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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4 top tips for fall hiking adventures

Fall is our favourite hiking season.

It’s not too hot. The bugs are gone. Solitude is easier to find.

But fall hiking has its own complications, especially when it comes to weather.

We teamed up with our friends at SAIL to create this handy fall hiking checklist:

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Keeping dogs on-leash protects our parks’ ecological integrity

Today’s blog comes from Emma Dennis, an assistant Discovery Program leader at Killarney Provincial Park.

I am a lover of the outdoors and an avid hiker, so it’s only natural that I own two dogs that share that same passions. As Killarney residents, we are lucky enough to have Killarney Provincial Park as our backyard.

Whether we are hitting the Granite Ridge Trail on a Sunday morning for a quick hike to start our day, or spending the afternoon adventuring to the top of “The Crack,” we live our best lives when we are hiking the trails.

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Up for a hiking challenge?

For many hikers, fall is peak season for the big challenges. Bugs have fled, temperatures are lower and the autumn leaves are on full display.

If you’re after an exciting new trail this fall, we’ve got three bucket list trips to recommend.

Ready to test your mettle?

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Frontenac challenge: challenge accepted!

Today’s blog comes from Evan Holt, a Content Development Specialist for Ontario Parks. Evan has completed the Frontenac Challenge five times!

I first heard about the Frontenac Challenge a few years ago. As a seasoned camper, the challenge to hike Frontenac Provincial Park’s 11 loops and 160 km of trails between September 1 and October 31 intrigued me.

I hit the trails and quickly fell in love with this amazing park. Years later, I’ve completed the Frontenac Challenge five times, and learned a lot along the way.

In this blog, I will pass along some of my Frontenac wisdom, and help you get ready to complete the challenge this fall.

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Fall vistas of Ontario’s northeast

Ah, fall…the weather cools down, the bugs disappear, and our parks turn into a kaleidoscope of stunning reds, oranges, and yellows.

If you’re a lover of fall hiking, northeastern Ontario is the place to be. The combination of rugged Canadian Shield and spectacular fall colours makes hiking in northeastern Ontario a bucket list item.

Our parks are home to some amazing must-see vistas that are illuminated each year by autumn’s changing leaves. Here are a few of our favourites.

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Restoule: a fall colours paradise

When we hear the words “fall colours,” our minds often jump to Algonquin. Trouble is, Algonquin’s gotten so popular that autumn brings long line-ups, crowded trails, and traffic-snarling “leaf jams.”

So where can we go to see awe-inspiring fall colours, hike to breathtaking lookouts, and avoid the crowds?

Restoule Provincial Park.

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Mississagi: a hiker’s paradise

If you have been to Mississagi Provincial Park, you’ll know that it’s one of Ontario’s best-kept secrets. The scenery is spectacular, thanks to the geology of the area, which forms a series of hills, ridges and cliffs, and valleys with sparkling blue lakes.

Covering the hills and surrounding the lakes are the forests of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region. Sugar maples, red maples and yellow birch make up most of the trees in the forest, but white pine and black spruce find places along the rocky ridges and lake shores. These forests light up in the fall with red, yellow, gold and orange.

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Under the Volcano Trail at Neys Provincial Park

Today’s post comes from Grace McGarry and Meghan Drake, Discovery Program staff at Neys and Mark Puumala, Resident Geologist at the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines.

Neys Provincial Park is a special place. It has so many qualities that stand out when compared to other parks.

One of these qualities is the park’s Under the Volcano Trail. This stunning trail is entirely along the coast of Lake Superior.

This trail has some interesting features waiting to be discovered. Let’s take a look at what makes this trail special.

To start, the name says it all. This trail takes you along the route of what was once an active volcano where the coast of Lake Superior is now!

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Hitting the trail at Esker Lakes

This post is written by Dave Sproule, Natural Heritage Education Specialist with Ontario Parks.

If you are looking for a new trail to explore this summer, the Lonesome Bog Trail at Esker Lakes Provincial Park might be just the ticket! This 1.5 km interpretive trail sweeps around Sausage Lake and travels through a variety of habitats, introducing visitors to boreal forest ecosystems and ancient glacial landscapes.

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