Are you ready to start a new tradition for the new year?
We’re partnering with SAIL to give you the secret to starting 2022 on the right foot.
Take a hike!
A First Day Hike is a fun and healthy way to kick off the New Year. The concept is simple: on January 1, visit a provincial park near you for a hike!
You’ll feel great after spending some time in the frosty fresh air to ring in 2022!
Hiking for health
A First Day Hike promotes a year-long embrace of health and happiness in the outdoors. Plus, hiking offers head-to-toe health benefits.
Hiking is good for cardiovascular health and can help reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
It’s also great at toning muscles, especially in quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Add some hills or uneven terrain for an even better cardio workout and to burn more calories.
Hiking is good for your mind, too. Research shows that spending time outdoors may increase your attention span and creative problem-solving skills by as much as 50%.
As you travel along the trail, you’ll hear the sounds of nature all around you. Nature sounds — like birds and rushing water — have been shown to lower stress levels.
First Day Hikes are even endorsed by doctors themselves. Dr. Melissa Lem is a family physician and director of Park Prescriptions for the BC Parks Foundation.
“From lower stress and blood pressure to a boost in your immune system and cancer-fighting proteins, the evidence is growing about the health benefits of getting active in nature,” she says.
“We are delighted to be helping Canadians celebrate the arrival of a new year, and encouraging them to get outside in a safe and healthy way!”
Get outside to win
This year, you can share a photo of yourself and your loved ones taking part in a First Day Hike on January 1, 2022 for the chance to win a $250 gift card from SAIL!
To enter, all you have to do is use #FirstDayHike and tag @OntarioParks in your post.
The giveaway is open on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Click here for the full giveaway rules.
Ring in the new year with a First Day Hike
You can either take a self-guided hike with your friends and family, or find a park event in the list below:
|Killarney||Guided hike of the Granite Ridge Trail at 2:00 p.m. Meet at the parking lot at the trailhead located across from the main gate.|
|Algonquin||Two guided hikes and two self-led story hikes will be available. Details are available here.|
|Arrowhead||Join a park staff member to learn about the history of the park, facts about nature, best practices for winter walks, and more! Meet at the pavilion near the visitor centre at 10:00 a.m. Snowshoes are welcome but not required. Rentals are available starting at 9:00 a.m, first-come-first-served. A warm-up fire will be available before and after the hike. Spots are limited, please email Megan.Picknell@ontario.ca to sign up!|
|Frontenac||Friends of Frontenac will lead a hike from the park office at 10:00 a.m.|
|Murphys Point||Guided hike at 1:00 p.m. from the main winter parking lot. Hike will take approximately two hours. Call 613-267-5060 x233 to pre-register.|
|Bronte Creek||Self-led GPS-enabled tour of “Little Known Facts” using PocketSights app. 8:00 a.m. – dusk.|
|Presqu’ile||Guided hike with a park naturalist at 10:00 a.m. Meet in the camp office parking lot. Please send an email to email@example.com to pre-register for this event.|
Let this mark the beginning of a healthy lifestyle for the whole family!
A park for all seasons
Winter in Ontario Parks is quiet, pristine, and absolutely beautiful.
Thirty-one provincial parks are open during the winter season, boasting a wide range of snowy fun, including skiing, skating and snowshoeing.
Interested in staying the night? Stay warm and cozy in one of our heated yurts, cabins, or cottages. Reservations can be made online or by calling 1-888-ONT-PARK.
Ready to hit the trails?
Start planning your First Day Hike now. Hiking during the winter can be fun as long as you plan ahead, be prepared, and dress for the conditions.
All public health measures for gatherings will apply to park events.