What goes into closing a park for the winter?

While 31 provincial parks remain open for the winter, the rest hibernate until spring.

But closing a park isn’t as simple as just locking the gates. Our staff put a lot of elbow grease into prepping each park for the winter.

Here are just a few of the tasks we do each fall:

Continue reading What goes into closing a park for the winter?

Slithering into fall: hibernation for Ontario’s reptiles

Today’s post was written by seasonal student Heather Van Den Diepstraten from Rondeau Provincial Park.

It’s not just students and birds on the move this fall.

As the cold weather approaches, reptiles are trekking across Rondeau Provincial Park in search of hibernacula (places in which wildlife overwinter). Researchers for Wildlife Preservation Canada are busy tracking the movements of snakes, turtles, and skinks within the park as they find suitable habitat for their hibernation.

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Has spring sprung? Depends where you are!

Watching winter slip away is a magical thing. Snow is melting, temperatures are warming, and some of our fair-weather bird friends are returning.

However, Ontario is a huge province, and the arrival of spring looks very different depending on where you are.

Spring comes slowly in many provincial parks.

Every year people are surprised to learn that while urban areas may be in bloom, many provincial parks, such as Algonquin, are still covered in snow and ice.

This can lead to some unwelcome surprises and unsafe situations for visitors who are expecting warm weather and spring-like conditions.

Continue reading Has spring sprung? Depends where you are!

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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5 tips for sharing the winter trails

Many Ontario Parks have well-maintained trails for winter use.

Knowing the proper etiquette and rules for use helps to keep them safe for cross-country skiers, snowshoers and hikers alike.

We’re asking everyone to do their part to minimize the risk to yourself and others by following all public health advice, including physical distancing, and only engaging in outdoor activities close to where you live. Please do not travel outside of your area. 

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Your winter preparedness guide

If you’re reading this, you’re likely a not-very-furry mammal with a core body temperature around 37ºC.

Your body works very hard to maintain this temperature. If it drops even a few degrees, moving, thinking, and other basic tasks become difficult. You will need to warm up quickly, or you may find yourself in a dangerous situation.

To prevent cold-related emergencies, it’s important to plan your winter adventures with care.

Here’s what you need to know to stay safe in cold weather:

Continue reading Your winter preparedness guide