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:

Continue reading Spring paddling safety

5 kid friendly signs of spring

Today’s post comes from MacGregor Point Provincial Park, courtesy of Natural Heritage Education Leader Matt Cunliffe.

Longer days give back extra hours of outdoor play and provide the perfect opportunity to explore our trails with the kids.

So don some comfy clothes and head to your favourite park (Bonus: spring involves far less work for getting the young ones ready for a hike!).

Continue reading 5 kid friendly signs of spring

Ontario’s trilliums and where to enjoy them

Ontario Parks is recognizing iconic Canadian species this year to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. Today’s post comes from Assistant Zone Ecologist Pilar Manorome.

Spring is probably my favourite season as it brings new life to our parks in the form of migrating birds and emerging spring ephemerals, giving our forests’ their long awaited pops of vibrant colours and contrast. One of our visitors’ favourite sights is Ontario’s provincial flower, the White Trillium, as their blooms blanket the forest floor.

Most people know of the White Trillium — also referred to as Wake Robin or Large-leaved Trillium — as Ontario’s provincial flower. This is the flower featured on many of our provincial documents, from health cards to driver’s licenses.

Here are the top five fun facts about this iconic Ontario species:

Continue reading Ontario’s trilliums and where to enjoy them

What makes spring so green?

Spring invigorates us, renews us, and makes us optimistic. Leaves sprout, flowers bloom, and birds sing. Winter is gone (mostly), and we can look forward to warmer sunny days.

We get excited about spring because of colour too. Green leaves mean summer is just around the corner.

If we look a bit closer though, we’ll see that there’s more than just green in the forest…

Continue reading What makes spring so green?

10 reasons you should try spring camping

To many, camping brings visions of sunshine, the leaves trembling as the trees slowly sway in the wind, sand and waves gently crashing around your toes as you enjoy your days on the beach. Your face is flush with your first dose of spring sunshine and your ears are filled with the beautiful songs of migrating birds.

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

Here are our top ten reasons to try spring camping this season:

Continue reading 10 reasons you should try spring camping

10 signs of spring at Ontario Parks

You know it’s spring in Ontario Parks when…

you see moose 
Moose are salt-depleted by the end of winter. Early spring runoff and salt from winter highway maintenance form mineral pools in roadside ditches which moose love to feed in. One of the best parks to spy moose in early spring is Algonquin Provincial Park along Highway 60.  Please ensure you drive with care and don’t stop on the highway to view the moose.

Continue reading 10 signs of spring at Ontario Parks

Presqu’ile is expecting company this May long weekend

Thousands of migratory birds set to delight during Warblers and Whimbrels 2014
 

As sure as the sun rises, Presqu’ile Provincial Park is once again playing host to thousands of tired, hungry songbirds and shorebirds as they pass through the Brighton area on their way towards their forest and Arctic summer homes via the welcoming peninsulas and treelines of one of Ontario’s best migratory hot spots. 

Although some birds will trickle through Presqu’ile after the waterfowl arrive in March, the second big wave of migration happens in May.  Presqu’ile celebrates this event with its annual Warblers and Whimbrels Festival.  The festival, which takes place during the May long weekend every year, is one of the coolest things about spring in this part of the province.

“Presqu’ile is a bit of a magnet for these migratory birds because of the geography, the habitat and the way the park sticks out into Lake Ontario,” says David Bree, park naturalist at Presqu’ile.  “These birds are on a very long journey and crossing the Great Lakes is very difficult for the smaller songbirds, depending on the winds, so they love to stop and feed and rest in these little points that jut out into the water.  Shorebirds on the other hand are incredible flyers and come here to feed and rest during their long journey to the Arctic.”

 

Dunlins gather at Presqu'ile Provincial Park.

  Continue reading Presqu’ile is expecting company this May long weekend