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

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.

Continue reading Travel back in time to the Bon Echo Inn

The history of picnicking at Rondeau

Today’s blog was written by Callum Barnes, a Discovery guide at Rondeau Provincial Park.

Established in 1894, Rondeau Provincial Park has been host to many activities and adventures over the years.

One quintessential family activity keeps our visitors coming back for seconds: picnicking.

Picnicking has been a popular activity at the park for generations, all the way back to the early 1900s.

So, how did Rondeau’s picnic boom begin?

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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

Squirrels for sale: the incredible history of squirrels at Rondeau

Today’s post is by Jess Matthews, the chief park naturalist at Rondeau Provincial Park.

One hundred years ago, there was a lot we didn’t know about managing parks.

The idea of maintaining ecological integrity is relatively new. Ontario’s first parks were primarily established for recreation and tourism.

During the first half of the 20th century, wildlife was often seen as a tourist attraction or a nuisance. There was little understanding of how animal diseases spread, or how local populations were adapted to the places they lived.

Because park managers didn’t know about any of this, some animals found themselves packed up and shipped off far from their homes.

This is the story of squirrels from Rondeau Provincial Park that, due to their fashionable coats, traveled as far as the White House lawn.

Continue reading Squirrels for sale: the incredible history of squirrels at Rondeau

The man behind the boardwalks: Ray Sheppard retires after 30 seasons at Pinery

Today’s post comes from Megan Loucks, Discovery Leader at Pinery Provincial Park

Have you ever been to Pinery Provincial Park?

Take a moment to think of your favourite spot. Is it the viewing platform along Riverside Trail? What about the boardwalk leading to the beach? Have you been to the top of the Nipissing Trail lookout?

Often we admire the beauty of the park’s natural wonders from boardwalks and lookouts, but have you ever wondered who built them?

Today’s blog is all about the man behind the boardwalks: Raymond Sheppard.

Continue reading The man behind the boardwalks: Ray Sheppard retires after 30 seasons at Pinery

Neys’ relics from the past

Today’s post comes from Katherine Muzyliwsky, a Natural Heritage Education Student at Neys Provincial Park.

Before Neys became a provincial park, it was known as Neys Camp 100. Instead of happy campers on vacation, the park held German prisoners of war during World War II.

After operating as a prisoner of war camp from 1941-1946, the buildings were dismantled in 1953. Since then, artifacts have showed up from discoveries in the park and from generous donations.

Continue reading Neys’ relics from the past

Celebrating 75 Years at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

Today’s post comes from Will Oades, with the Discovery Program staff at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

As we near the end of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park’s 75th anniversary, it’s hard not to look back on all of the rich natural and cultural history that has shaped the park into the place we know and love today.

Full of world-class hiking, biking and ski trails, Sleeping Giant offers a recreational haven for thrill seekers and amateur adventurers alike.

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Under the Volcano Trail at Neys Provincial Park

Today’s post comes from Grace McGarry and Meghan Drake, Discovery Program staff at Neys and Mark Puumala, Resident Geologist at the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines.

Neys Provincial Park is a special place. It has so many qualities that stand out when compared to other parks.

One of these qualities is the park’s Under the Volcano Trail. This stunning trail is entirely along the coast of Lake Superior.

This trail has some interesting features waiting to be discovered. Let’s take a look at what makes this trail special.

To start, the name says it all. This trail takes you along the route of what was once an active volcano where the coast of Lake Superior is now!

Continue reading Under the Volcano Trail at Neys Provincial Park

Trailblazers of Ontario Parks interpretation

Last year marked Ontario Parks’ 125th anniversary: 125 years of campfires, hikes, nights under the stars, days at the beach, and unforgettable family memories of the countless visitors who use our beautiful park system.

This year marks two other important anniversaries – Rondeau Provincial Park’s 125th anniversary and 75 years of interpretation in Ontario Parks!

Continue reading Trailblazers of Ontario Parks interpretation