Where to skate in Ontario Parks

The air is crisp and clean. The evergreens are covered with snow. If you’re lucky – and observant – you might spot a cardinal, a finch, a waxwing or a blue jay as you glide along the ice.

And when the sun goes down, you can huddle around a big bonfire with a cup of hot chocolate and warm up before relacing your skates and heading back out to skate under the stars.

It’s simply magical.

This winter, plan a skating trip to these four provincial parks:

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How to get your kids to love cross-country skiing

Did you know 18 of our parks have cross-country trails, about half of them groomed?

Cross-country skiing is a great way for families to get outdoors and enjoy the winter together! It’s less expensive and safer than alpine skiing, it helps keep kids fit, and it’s a skill they’ll have their entire life.

Here are our top seven tips for getting kids hooked on cross-country skiing:

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Holiday boredom busters in southwestern Ontario

Is “I’m bored” a constant refrain during the winter school break?

Boredom can be good for kids’ creativity,  but it can be demanding on a parent’s last nerve.

Out of ideas? We have you covered.

Southwestern Ontario boasts nine parks which are open over the school break, offering a variety of indoor and outdoor programs, events and activities!

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January vacancy highlights (roofed accommodation)

Start the year right with a cozy staycation!

Stay warm in one of our roofed accommodations, and enjoy all that winter has to offer! We’ve have cabins, cottages and yurts available, especially for midweek visitors!

Accommodations featured below were available as of 9:00 am, December 18, 2019.

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December vacancy highlights (roofed accommodation)

The holiday season is just around the corner! Imagine spending it surrounded by snow, with the sound of nature at your doorstep.

We’ve got lots of cabins, cottages, and yurts available throughout December, including many weekend openings.

Accommodations featured below are available as of 10:00 am, November 14, 2019:

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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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Owl-induced whiplash

In today’s post, Alistair MacKenzie, Naturalist Heritage Education Supervisor at Pinery Provincial Park, recounts a dramatic encounter with an Eastern Screech Owl. © Can Stock Photo Inc. / mlorenz.

We desperately needed to confirm breeding evidence for Eastern Screech Owls in our survey squares for the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas back in 2005.

It was our last chance given that the atlas was wrapping up the collection period and I was frustrated since I confidently knew that screech owls did indeed breed in the park, but sadly we just hadn’t managed to be in the right place at the right time to confirm it.

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The restorative health benefits of protected areas

Today’s blog post comes from Catherine Reining, a graduate in the Master of Environment Studies program at Wilfrid Laurier University.

We know spending time in nature offers a ton of health benefits like reduced stress, better sleep, and lower blood pressure.

But what is the role of parks and protected areas in human health?

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Campsite vacancy highlights: September 20-22

These campsites are electric! We have vacancies across the province. We’re into the last few official days of summer. Make the most of it and head outdoors!

Scout out your ideal campsite on our Campsite Browsing/Reservation tool (including pictures of most campsites!), or check out these featured campsites (available as of 10:00 am. on September 19, 2019):

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