That question stuck with me and I promised myself that for the rest of the year I’d have an answer for her.  So as 2013 progressed, it became a year full of preparing, learning and most importantly, a year full of camping under the stars in some of Ontario’s most beautiful provincial parks.

Out on the trails at Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park (Photo Credit: Paddle In).

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Road trip: Northern Ontario 

Looking for your ‘bucket list’ vacation this year? Hit the road to Northern Ontario. Spectacular provincial parks are in every part of this massive region, encompassing over 802,000 square kilometres.  Many parks have the same amenities and programming that you’ll find in southern parks. Here are 3 northern Ontario Parks to whet your appetite: Continue reading Road trip: Northern Ontario 

Where to swim at Ontario Parks

This summer has been fantastic for swimmers. And nothing beats a cool dip on a hot summer day so we asked park staff where they think the best swimming is in Ontario: Continue reading Where to swim at Ontario Parks

Kids’ play at Ontario Parks

Need a way to get your kid more active this summer? Try one of Ontario Parks’ amazing Natural Heritage Education (NHE) programs. Kids can run around, explore, and interact with other kids in safe park settings. The Natural Heritage Education programs are led by knowledgeable NHE leaders and the fee for most programs is included in the price of a day or overnight park permit. Continue reading Kids’ play at Ontario Parks

Canoe Celebration at Samuel de Champlain

Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park on the historic Mattawa River is the perfect place to celebrate the canoe this spring! Connect with people who love to paddle. Experience something new like paddling a voyageur canoe or making a paddle. Celebrate our proud paddling heritage. Continue reading Canoe Celebration at Samuel de Champlain