Ever flap an owl’s wing or held a century-old insect? You can at the Algonquin Park Collections Room!

The century-old skins, skulls and specimens inside the Collections Room at Algonquin Park live like little hermits in the basement of the Visitor Centre, stunningly preserved and rarely seen by anyone except park naturalists and visiting scientists.

Yet every now and again, the doors swing open and the public is invited to visit this treasure trove of natural history dating back 50 to 100 years.

Continue reading Ever flap an owl’s wing or held a century-old insect? You can at the Algonquin Park Collections Room!

Famous shipwrecks in or near Ontario Parks

There is a fascinating book called, “Mysterious Islands: Forgotten Tales of the Great Lakes”.  It mentions thousands of wrecks that lie at the bottom of the lakes which have been sailed since the 17th century. Many Ontario Parks are near these huge ship graveyards and in one park visitors can actually visit a wreck dating back to the War of 1812.

 

Illustration of the HMS Speedy

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Wasaga Under Seige

Wake up and smell the gunpowder at Wasaga Under Siege bicentennial Aug. 14 – 17

If the kids give you a hard time about actually heading outdoors this summer, take them to Wasaga Under Siege this August at Wasaga Beach Provincial Park, about 90 minutes north of Toronto. Tell them it’ll be like watching a video game, only for real.

Between August 14 and 17, designated areas of Wasaga Provincial Park will be transformed into an 1812 battlefield, complete with soldiers firing canons with real gunpowder, troops dropping on the battlefield and a narrator giving a play-by-play of all the action, just like Hockey Night in Canada. How cool is that?

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Discover the hidden archaeological treasures at Bonnechere

Many Ontario Parks offer visitors the chance to step back in time and learn about life from days gone by. But one of the cool things at Bonnechere Provincial Park, 37 km southwest of Pembroke, is that you can hold that history in the palm of your hand.

Artifacts like:

  • An 800 A.D. projectile point, likely from a spear that was dropped along the river by indigenous people who stopped to rest on the banks of the Bonnechere River while canoeing and portaging
  • An 1859 pre-Confederation copper one cent coin bearing the name “Canada” even though our country had yet to be officially formed
  • A 19th Century writing stylus, the type used by school children to scratch out their lessons (obviously before iPads)
  • A clay vessel from the Middle Woodland Period (200 – 300 B.C. to A.D. 700 – 900), detailing a thousand-year-old tradition of ceramics used by the Woodland people

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Then and now – 50 years at Rideau River Provincial Park

 In 1957, it was announced that a new provincial park was to be established along the Rideau River.  The new park would feature a campground and a beach for swimming and would be established on land that had once been a forestry station.  This is Rideau River Provincial Park.
 

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Fascinating stories at Ontario Parks

Human interest stories are brought to life every year through unique programming at Ontario Parks.

There are no ghosts but the spirit of lumbermen and settlers live on at Bonnechere Provincial Park. The park’s cultural history began thousands of years ago with First Nations travelers. By 1840, settlers began to arrive. Continue reading Fascinating stories at Ontario Parks