January’s digital download

Happy New Year, parks-lovers!

Are you making a commitment to spending more of 2022 surrounded by the beauty of nature?

Throughout 2022, we’re sharing a free downloadable graphic for you to use as wallpaper for your favourite devices. We’ve specially sized these images for your computers, tablets, smartphones, and Facebook covers.

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10 ways to enjoy winter at Quetico

Today’s post comes from Quetico Superintendent Trevor Gibb.

Quetico Provincial Park is primarily known for its world class backcountry canoeing opportunities.

However, once the lakes freeze and snow blankets the forest, the park transforms into a wilderness winter wonderland.

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Master Chef: Ontario Parks backcountry edition

Today’s post comes from Will Oades, Discovery Program Educator
at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.

Eating in the backcountry should be no different than eating at home!

Well-planned and prepared backcountry meals can taste amazing, satisfy your hunger, and foster conversations about your long day of hiking or paddling.

Tasty outdoor meals are a simple comfort fix that can exponentially enhance your backcountry experience.

There are many meal options available, however, there are three important things to consider when developing your meal plan: caloric content, size/weight, and taste.

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Fall paddling at Restoule

Imagine. 

You put your canoe or kayak into the lake. The water is smooth and reflective. The sky’s a deep, dark blue, and the clouds are brilliant white. The day is sunny, cool and crisp, and the trees that cover the hills around you…well, they’re a stunning display of red, orange, and yellow.

There’s something special about paddling in Ontario’s provincial parks in the fall, particularly secluded Restoule Provincial Park.

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5 reasons to visit Esker Lakes Provincial Park

Esker Lakes Provincial Park surrounds a chain of sparkling lakes set in an ancient glacial landscape, carpeted in boreal forest.

A quiet, family-oriented park, Esker Lakes sits just east of the historic mining town of Kirkland Lake in northeastern Ontario.

Here are five reasons Esker Lakes will delight family campers and nature-lovers alike:

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Backcountry basics: know your limits

You’ve heard about this fantastic new adventure through a friend, route guide, or Instagram. It looks kind of tough, and you’re pretty new to the whole backcountry thing.

Still, you don’t want to miss out, so you decide to go for it.

But as you start planning, there’s a little voice wondering if this is really the best idea.

Listen to that voice.

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5 things I learned on my first hike-in backcountry trip

In today’s post, Ontario Parks’ marketing intern Megan Birrell recounts her first hike-in backcountry adventure. 

Last year, I tried backcountry camping by canoe for the first time. This summer, my camping crew and I decided to take it up a notch and try hike-in camping.

We selected Bon Echo Provincial Park’s Abes and Essens Trail as our hike-in destination and the planning began.

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Backcountry canoeing with your dog

Today’s post comes from Jill Legault, Information Specialist at Quetico Provincial Park

Summertime means puppy playtime!

Dogs love the opportunity to be outside as much as you do. A little planning means every family member is happy and safe in the backcountry.

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Backcountry basics: drinking water

Whitney Arnott is a hiking and canoeing enthusiast that likes to spend days at a time in the backcountry when she’s not working at Ontario Parks branch office.

Here are her tips for safe drinking water when you’re in the wilderness.

When it comes to drinking water in the backcountry, you may think it will be simple. There’s lots of water all around you, right?

While that is true, it’s not as simple as turning on a tap at home or dipping your bottle below the water’s surface to fill it.

Untreated water found in lakes, rivers, ponds, etc. isn’t safe to drink. It can contain waterborne parasites and diseases like Giardiasis (also known as beaver fever) or E. coli, which can make you sick.

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Backcountry basics: storing and disposing of food

We don’t know about you, but when we pack food for our backcountry trip, we plan on eating it.

That plan can go downhill quickly when raccoons, squirrels, and bears dip into your trail mix, or rain soaks through your pack, ruining your soft sausage buns.

You want to see a grumpy bear? A weekend away without food will turn us into one in no time!

Instead, learn how to store food and dispose of scraps so you don’t end up with soggy food or, worse, unexpected dinner guests.

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