Don’t leave it hanging

Our trees are spectacular organisms. They make oxygen, can live to be quite old, have beautiful foliage, provide homes and food for countless wildlife, and through transpiration of water through their leaves, can even influence the weather.

Maybe our trees do deserve some form of decoration or recognition?

I was out in my park the other day, and with the leaves gone, I did notice some brightly coloured decorations on a tree down the trail.

Continue reading Don’t leave it hanging

Your winter preparedness guide

If you’re reading this, you’re likely a human being with a core body temperature around 37ºC.

Your body works very hard to maintain this temperature. If it drops even a few degrees, moving, thinking, and other basic tasks become difficult. You will need to warm up quickly, or you may find yourself in a dangerous situation.

To prevent cold-related emergencies, it’s important to plan your winter adventures with care.

Our friends at Subaru Canada want to share the best ways to stay safe in cold weather:

Continue reading Your winter preparedness guide

Everything you need to know about disposing of trash in provincial parks

We are so happy to welcome visitors to Ontario Parks…

…on the other hand, we are not so delighted to see what accompanies them.

We know many of you have also noticed this and have expressed your concerns. We appreciate and encourage park-lovers who are committed to protecting our environment for the future.

Continue reading Everything you need to know about disposing of trash in provincial parks

Considerate Camper: keep our trees healthy

Welcome to our “Considerate Camper” series. These are posts with tips and reminders on how to keep our provincial parks clean and healthy. Already know how it’s done? Please share these posts along for less-experienced campers 🙂

We’re taking a leaf out of the Lorax’s book and speaking for the trees today!

When maintaining our campgrounds, we often notice marks in our trees. Many are from axes and nails, and plenty of trees have names, shapes and initials carved across their bark.

Did you know these holes and gouges risk the tree’s health and may result in its destruction?

Continue reading Considerate Camper: keep our trees healthy

Planning to visit us during fall colours? Start here.

The crisp air and morning frost that September brings get many Ontarians excited for the arrival of fall colours.

And who can blame us? We would argue that Ontario is the most breathtaking place to enjoy autumn in all its stunning glory.

If you’re planning a trip to take in the colours of the season, here’s everything you’ll need to know before you go!

Continue reading Planning to visit us during fall colours? Start here.

Fall paddling safety

Fall is the perfect time to paddle.

As the temperatures cool there are no bugs and the lakes become less crowded. Plus you can catch some of our beautiful fall colours!

But fall weather can be fickle. Hitting the lake too late, failing to respect weather conditions, or paddling beyond your skill level isn’t just risky — it’s downright dangerous.

We chatted with Paul Smith, Superintendent of Kawartha Highlands Signature Site, to get some top do’s and don’ts for fall paddling safety:

Continue reading Fall paddling safety

Bark if you love nature!

Today’s blog comes from Ontario Barks’ Activities Director. 

We all know the excitement that builds in your chest when you feel the car pull off the highway, gently rolling up to the gatehouse of your favourite park.

As your person navigates parking, a dance takes over the back half of your body, with your tail bopping out a lively beat.

But I’m here today to talk about what happens next, when the car shuts off and they turn to you and ask, “Are you ready to go?” 

As Activities Director of Ontario Barks, it is my job to ensure you are on your leash when your adventure begins.

Continue reading Bark if you love nature!

Are you an ethical wildlife photographer?

You’ve recently unwrapped the latest iphone or a shiny new digital camera, perhaps an SLR with some fancy lenses.

Now you have itchy shutter fingers. You’re ready to point our camera at something spectacular and capture a beautiful memory forever. But where to go?

Not to brag, but Ontario Parks are beautiful, iconic places. Covering nearly 10% of the province and protecting some of Ontario’s most rare and scenic habitats, our parks are home to a variety of wildlife, from fascinating insects to enormous moose.

Basically, they’re a photographer’s dreamscape.

We’re animal lovers too. We know how exhilarating wildlife encounters can be. We understand how badly you want that perfect photo.

But before you hit the road, ask yourself: is taking the perfect photograph worth risking an animal’s life or an ecosystem’s health?

If your answer is “no,” check out our list of seven common photography infractions to ensure you’re keeping our parks safe and healthy.

Continue reading Are you an ethical wildlife photographer?

Why backcountry campers should share their equipment details

When making a reservation for a backcountry camping trip, you will be asked to describe your camping equipment in detail.

In the rush to confirm your booking, it can be easy to ignore this request, or to give a quick answer.

But have you ever considered why we ask this question?

Continue reading Why backcountry campers should share their equipment details