A tale of star cross’d plovers

In today’s post, Marina Opitz, Discovery leader at Wasaga Beach Provincial Park, regales us with shorebird drama of Shakespearean proportions. Thanks to Neal Mutiger for photographing our leading avian actors.

First, let us set the scene for our dramatic tale.

Picture an empty beach, orange sunrise gleaming across the waves, when two solitary plovers lock eyes from across the wrack line. It is love at first sight.

However, if we have learned anything from the immortal Bard, it is that not all romantic tales have a happy ending. And so we start on our path to eventual heartbreak…

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How to beat the crowds at Wasaga Beach Provincial Park

Wasaga Beach Provincial Park is the busiest provincial park in the province, receiving over 1.5 million visitors every year! Home to the world’s longest freshwater beach, Wasaga boasts 14 km of pristine sand, which makes it a hot spot for summer activity.

This also means that our park can get extremely busy, and often reaches capacity on hot summer days. We are also currently experiencing high water levels, limiting our beachfront across all 14 km.

Our park is unique within the provincial park system as it is the only provincial park that is fully integrated within a town. This can be confusing for our visitors.

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Health benefits of cross-country skiing

Staying active in the winter isn’t always easy. For some of us, it’s tempting to stay in, cuddle up, and spend the long winter months binging Netflix and unhealthy snacks.

Cross-country skiing boasts a wide array of benefits for your physical and mental health. Here’s why you should strap on some skis and spend your winter gliding through frozen forests and snow-covered trails:

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Frozen falls and other wacky winter water

When most of us picture winter ice, we conjure up mental images of skating rinks and icicles. But did you know there’s a lot of variety in wintry water formations?

From frozen falls to ice volcanoes, winter water is quite a sight to behold:

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How to get your kids to love cross-country skiing

Did you know 18 of our parks have cross-country trails, about half of them groomed?

Cross-country skiing is a great way for families to get outdoors and enjoy the winter together! It’s less expensive and safer than alpine skiing, it helps keep kids fit, and it’s a skill they’ll have their entire life.

Here are our top seven tips for getting kids hooked on cross-country skiing:

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Holiday boredom busters in southwestern Ontario

Is “I’m bored” a constant refrain during the winter school break?

Boredom can be good for kids’ creativity,  but it can be demanding on a parent’s last nerve.

Out of ideas? We have you covered.

Southwestern Ontario boasts nine parks which are open over the school break, offering a variety of indoor and outdoor programs, events and activities!

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5 ways to stay active in the cold

Brrr! Temperatures are dropping, and winter’s icy grip is almost upon us.

We bet you’re feeling just about ready to tuck into a nice, long winter’s hibernation. Not so fast! Outdoor activity is important for our mental and physical health all year long. Getting outside is good for you even when the weather is not ideal.

Ontario Parks has 31 parks open in the winter. Each park offers plenty of ways for you to get active in the chilly months.

Here are some great ways to stay healthy, and enjoy winter!

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Beach accessibility at Ontario Parks

Beaches can be an accessibility challenge for park visitors using walkers or wheelchairs. Because of the soft sand, wheels and legs of walkers can sink in, making them tough to maneuver.

As a part of our commitment to making parks as accessible as possible, more parks are offering beach accessibility measures to help visitors explore our shorelines.

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