5 ways to stay active in the cold

Brrr! Temperatures are dropping, and winter’s icy grip is almost upon us.

We bet you’re feeling just about ready to tuck into a nice, long winter’s hibernation. Not so fast! Outdoor activity is important for our mental and physical health all year long. Getting outside is good for you even when the weather is not ideal.

Ontario Parks has 31 parks open in the winter. Each park offers plenty of ways for you to get active in the chilly months.

Here are some great ways to stay healthy, and enjoy winter!

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10 hot chocolate hacks

In today’s post, Chef Deb Rankine, a.k.a. The Fridge Whisperer, shares her favourite hot chocolate recipe along with 10 BEST ways to kick it up a notch!

What’s more welcoming than a hot mug of cocoa after a day’s hiking or a nature walk through a frosty forest?

In addition to our recipe for a rich tasting, velvety smooth hot chocolate mix, we’ve given you 10 fun and creative ways to make your hot chocolate experience the best one ever.

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Underground, underwater or frozen solid: how do frogs & toads spend the winter?

Today’s post comes from David LeGros, one of our Algonquin Provincial Park naturalists.

As the crisp fall days get colder and the occasional dusting of snow whitens the landscape, we know that winter is just around the corner. For the countless songbirds of our forests, they avoid our cold winters and lack of food by migrating south.

Other animals are adapted to the cold conditions and may grow a thicker coat of fur or feathers. Some, we think, have the enviable ability to sleep away the long Ontario winter by hibernating.

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Winter adventure in Arrowhead Provincial Park

Planning a visit to Arrowhead Provincial Park?

Skating through the forest is definitely a winter bucket list activity!

But the secret is out!  Arrowhead has quickly become one of the region’s most popular winter attractions so it’s important you plan your visit carefully.

Get the latest capacity updates here:


We’ve assembled a list of frequently asked questions and top tips for planning your Arrowhead adventure:

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Your Ontario Parks gift guide

Does the thought of holiday shopping for the nature-lover in your life have you quaking in your snow boots?

Fear not! Pick up some of your favourite Ontario Parks merchandise (and new releases) from the comfort of home with our holiday pop-up store.

But don’t wait: the holiday pop-up store is only open until December 31 and stock is limited.

We’ve created a gift guide to check all your friends and family off your list:

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How to make a purchase on the holiday pop-up store

Hey park-lovers! Did you know we are offering online merchandise sales this holiday season?

The holiday pop-up store is an opportunity to pick up some of your favourite Ontario Parks merchandise online.

But don’t delay – the holiday pop-up store is a limited-time offer and we will not be restocking items! The pop-up store closes on December 31, 2021.

Here’s everything you need to know about making a purchase:

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What goes into closing a park for the winter?

While 31 provincial parks remain open for the winter, the rest hibernate until spring.

But closing a park isn’t as simple as just locking the gates. Our staff put a lot of elbow grease into prepping each park for the winter.

Here are just a few of the tasks we do each fall:

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Slithering into fall: hibernation for Ontario’s reptiles

Today’s post was written by seasonal student Heather Van Den Diepstraten from Rondeau Provincial Park.

It’s not just students and birds on the move this fall.

As the cold weather approaches, reptiles are trekking across Rondeau Provincial Park in search of hibernacula (places in which wildlife overwinter). Researchers for Wildlife Preservation Canada are busy tracking the movements of snakes, turtles, and skinks within the park as they find suitable habitat for their hibernation.

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