A bonding family experience in the #OPescape RV

Today’s post comes to us from Paula Schuck (@inkscrblr), the writer behind Thrifty Mommas Tips, and our next #OPescape content creator to travel around Ontario’s provincial parks in our wrapped RV

A few weeks ago, I listened to a podcast about the brain and nature’s impact on health, and I learned that time spent in natural surroundings impacts immune function, weight, and blood pressure as well as attention deficit disorder.

The impact of even a three day break when spent outdoors enjoying nature lasts months and leaves you in better health mentally and physically.

After learning that, I was more eager than ever to leave on our first ever RV trip (in celebration of Ontario’s Parks 125th anniversary). I needed to see for myself if it was true. Would the experience change us?

Continue reading A bonding family experience in the #OPescape RV

Southern Muskoka’s “living edge”

“The living edge.” It sounds more like a Bond film than a trail name, until you follow it through the woods.

The Living Edge Trail in Six Mile Lake Provincial Park is only a kilometre long, but it crosses such a variety of landscapes and habitats that it seems much longer.

It also spans time, giving visitors a close look at how the glaciers impacted the land thousands of years ago. Six Mile Lake Provincial Park is small on the outside, but big on the inside.

Continue reading Southern Muskoka’s “living edge”

Tree-mendous times at the Giant

This post comes to us from Lesley Ng, Natural Heritage Education Leader at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

Recently, park staff removed three outhouses from Marie Louise Lake Campground, leaving a blank footprint.

With funds available for Ontario Parks 125th anniversary stewardship initiatives, Sleeping Giant submitted a proposal to plant a few more trees this season.

Continue reading Tree-mendous times at the Giant

Sparking memories with tent nostalgia

Today’s post comes from Rachel DeGreef, Project and Communications Assistant with Ontario Parks. 

We can all agree that the smell of a campfire and fresh pine can bring us back to our fondest camping memories.

Science tells us that olfactory senses are the strongest memories we have. John Leadston, Project Manager at Arrowhead Provincial Park, shares that “the smell of that canvas [tent] takes me back to a place I would return to in a heartbeat.”

Continue reading Sparking memories with tent nostalgia

Then and Now: park entrance signs

In celebrating our 125th anniversary, we have been digging through our archives in search of vintage photos and documents. 

Driving up to your favourite park, seeing that park entrance sign can feel like coming home. Today, we’re taking a look at some Ontario Parks entrance signs and how they have evolved through the ages!

Continue reading Then and Now: park entrance signs

The makings and teachings of the birchbark canoe

Chuck Commanda grew up part of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, an Algonquin First Nation. As a young boy, he helped his grandparents make birchbark canoes. Now, years later, Chuck enjoys sharing his knowledge and showcasing his skills to the public.

Chuck recently attended the “Politics of the Canoe” workshop in Winnipeg, where he says much of the discussion focused on reconciliation through the canoe.

“The canoe is a shared experience that all Indigenous and non-Indigenous people can relate to. That makes it an effective tool for reconciliation.”

Continue reading The makings and teachings of the birchbark canoe

Greetings, Boozhoo, Aaniin, Sekoh, Wachay, Ullakut!

National Indigenous Peoples Day invites us to learn more about Indigenous history, perspectives and culture, and helps us build stronger relationships rooted in mutual respect and understanding.

We’re taking the opportunity to spotlight some of the wonderful partnerships and events shared with us by Indigenous leaders and communities across Ontario:

Continue reading Greetings, Boozhoo, Aaniin, Sekoh, Wachay, Ullakut!

7 reasons your family will fall in love with Bonnechere Provincial Park!

Looking for a new park to explore with your family? How about a park that offers great swimming, paddling, and hiking and will have your kids picking books from a tree?

Bonnechere Provincial Park — located in Killaloe, ON (just 2 hours from Ottawa) — is one of the Ottawa Valley’s hidden gems.

Here are some of the reasons your family will love this park:

Continue reading 7 reasons your family will fall in love with Bonnechere Provincial Park!

Then and Now: vehicle permits

Gearing up to celebrate our 125th anniversary has us digging through archives in search of vintage photos and documents. Over the course of the year, we’ll be sharing our discoveries in our OP125 blog series.

This month, we’re taking a look back on a collection of Ontario Parks vehicle permits dating back to 1957. Purchased and displayed on the front dash of a vehicle, these permits would give people unlimited daily vehicle entry to all Ontario provincial parks.

Continue reading Then and Now: vehicle permits