Canadian canoe culture

“If it is love that binds people to places in this nation of rivers and in this river of nations then one enduring expression of that simple truth, is surely the canoe.”

— James Raffan, adventurer, acclaimed author and Director Emeritus of the Canadian Canoe Museum

Through the stories of five paddlers across Ontario, “THE CANOE” underscores the strength of the human spirit and how the canoe can be a vessel for creating deep and meaningful connections.

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8 ways paddling can improve your health

Just when we thought nothing could top the “good for you” news about chocolate…

…research shows that paddling is good not only for our physical health, but for our mental health as well!

Here are some of the benefits that will have you reaching for your paddle:

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Health benefits of backcountry camping

Today’s post comes from Sarah McMichael, Ontario Parks’ Healthy Parks Healthy People Coordinator.

Backcountry camping is known for being a way to experience beautiful, serene landscapes. But a backcountry trip also provides an opportunity to challenge yourself physically and mentally.

The combination of paddling, portaging, and hiking through the backcountry is a great all-over workout. Plus, you will experience a ton of health benefits simply by being outdoors.

Hit the backcountry for a killer total-body workout this summer. Let’s do this!

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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:

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Fall paddling safety

Fall is the perfect time to paddle.

As the temperatures cool there are no bugs and the lakes become less crowded. Plus you can catch some of our beautiful fall colours!

But fall weather can be fickle. Hitting the lake too late, 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 fall paddling safety:

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Wooden canoe- and paddle-making in Ontario

Wooden canoes and paddles are closely linked to Ontarians’ collective sense of history. For centuries, rivers and lakes were the railways of their time: traversing our waterways by canoe was how Indigenous people and early European settlers explored this vast country.

Ontario is known as the “canoe capital” of the world for good reason. Our endless lake and river routes run from the far north of the province to the U.S. border.

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Ice-Out Canoeing: A spring tradition for adventurous paddlers

It’s a rite of passage for many die-hard paddlers and it’s only a couple of weeks away….an ice out canoe trip.  So what’s the attraction?   It’s a moment of celebration, a time for paddlers to break free of the winter blahs, the sweet spot before the annoyance of spring bugs.  As long as you’re well prepared, an ice-out paddle can be the ultimate early spring adventure. Continue reading Ice-Out Canoeing: A spring tradition for adventurous paddlers

Stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive: lifejacket lending program keeps park visitors safe

Swimming, boating, fishing or just plain splashing around is part of the fun of visiting Ontario Parks and our PARKsmart Lifejacket Lending Program helps keep it that way.

Through the generous support of our sponsors, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Ontario Power Generation (OPG), BOATsmart and The Canadian Red Cross and Swim Guide thousands of park visitors are exposed to water safety messaging and are able to borrow lifejackets every year and stay safe while enjoying our beautiful lakes, waterways, rivers and streams. Continue reading Stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive: lifejacket lending program keeps park visitors safe