The science of snow

Today’s post comes from Brianne Brothers, a Zone Ecologist in Ontario’s Southwest Zone. 

Ah, snow. A substance that truly embodies what it means to be Canadian.

While many of us struggle with the idea enjoying something that inflicts hard physical labour and white-knuckled driving, it truly is clean, fresh and beautiful.

In that light, please grab a cup of coffee and a cozy window seat, and let’s explore the science of snow.

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The Cross Quetico Tour: a true winter adventure

Every March, cross-country skiers of all abilities descend on Quetico Provincial Park and the nearby town of Atikokan for the Cross Quetico Tour.

Normally known for its world-class wilderness canoeing opportunities, Quetico’s interconnected waterways become a winter venue for a ski adventure like no other.

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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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Hike-in ice fishing at Frontenac

Today’s post comes from year-round multispecies angler and writer Ashley Rae of SheLovesToFish.com.

Over the weekend, I traveled from my home in the Ottawa area to visit Frontenac Provincial Park. Growing up in nearby Napanee, I had visited the park plenty of times in the past, but this would be my very first hike-in ice fishing expedition.

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Licence-free fishing weekend 2017

At the first sign of frost, we often pack away our rods and reels, letting our fishing drive drift into daydreams until spring.

But what if we could reel in the dream catch during the sunniest and briskest days of the year?

With licence-free Family Fishing Weekend around the corner, we’re sharing our top tips about the season’s hottest — or should we say — coldest pastime — ice fishing!

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The beaver in winter

Pop quiz: do beavers hibernate? Today’s post — from Natural Heritage Education Specialist Dave Sproule — answers common questions about beavers.

beaverIf you’re near water, especially in our northern parks, you might see signs of one of the most important animals in the Ontario landscape, one that molds the landscape to its own needs.

But in the depths of winter, with much of Ontario frozen and white, what are these aquatic creatures up to?

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Skiing Quetico’s frozen wilderness

Today’s post comes from Quetico Provincial Park‘s Superintendent Trevor Gibb.

The smell of crisp clean pine and spruce trees. The sight of fresh moose, wolf, otter and hare tracks zigging and zagging across the path in front of you. The chirp of a chickadee. The crunch of the bright white snow and the gentle bite of the winter air on your cheeks.

This is cross-country skiing in a wilderness park. This is what winter is all about.

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Romantic winter adventures worth travelling for

If you love to cross-country ski, snowshoe, skate or simply explore the outdoors with your significant other, Ontario Parks has a romantic winter adventure for you.

Rent a cozy cabin, cottage or heated yurt at one of seven parks that offer winter accommodation. Pro tip? Book mid-week if you can. That’s when you’ll find the best availability.

Cozy winter getawaysTwenty-six provincial parks offer drop-dead gorgeous landscapes where you can reconnect with nature on a fun day trip or try an overnight park stay. Local ski clubs help keep hundreds of kilometres of park trails groomed or track set for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Try skating through the woods on a cool ice path at Arrowhead or MacGregor Point Provincial Parks.

And don’t fret: our roofed getaways have all the facilities you need to cook up a romantic candlelit dinner for two.

Holiday and New Year’s Eve events, ski loppets, snowshoe races, and other events are planned every winter.

Here is a sampling of winter adventures worth travelling for:

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Tips from a trail manager: prepping for the perfect cross-country ski day

Ready for a day of cross country skiing? Preparing your skis properly can make a big difference in whether you have a fun outing – or a frustrating one.

Peter Crooks, the trail manager for Kamview Nordic Ski Centre in Thunder Bay, has been cross-country skiing for nearly half a century.

Here are his top 7 tips on how to “read” the snow and use the right waxes for your classic skis:

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Where to snowshoe in Ontario Parks

Nature looks completely different under a glittering blanket of snow. Why not strap on some snowshoes and experience Ontario Parks in a whole new way this winter?

Check out our list of winter parks with top-notch snowshoeing opportunities:

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