Travel back in time to the Bon Echo Inn

Today’s post comes from Lisa Roach, chief park naturalist at Bon Echo Provincial Park.

Did you know some of your favourite provincial parks like Bon Echo, Sandbanks, Presqu’ile, and Algonquin have hosted the summer vacations of nature-lovers since the turn of the century?

By the end of the 1800s, pioneer society was changing. Increased prosperity led to a growing interest in summer resorts and leisure activities. People in Ontario were using their own wilderness for recreation, just like we do today.

Resorts became the popular hangout for the well-to-do, like Lakeshore Lodge (Sandbanks) or Bartlett Lodge (Algonquin).

Over 100 years ago Bon Echo Provincial Park became home to the ultimate summer recreation destination: the Bon Echo Inn.

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Establishing a new conservation reserve in Prince Edward County

Our staff have been working hard to evaluate the possibility of establishing a new conservation reserve. 

Ostrander Crown Land Block and Point Petre Provincial Wildlife Area are two ecologically significant areas along the southern shore of Prince Edward County.

They are currently designated as provincial Crown land, managed by the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry.

These are areas used for waterfowl hunting, hiking, recreational motorized vehicles, birdwatching, and other recreational activities that all Ontarians are welcome to enjoy.

The South Shore is recognized as a unique and globally significant Important Bird and Biodiversity Area and an International Monarch Butterfly Reserve. 

Could a conservation reserve designation help protect these uses and values?

The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks proposes that designating the area as a conservation reserve would help strengthen the long-term protection and health of local wildlife and ecosystems (and invites your feedback!).

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International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2022

Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science!

Our scientists are absolutely integral to Ontario Parks, working as researchers, biologists, ecologists, and more!

Take a look at a few of our awesome women scientists:

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The history of picnicking at Rondeau

Today’s blog was written by Callum Barnes, a Discovery guide at Rondeau Provincial Park.

Established in 1894, Rondeau Provincial Park has been host to many activities and adventures over the years.

One quintessential family activity keeps our visitors coming back for seconds: picnicking.

Picnicking has been a popular activity at the park for generations, all the way back to the early 1900s.

So, how did Rondeau’s picnic boom begin?

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Accessible outdoors at Arrowhead

In today’s post, Patricia Pyrka and her son Finnan share their 2018 visit to Arrowhead Provincial Park

When you love the outdoors and have a child in a wheelchair, things tend to get a bit more complicated.

So complicated that for the first seven years of my son’s life, we never went on hikes. Winter outings were completely off my radar – try to get big and small thin wheels through snow!

At some point, I had had enough. I decided I did want to take my son out into nature. I wanted him to experience places he had never been to before, and share with him what I loved so much: quiet nature, deep forests, mountaintops, rough terrain trails, and changing weather conditions.

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The incredible legacy of Maw at Sleeping Giant

Today’s post comes from Rachelle Law, Discovery Leader at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.

Sleeping Giant is known for several things, one of them being our awe-inspiring views of the Sleeping Giant.

Another is our park cleaner nicknamed “Maw”, who retired from the park last year.

Working at the park for 39 years, Maw has become part of the true fabric of the park. She has left an extraordinary impact on the park, visitors and staff.

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The ultimate Pinery challenge

In today’s post, Sarah Fencott, a naturalist at Pinery Provincial Park is sharing her journey to completing the ultimate Pinery challenge. The goal? To complete all ten trails at Pinery, including lookouts and extensions. 

Last year, my goal was to hike every trail before the end of the summer. I completed my goal with three days left in my contract.

This year, my goal was to hike all of the trails in one week. This worked out well, as we needed to do an infrastructure survey of the park trails anyway! By hiking three trails per day I had completed my goal within my first week back at work.

With my initial goal so easily achieved, I set my sights on a new challenge that would be harder than anything I had done in the park before: the Tour de Pinery.

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The man behind the boardwalks: Ray Sheppard retires after 30 seasons at Pinery

Today’s post comes from Megan Loucks, Discovery Leader at Pinery Provincial Park

Have you ever been to Pinery Provincial Park?

Take a moment to think of your favourite spot. Is it the viewing platform along Riverside Trail? What about the boardwalk leading to the beach? Have you been to the top of the Nipissing Trail lookout?

Often we admire the beauty of the park’s natural wonders from boardwalks and lookouts, but have you ever wondered who built them?

Today’s blog is all about the man behind the boardwalks: Raymond Sheppard.

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Butterball’s story

Today’s post comes to us from David Bree, our Discovery Program Lead at Presqu’ile Provincial Park.

Butterball was a bit of a miracle child.

The way the year went, it was amazing that his egg was ever laid, let alone hatched. And he never should have flown.

But, somehow, he did.

To truly understand Butterball’s story, and the miracle it was, we must go back eight years. And oh yeah, you should know: Butterball is a Common Tern.

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