Accessible outdoors at Arrowhead

In today’s post, Patricia Pyrka (and her son Finnan) share their 2018 visit to Arrowhead Provincial Park

When you love the outdoors and have a child in a wheelchair, things tend to get a bit more complicated.

So complicated that for the first seven years of my son’s life, we never went on hikes. Winter outings were completely off my radar – try to get big and small thin wheels through snow!

At some point, I had had enough. I decided I did want to take my son out into nature. I wanted him to experience places he had never been to before, and share with him what I loved so much: quiet nature, deep forests, mountaintops, rough terrain trails, and changing weather conditions.

Continue reading Accessible outdoors at Arrowhead

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:

Continue reading Plan an exotic winter adventure at Ontario Parks

Tiki torch skating through the woods at Arrowhead

One of many cool things to do at this winter “amusement park” 

OK, so we’re Canadians, right? We know skating. We know it’s fun, invigorating and downright patriotic. But how many of us can say we’ve skated through the woods, at night, under the stars on an ice trail lit by tiki torch? The family memories! The selfies!

With nighttime and daytime skating Arrowhead Provincial Park, north of Huntsville, is the only provincial park with its own zamboni that grooms a 1.3 km trail to glassy perfection mid December to February. Cars line up down the highway to take part in this magical mystery tour that has struck a chord with visitors and increased winter attendance from 600 day passes five years ago to 6,000 last year.

Continue reading Tiki torch skating through the woods at Arrowhead

Cool March Break ideas at Ontario Parks

Kids love to hang with their friends on March Break so why not take them to Ontario Parks where they can burn off a bit of energy outdoors and have a good time. A little pre-planning in the comfort of your home can make for an extraordinary day or overnight park adventure. Park staff suggest involving your kids in the planning as much as possible.  This helps build excitement for your excursion. Continue reading Cool March Break ideas at Ontario Parks