6 essential items to pack for your winter hike

Trail guide and cellphone and water in bottles,
Flashlight just in case your hike is a dawdle,
High energy snacks secured with drawstrings,
These are a few of our essential things… (can’t you just hear Maria von Trapp’s voice?)

A walk through a pine tree forest in crunchy snow can be dreamy, however your snowy paradise can go south quickly if you’re missing important items.

Being prepared with a few essentials in your bag will help keep you safe on your adventure. Here are six items that should always be in your day pack on a winter hike:

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Your winter preparedness guide

If you’re reading this, you’re likely a not-very-furry mammal with a core body temperature around 37ºC.

Your body works very hard to maintain this temperature. If it drops even a few degrees, moving, thinking, and other basic tasks become difficult. You will need to warm up quickly, or you may find yourself in a dangerous situation.

To prevent cold-related emergencies, it’s important to plan your winter adventures with care.

Here’s what you need to know to stay safe in cold weather:

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5 ways to stay active in the cold

Brrr! Temperatures are dropping, and winter’s icy grip is almost upon us.

We bet you’re feeling just about ready to tuck into a nice, long winter’s hibernation. Not so fast! Outdoor activity is important for our mental and physical health all year long. Getting outside is good for you even when the weather is not ideal.

Ontario Parks has 31 parks open in the winter. Each park offers plenty of ways for you to get active in the chilly months.

Here are some great ways to stay healthy, and enjoy winter!

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Introducing MacGregor Point’s new Forest Therapy Trail!

Today’s blog comes from Dr. Romola Porchuk from the Global Institute of Forest Therapy and Nature Connection, and Cortney LeGros, the Healthy Parks Healthy People coordinator at Ontario Parks.

Forest therapy is much more than just a walk in the woods.

It’s all about the journey, not the destination, or the number of steps you track.

As you move your way through a forest therapy trail you might start with a deep breath, close your eyes for a moment, and allow your senses to guide you.

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Uncovering the “birdiest” trail at Pinery

Today’s post comes from Habitat Stewardship Technician Justin Johnson from Pinery Provincial Park. Justin has a M.Sc. in biology with a focus on bird acoustics. 

Birders are an interesting breed of people. Sometimes everything they do seems to subvert the norms of society.

Sleeping in? Rather not. Too much coffee? No such thing. $4500 binoculars? Yeah, I’ve seen it.

Birders’ bread and butter is local natural spaces and their trails. They can be very particular about which trails they walk. Seasoned birders often only use trails they perceive as “birdy,” neglecting those off their sacred path.

But how do we really know which trails are the “birdiest?”

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Add nature to your self-care toolkit

As the days get shorter and the colder weather arrives, it’s time to talk self-care.  Bubble baths and meditation are great options, but have you considered adding nature to your self-care toolkit?

October 10 is World Mental Health Day, and it’s the perfect time to think of ways we can take care of ourselves and our families.

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7 tips for cool-weather adventuring

For many, autumn is the ideal season for outdoor fun. But as the temperatures start to drop, we want to make sure our hikers and campers stay safe while exploring our parks.

With help from our friends at Subaru Canada, we’ve gathered some top tips for staying warm and dry during your fall forays:

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5 reasons to visit Fushimi Lake Provincial Park

Fushimi Lake Provincial Park is located in the heart of Ontario’s boreal forest, near the town of Hearst just north of Highway 11.

That’s a long way from some parts of Ontario, but it sure is worth the visit!

From a big lake jumping with fish, to the big night skies filled with stars and the faces of staff with big smiles, this park is really something you need to experience!

Here are five reasons to visit Fushimi Lake:

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Sudbury rocks for fall hiking!

September is one of the best times of the year to get out into nature and hike!

Most of the month of September is still technically summer. While usually cooler on average than August, it’s still warm and often without the humidity. Not to mention, bugs are just a distant memory!

The Sudbury region is rich with opportunities to get outside and enjoy nature as summer winds down.

Eight provincial parks within an hour’s drive of Sudbury, six of which are open after the September long weekend. Each one has its own character and set of recreational opportunities.

Here is a selection of parks and trails to consider if you live, are staying in town, or camping in the Sudbury area this September:

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