10 signs of spring at Ontario Parks

Spring has sprung at Ontario Parks!

The sun is out, the birds are chirping, and the days of snow and sleet are (hopefully!) behind us. As the snow melts, enjoy the sensory delights of spring in our provincial parks as we see and hear signs of warm weather to come.

You know it’s spring in Ontario Parks when…

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Five outdoor activities to improve your health

Who needs a gym membership when you have the outdoors?

Outdoor exercise has a stronger effect on blood pressure and mood than indoor exercise. Stress is relieved within minutes of exposure to nature as measured by muscle tension, blood pressure, and brain activity.

To put it simply, time spent outside is good for you! On World Health Day, let’s take a look at a few fun outdoor activities that can improve your health.

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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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Exploring the Great Trail in northwestern Ontario Parks

Today’s post comes from Michelle Halstead, a travel, tourism and eco-adventure placement student with Ontario Parks Northwest Zone.

Canada is proud to be the home of the greatest recreational trail in the world. A 24,000 km trail of land and water that stretches across 10 provinces and three territories.

The Great Trail (formally known as the Trans Canada Trail or TCT) is a project that started in 1992 and with the help of various donors and volunteers working together across the nation has become one of the greatest trails in the world. The trail offers a variety of outdoor recreation activities and scenery throughout Canada’s urban, rural and wilderness areas.

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The battle of paddlers: eliminating “Portage Rage”

Today’s post comes from Roger LaFontaine, Outdoor Recreation Specialist at Ontario Parks.

With the warm weather, our minds wander from day-to-day drudgery like the terrible commute, the clicking of keyboards, the abstract shapes, and disjointed words of a presentation.

Suddenly, you’re dreaming about pine trees, a campfire, and great people you don’t get to spend enough time with.

Glazed-over eyes slowly make their way to the window, and you begin to plan your escape.

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Temagami: an ancient canoe country

Today’s post comes from Natural Heritage Education and Marketing Specialist Dave Sproule.

It’s a rugged, time-worn landscape. A fractured piece of the Canadian Shield, with fault lines criss-crossing the roots of ancient mountains for hundreds of kilometres. More than 2,500 lakes fill those fault lines, and at over 600,000 hectares, it’s almost as large as Algonquin Provincial Park.

Is it any wonder so many paddlers lose their hearts to Temagami?

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Backcountry for beginners: the best destinations

When executed safely, your first backcountry trip forges lifelong memories, opening an immersive getaway into nature.

But the leap from car camping to backcountry requires preparation and learning. New paddlers and hikers can find themselves in serious trouble if they overestimate their skills or choose a too-challenging route.

Here are some recommended trips for backcountry beginners:

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5 life-changing paddling routes of Northeastern Ontario

Whether you’re planning a scenic day trip or a rugged backcountry adventure, Northeastern Ontario is a paddler’s playground.

Last year, Northeastern Ontario Tourism asked their readers to vote for their top paddling destinations…

…and the votes are in!

Join us in counting down the top 5 paddling destinations of Northeastern Ontario:

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365 days in Quetico

Gary Fiedler is a Minnesota-based photographer about to undertake a 365-day journey in Quetico Provincial Park. In this post, Gary shares his passion for Quetico and his underlying motivations for this journey of a lifetime. 

On June 21, 2018, I will embark on a 365-day solo canoe and winter camping adventure of a lifetime in Quetico Provincial Park.

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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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