Owl-induced whiplash

In today’s post, Alistair MacKenzie, Naturalist Heritage Education Supervisor at Pinery Provincial Park, recounts a dramatic encounter with an Eastern Screech Owl.

We desperately needed to confirm breeding evidence for Eastern Screech Owls in our survey squares for the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas back in 2005.

It was our last chance given that the atlas was wrapping up the collection period and I was frustrated since I confidently knew that screech owls did indeed breed in the park, but sadly we just hadn’t managed to be in the right place at the right time to confirm it.

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9 tips for eco friendly Halloween decor

Many of our in-park Halloween events feature campsite decorating contests.

But certain decorations can be harmful to the environment.

Here’s how you can create a super spooky campsite AND protect Ontario’s ecological integrity at the same time.

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Halloween treats for little ghouls & goblins

If you’ve never celebrated Halloween in one of Ontario’s parks, you don’t know what you’re missing! You can decorate your campsite, carve a pumpkin, do a night hike, go trick or treating and finish up in front of a bonfire with a few spooky ghost stories and some devilishly good snacks.

Here are some scary good Halloween treats that are easy to make and will delight your little ghouls and goblins.

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Batmobiles in the northwest!

Today’s post comes from Evan McCaul and Steve Kingston, ecologists with Ontario Parks’ Northwest Zone.

Did you know that bats play important roles in our ecosystems and are unique in being the only type of mammals that can truly fly?

All bats in Ontario are nocturnal predators that feed primarily on insects like moths and mosquitoes. There are eight different bat species across Ontario, including three species at risk: the Little Brown Bat, the Northern Long-eared Bat and the Tri-coloured Bat.

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Discovery and trails go together like peanut butter and jelly

In our “Behind the Scenes” series, Discovery Program staff across the province share a “backstage” glimpse of their favourite programs and projects. Today’s post comes from David Bree, Discovery Program Lead at Presqu’ile Provincial Park.

Trails and parks go together like (fill in your favourite pairing here: “like peas and carrots,” as Forrest Gump would say). Trails are arguably the most used recreational facility in our park system.

But trails don’t just happen; first a concept must be born.

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Studying Coaster Brook Trout at Neys Provincial Park

Today’s post comes from Mitch Kostecki, Assistant Superintendent at White Lake Provincial Park.

If you have ever visited Neys Provincial Park, you know that it’s a gem found along the northern shore of Lake Superior.

Neys is known for its beautiful scenery along Superior’s rugged coastline, home to Lawren Harris’ famous painting “Pic Island,” and even has a history of being one of several POW camps located throughout northwestern Ontario during World War II.

What Neys isn’t quite as well known for? The excellent fishing opportunities found along that same rugged coastline.

Continue reading Studying Coaster Brook Trout at Neys Provincial Park

Campsite vacancy highlights: October 11-14

Gather friends and family around the picnic table this year and spend Thanksgiving out in nature surrounded by beautiful fall colours!

Scout out your ideal campsite on our Campsite Browsing/Reservation tool (including pictures of most campsites!), or check out these featured campsites (available as of 10:00 am. on October 9, 2019):

Continue reading Campsite vacancy highlights: October 11-14

*Service outage planned* — scheduled maintenance on reservation system

Our new reservation system will roll out later this fall.

In order to transfer data from the old system to the new system, the reservation system must be taken offline for approximately one week.

There will be no reservations available online or via the call centre while the reservation service is temporarily shut down.

Continue reading *Service outage planned* — scheduled maintenance on reservation system