Canadian canoe culture

“If it is love that binds people to places in this nation of rivers and in this river of nations then one enduring expression of that simple truth, is surely the canoe.”

— James Raffan, adventurer, acclaimed author and Director Emeritus of the Canadian Canoe Museum

Through the stories of five paddlers across Ontario, “THE CANOE” underscores the strength of the human spirit and how the canoe can be a vessel for creating deep and meaningful connections.

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Are you ready for the Northwest Wilderness Quest?

Do you dream of paddling the vast wilderness of Northwestern Ontario, gliding past moose, caribou and wolves? Can you hear the gentle sound of your paddle smoothly caressing endless lakes and rivers, drops of water slowly tumbling off the tip of your blade? Does the scent of pine and spruce forests invite fond memories of past backcountry canoe trips and inspire dreams of future adventures?

Just picture it. This is the Northwest Wilderness Quest.

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Reflections on 28 seasons of fishing in Ontario Parks

Today’s post comes from Rob Cunningham, Superintendent of Presqu’ile and Ferris Provincial Parks.

I started working at Killarney Provincial Park in 1988, and that was the start of my many wonderful experiences of angling in Ontario’s provincial parks. I’ve been blessed in my career to work at over 14 parks, and I have fished and visited over 40 of them.

And they’re among the most beautiful locations and wonderful angling experiences anywhere.

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5 bucket list fishing destinations in northwestern Ontario

If you live to fish and you’ve never cast your line into a lake in northern Ontario, these five spots in the backcountry you’ll want to add to your bucket list!

They come (in no particular order!) courtesy of Bob Elliott, superintendent of Lake Superior Provincial Park.

A lifelong, avid angler himself, Bob says these five parks provide unparalleled fishing, together with a true wilderness experience, which is why they attract people from all over Canada, the United States and beyond.
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Pick your backcountry adventure

Choosing a park that offers the opportunities you are searching for can be the hardest part of the planning process.

Do you want to canoe or hike? Maybe a little of both? Are you looking to go out for two nights or two weeks? Do you want a challenging terrain or do you prefer a flat trail? Are you able to carry your canoe or kayak for 1400 m or do you prefer shorter portages?  The list of questions goes on.

We thought we would do some of the research for you.  Here are six different provincial parks that have great backcountry opportunities for beginners to advanced campers.

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Enjoy the Lakes in Ontario Parks!

Be BOATsmart!® This Summer!

Another open-water season has arrived (well, almost!) and we hope you’re as excited as we are to get back out on the water! The sun is shining, the ice is officially on its way out, and Ontario Parks are starting to open up for the 2015 visiting season!

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Your first interior trip

These expert tips will help you stay safe and have fun

All of us need a little solitude now and then. So why not consider heading to the backcountry this summer for a little communing with nature extraordinaire. You might just emerge a changed person, never to camp with the madding crowds again.

No matter how long your trip, by trying something new and embracing your inner explorer, you too can join the legions of long distance backpackers, canoeists and backcountry campers who venture into the backcountry every year.

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Why parks matter

David Bree (Senior Natural Heritage Leader, Presqu’ile Provincial Park)

Why do Parks Matter?  Unfortunately that is becoming an increasingly pertinent question in an age where screen time outweighs nature time on a regular basis.

Working in a park, I can answer that question in a number of ways.  The most obvious perhaps is that parks provide protection for a great many habitats, which in turn provide space and resources for the animals and plants of the province to function in a normal fashion.  This is in essence the definition of biodiversity, a whole bunch of things living and interconnecting in a complex web.  This is a bit of a catch word these days, but maintaining a high biodiversity in our world has been shown to make for a more robust and healthy environment. And a healthy environment is integral to our survival – it supplies our air, our water and our food, just to name the most obvious and crucial elements of life.  While to me this is a compelling and obvious argument, it has become sterile to many ears that have been bombarded by warnings of environmental doom and gloom all their lives.  After a while people just don’t hear.

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Soundscapes from across Ontario

 One of my favourite signs is from a lookout over the Grand Canyon.  It simply says,

ONE MINUTE.
DON’T READ.
DON’T TALK.
NO PHOTOS.
JUST LOOK…..AND SEE.
It is something that I hope you will do often when you visit our parks or other natural areas in Ontario.  But how about this variation?

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Provincial park wardens: protecting what you value most

“Hey you there, squirrel? Do you have a license to store those nuts?”  Such was a day in the life of Ranger Smith from ye old Jellystone Park where keeping Yogi Bear and other park dwellers in line was job one.

In real life, the job of a provincial park warden is serious business.  Trained to give visitors the safest, most secure visit possible while safeguarding park resources, wardens perform a variety of functions that most visitors may not even be aware of, including:

  • Enforcing the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act (PPCRA) and other related legislation;
  • Protecting park resources by enforcing legislation, providing education and increasing public awareness;
  • Resolving conflicts;
  • Working with other government agencies when necessary;
  • Preparing court documents and testifying in court proceedings, if needed;
  • Ensuring public safety. Continue reading Provincial park wardens: protecting what you value most