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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The measure of a canoe trip

Today’s post is a polite rant from Quetico Provincial Park’s Librarian Jill Sorensen.

We seem to constantly hear about expedition-style trips. Grunt narratives where people have broken speed records, paddled the longest distances, or have been “the first” to complete a route. The blisters. The sleep deprivation. The endurance.

And that is fine. I have no problem with kilometre tracking or race attempts. But if you insist on measuring all of your trips, may I suggest that you count something else? Something that instead connects you to the landscape, or a piece of cultural history.

A little less pace. A little more place.

Here are some suggestions of other things to count:

Continue reading The measure of a canoe trip

An Ontario Parks glossary

Are you new to parks, or maybe a park veteran looking to brush up on your knowledge?

We’ve assembled a handy guide to all the terms you’ll need to know and understand before you visit the park…

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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.

Continue reading Backcountry basics: storing and disposing of food

Spring paddling safety

Itching for ice out? We certainly are.

But spring weather can be fickle. Hitting the lake too early, 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 spring paddling safety:

Continue reading Spring paddling safety

How to avoid getting lost

We can definitely recommend “losing yourself” in our provincial parks by delighting in the sights and sounds of nature, and living in the moment.

We do not, however, recommend getting actually lost.

Park visitors get lost more often than you’d think. It can be a scary, stressful, and dangerous situation. It can also result in complicated and expensive search-and-rescue operations.

While we know no one sets out to get lost, there are steps you can take to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

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Backpacker’s guide to the Coastal Trail in Lake Superior Provincial Park

Today’s post comes from Jordan Welch and Bianca Goncz, Discovery staff at Lake Superior Provincial Park.

Are you looking for a challenging, multi-day hike with spectacular views?

The Coastal Trail has it all!

Hike to rocky bluffs, traverse lush forests, and experience the power of Lake Superior.

This linear trail traces 65 km of Lake Superior’s rugged northeastern shore, offering an unparalleled chance to experience the wilderness and beauty amidst the largest of the Great Lakes.

Continue reading Backpacker’s guide to the Coastal Trail in Lake Superior Provincial Park

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.

Continue reading January’s digital download

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.

Continue reading 10 ways to enjoy winter at Quetico

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.

Continue reading Master Chef: Ontario Parks backcountry edition