Campsite vacancy highlights: September 9-11

September is the perfect month for camping! Bugs are gone, temperatures are still summer-y, and the crowds have cleared.

Planning a weekend getaway?

Scout out your ideal campsite on our Campsite Browsing/Reservation tool (including pictures of most campsites!), or check out these featured campsites (available as of noon, Sept. 8):

Continue reading Campsite vacancy highlights: September 9-11

Downed trees become habitat for eastern red-backed salamanders

Today’s post comes from Laura Sagermann, a Natural Heritage Education leader from Bon Echo Provincial Park.

Across Ontario, our provincial parks protect a wide range of diverse ecosystems and habitats from human impact, urban development and other environmental threats.

However, this protected land is not immune to invasive species. These are non-native species that have been introduced (either purposely or accidentally) and have negative effects on a region.

At Bon Echo, the latest invasive species to be found is the insect-fungus combination responsible for beech bark disease.  Continue reading Downed trees become habitat for eastern red-backed salamanders

Why parks matter

David Bree (Senior Natural Heritage Leader, Presqu’ile Provincial Park)

Why do Parks Matter?  Unfortunately that is becoming an increasingly pertinent question in an age where screen time outweighs nature time on a regular basis.

Working in a park, I can answer that question in a number of ways.  The most obvious perhaps is that parks provide protection for a great many habitats, which in turn provide space and resources for the animals and plants of the province to function in a normal fashion.  This is in essence the definition of biodiversity, a whole bunch of things living and interconnecting in a complex web.  This is a bit of a catch word these days, but maintaining a high biodiversity in our world has been shown to make for a more robust and healthy environment. And a healthy environment is integral to our survival – it supplies our air, our water and our food, just to name the most obvious and crucial elements of life.  While to me this is a compelling and obvious argument, it has become sterile to many ears that have been bombarded by warnings of environmental doom and gloom all their lives.  After a while people just don’t hear.

Continue reading Why parks matter

Pet-friendly Ontario Parks

While all Ontario Parks are pet-friendly, some offer more than others when it comes to camping with a canine traveling companion. Twelve Ontario Parks offer designated pet exercise areas and beaches. Seventeen more have one or the other. Below is a sample of pet-friendly parks in different parts of Ontario with designated pet-friendly beaches, exercise areas, or both.  For a complete list of all parks with pet exercise areas and/ or beaches PLUS a dog owner’s list of do’s and don’ts, visit our Dogs and Pets in Ontario Parks post.

Continue reading Pet-friendly Ontario Parks

New roofed accommodation at Ontario Parks

Five Ontario Parks are getting new roofed accommodation. The cabins at Finlayson Point, Fushimi Lake, Charleston Lake and Bon Echo Provincial Parks are available now for reservations.  Presqu’ile Provincial Parks’ retrofitted cabin will be available soon for booking.  The new accommodation will add to the existing variety of roofed accommodation in Ontario that includes new cabins earlier this year at Arrowhead Provincial Park as well as a Victorian farm house, two lodges, historic ranger cabins, lakeside cottages and deluxe yurts and cabins.

Cabin at Charleston Lake
Tall Pines Cabin at Charleston Lake

Continue reading New roofed accommodation at Ontario Parks

Artists for hire: the rich history of the Group of Seven at Bon Echo

The next time you visit Bon Echo Provincial Park in south central Ontario, north of Kaladar, take a good long look at the breathtaking beauty that surrounds you. Not only are the shining waters, rugged landscape and iconic Mazinaw Rock natural wonders in their own right, they also tell a little-known story about the origins of the Group of Seven.  This is just one of the cool things about Bon Echo.

While most of us tend to associate the works of the world-famous group with Algonquin Provincial Park and more northerly Ontario climbs, artists such as Arthur Lismer visited Bon Echo to capture its beauty on canvas. And just to demonstrate the value of his work during that time period, Sotheby’s fetched a record $780,000 for Lismer’s painting, Bon Echo Rock in June 2010. The painting was sold to an Alberta collector who paid more than $1 million for the piece and several other Canadian historical items.

Continue reading Artists for hire: the rich history of the Group of Seven at Bon Echo

New improvements to our Reservation Service

In the past, you have likely noticed a lot of enhancements to our reservation service. Well, over the winter we’ve worked on some further improvements and are ready to share them with you.

Here’s a sneak peak at what’s new for 2013: Continue reading New improvements to our Reservation Service