What makes the Great Lakes so great?

In today’s blog, Discovery Project Program Coordinator Jessica Stillman reflects on our mutual relationship with the Great Lakes.

Our human history is reflected in their waters.

The Great Lakes capture our past, influence our present, and inspire our future. 

Imagine the stories they could tell.

These bodies of water are called the Great Lakes for a reason: from their size (the largest surface freshwater system on Earth) to their role in our collective history, where do we even begin to share what makes them great?

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The Daily Dip at Lake Superior Provincial Park

Today’s blog comes from Kaitlyn Plastino, Discovery Interpreter at Lake Superior Provincial Park

As park staff living and working along the Lake Superior coastline, we naturally get a lot of questions about the water: “So how cold is it here anyway?” and “Is it warm enough to swim yet?”

The short answer we give visitors is: “If you aren’t used to the water, it’s probably too cold…but I’ve been swimming since May, so it’s warm enough for me!”

Here at Lake Superior Provincial Park, we have a tradition: the Daily Dip.

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Shortcuts? More like shore cuts!

Today’s post comes from Mikhaila Lafleur-Weidhaas, a park warden at Pancake Bay Provincial Park.

Two beach trails diverged at a dune, one well-travelled and clear — the other a shortcut. Do you take “the road most travelled?”

The coastal shores of Lake Superior, with its sand beaches and Caribbean blue water, have been a popular attraction to thousands, from nomadic voyagers to people looking for paradise close to home.

However, as people run to Ontario’s beaches looking for a staycation, more pressure is being placed on our sandy shores.

This increased pressure can cause a decline of these dynamic and rare freshwater coastal dune ecosystems.

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Lake monsters in Ontario Parks

Today’s post comes from Roger LaFontaine, park naturalist, classically trained biologist and amateur lake monster researcher. He has spent nearly two decades researching and documenting the occurrence of mysterious creatures in Ontario.

We think that we know our lakes and rivers well, but, in reality, we have barely scratched the surface. Unknown to us, the real action may be happening beneath the surface.

Ontario is home to some of the deepest and largest lakes in the world, and many campers and local communities tell stories of strange things seen in their waters. Tales are told of large creatures that can cause rough waters and storms.

But what do we really know about lake monsters?

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