Paddle like it’s 1796 at Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park!

We are excited to bring back the Voyageur Adventure Tour to Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park this summer!

Experience the life of a voyageur at the height of the fur trade by paddling a voyageur canoe on the beautiful Mattawa River.

Our knowledgeable guides will help you discover part of our Canadian heritage.

Continue reading Paddle like it’s 1796 at Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park!

80 years of change in Neys’ sand dunes

Today’s post comes from Micaela Lewis, a Discovery Program student at Neys Provincial Park.

Gazing through Neys’ iconic forested dune system is an awe-inspiring experience that park visitors cherish.

With the soft sand, lichen-covered trees, and colourful wildflowers, the forest appears almost enchanted.

But the landscape didn’t always look this way.

The dunes have been present for thousands of years, as the Little Pic River has deposited sand along the banks of the river and into Ashburton Bay.

The bay is hugged by a long stretch of beach that the park is well known for. Waves created by the winds over Lake Superior move the sand ashore, forming the dunes.

The dunes of Neys have seen years of change. Come with us on a journey through history to explore this unique ecosystem.

Continue reading 80 years of change in Neys’ sand dunes

Voices of the river: exploring the French River Visitor Centre

Today’s post comes from Dave Sproule, a Natural Heritage Education Specialist in our Northeast Zone. 

Can you hear the water speak?  The waters of the French River have many voices.

These voices travelled the river and lived along its shores. The French River has been a conduit for people, goods, and culture for thousands of years. The voices of the river are celebrated at the spectacular French River Visitor Centre.

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The wreck of the Lambton

Today’s post comes from Kenton Otterbein, Discovery Program leader at Killbear Provincial Park.

In a time before instant communication, accurate weather forecasts, or GPS, the navigation lights and lighthouses on the Great Lakes helped guide ships to safe harbour through dangerous shoals and stormy seas.

Just over 100 years ago, one ship met its early demise travelling a route which included the shores of Killbear Provincial Park.

This is the tragic story of the Lambton.

Continue reading The wreck of the Lambton

The Meteor in Helenbar Lake

Today’s post comes from our Discovery Specialist (and history buff), Dave Sproule.

On June 29, 1946, a Meteor struck the waters of Helenbar Lake in the remote forests 60 km north of the town of Blind River…

… but it wasn’t the kind of Meteor you’re thinking of.

This Meteor was a jet fighter plane!

Continue reading The Meteor in Helenbar Lake

The beaver: architect of biodiversity

Today, we join Discovery and Marketing Specialist Dave Sproule for a chat about the ecological and cultural significance of the beaver, which became Canada’s official symbol in 1975.

We all know beavers are industrious. They build dams, canals and sturdy homes called lodges, which are warm in winter. They repair all those dams and collect enough food to survive long northern winters.

We know beavers are well-suited to the Canadian environment. Beavers are amphibious — they’re more at home in the water than on land — with webbed hind feet, nostrils that can close, a third see-through eyelid that protects the eye when they’re underwater, and a big flat tail that acts as a rudder while swimming.

However, the biggest reason to celebrate the beaver is that it built Canada, shaping both its historical and ecological landscape.

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Travel back in time to the Bon Echo Inn

Today’s post comes from Lisa Roach, chief park naturalist at Bon Echo Provincial Park.

Did you know some of your favourite provincial parks like Bon Echo, Sandbanks, Presqu’ile, and Algonquin have hosted the summer vacations of nature-lovers since the turn of the century?

By the end of the 1800s, pioneer society was changing. Increased prosperity led to a growing interest in summer resorts and leisure activities. People in Ontario were using their own wilderness for recreation, just like we do today.

Resorts became the popular hangout for the well-to-do, like Lakeshore Lodge (Sandbanks) or Bartlett Lodge (Algonquin).

Over 100 years ago Bon Echo Provincial Park became home to the ultimate summer recreation destination: the Bon Echo Inn.

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The family treasures of Sibbald Point

Today’s post comes from Laura McClintock, senior park naturalist at Sibbald Point Provincial Park.

Moving to an unfamiliar area can be a daunting process.

Think of the last time you moved. What family treasures did you take with you? What made the move easy or challenging?

In this blog, we’re going back almost 200 years to the move that gave Sibbald Point Provincial Park its name. Continue reading The family treasures of Sibbald Point

The surprising, shocking, startling, astonishing story of Silver Islet

Today’s post comes from Will Oades, Natural Heritage Educator at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. Header photo: Jeff Robinson.

Have you ever applied for a job, shown up on the first day of work, and realized it was nothing like you thought it would be? That was the case among many of the men coming to work at the Silver Islet Mine.

Known as the world’s richest silver mine, Silver Islet’s mine shaft was beneath the icy waters of Lake Superior; a small yet significant piece of information that was missed by some of the miners before arriving. Though the majority of the miners stayed to do the job that they were hired for, some of them decided that travelling into the belly of the earth, underneath billions of litres of water was just a little too dangerous for their liking.

Continue reading The surprising, shocking, startling, astonishing story of Silver Islet