First Day Hike destinations

New Year’s Day is coming up fast — have you picked out a park for your First Day Hike?

This 10-park list rounds up some top options for your first foray into 2021:

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A beginner’s guide to snowshoeing

This winter, outdoor activities and staying close to home are both great ideas to keep you happy and healthy! It’s the perfect time to try something new – like snowshoeing!

For any winter activity, planning ahead and a bit of research can go a long way to make sure you day is safe and fun!

Luckily, the outdoor experts at SAIL have shared their best snowshoeing advice to help guarantee a great experience.

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Nature matters and so do you

We know how much nature matters – and we know you do too! That’s why Ontario Parks asked you for your opinion last year during our Healthy Parks Healthy People (HPHP) consultation.

And you responded!

We received more than 2,500 responses from researchers, members of the healthcare sector, environmental groups, Indigenous organizations, educators, and members of the public!

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This is your brain on nature!

Nature? We’re here for it and so are our friends at Coleman Canada. Read on to find out how they’re helping us encourage Ontarians to spend more time outside!

It’s easy to feel a bit low at this time of year. It seems to get dark outside immediately after lunch, the sun is elusive, and our bodies are still adapting to cooler temperatures.

There’s a part of our brain that really wants to hibernate.

But we’re going to fight that urge, and you should too! Here’s why: our brains need nature! Continue reading This is your brain on nature!

Why it’s important for children to play outside in winter

Every winter, as the temperatures drop, so does the amount of time we spend outside. This is especially true for children — playtime can become limited to the indoors.

It may be tempting to hide inside until the weather warms up, but outdoor play is essential for your children’s well-being all year long.

Here are some of the top reasons why you should get our kids outside and active this winter:

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Waldeinsamkeit: solitude in the forest

Picture this: you’re alone, deep into a forested trail. Your only companions are the birds fluttering from branch to branch around you. As you walk, you follow a corridor made of pillars of ancient trees, and smell the earthy aroma of moss and damp leaves.

How do you feel? It’s hard to describe, but the words which immediately come to mind are calm, peaceful, and contemplative. You feel a deep-rooted connection to the world around you, and you are reminded of the importance of our natural environment.

There’s a word for that feeling: waldeinsamkeit.

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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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Mental health benefits of the outdoors

Do you ever find yourself feeling calmer, more relaxed, or more focused after spending time in nature? That’s because time outside has studied and proven benefits for your mental health.

Mental illness affects one in five Canadians in any given year. Let’s talk about what some Vitamin N (nature) can do for your mental health…

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Health benefits of dark skies

Today’s blog comes from our Healthy Parks Healthy People Coordinator Sarah McMichael. 

My most memorable camping memory didn’t come from a crackling campfire, a panoramic lookout, or a stunning sandy beach.

It happened at 3:00 am at Lake Superior Provincial Park.

As I stumbled out of my tent for a late-night bathroom break, I noticed something different about the sky above me. There were stars.

A LOT of stars.

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