How to be a Bear Wise visitor

Black Bears live across Ontario in forested areas where they can find enough food, shelter, and denning sites. Our provincial parks are their home, and over 90% of our parks are in bear country.

A safe bear sighting during one of your adventures with Ontario Parks can be a lasting memory. Educating yourself about bears before your visit is important and the mark of a responsible park visitor.

We want to share space with bears, keeping our human visitors and all our wildlife residents safe.

If you’re planning a visit, here are some important safety tips about Black Bears:

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“Leaves of three, let it be. Berries white, take flight.”

So goes the easy-to-remember rhyme that’s supposed to help you identify the infamous Poison Ivy plant.

Touching Poison Ivy can result in extraordinarily unpleasant itchy blisters. So identifying this species is an important outdoor skill.

While memorable, the popular rhyme is short on details.

Should you avoid every plant with three leaves? What if it doesn’t have white berries? What should you do if you think you’ve touched it?

If you’re heading into nature and wish to return home itch-free, you’ve come across the right blog!

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Keep it down: a quiet camper is a respectful one

You’re at the park. You’ve set up your site, and now you can spend the evening relaxing.

You had a long drive, and you are unwinding by talking to your friends and playing music. There’s no harm in that right?

In steps the park warden.

You may be surprised when a park warden stops by your site to ask you to quiet down a little, but their job is to make sure everyone is having a peaceful stay. Loud campers can irritate your neighbours and the wildlife in the park.

Here are five noisy habits to avoid on your next visit to the park.

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Campfire safety: If you love Ontario Parks, don’t burn them!

Today’s post comes from Marketing and Communications summer student Mitch Jackson. His campfire talents include cooking stuffed peppers, grilling barbecue chicken, and always managing to forget to pack a lighter. 

For many campers, a fire is a must. Gathering ’round the flames, sharing stories with friends and family, making s’mores, and burning marshmallows are all part of the quintessential camping experience.

While you may have the perfect campfire recipes, or the perfect campfire building technique, you should also be aware of how to keep your campfire perfectly safe.

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Campfire safety for the whole family

We all have fond childhood memories of a crackling campfire. It can be the highlight of a camping trip!

Let’s keep those memories positive by making sure even the littlest members of the family know the ins and outs of fire safety.

Parents: if you and your family are enjoying a campfire during your trip, make sure you follow these safety tips.

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The rules of the road in provincial parks

Did you know park roads are just as official as the roads in your neighbourhood?

It’s true. The Highway Traffic Act is enforced by wardens in our parks. If you speed, forget your seatbelt, or commit other infractions, your actions could result in a fine, a license suspension, or worse: a tragedy.

Here are four critical road rules to remember when visiting parks:

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Why is that a rule?

Excessive noise. Transporting firewood. Have you ever wondered why certain rules exist?

Thought, research, and science go into the laws and policies that cover provincial parks and conservation reserves. And it helps to understand the rationale.

Today, we’re sharing the logic behind a few of the rules our visitors ask us about most frequently:

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How to avoid getting lost

We can definitely recommend “losing yourself” in our provincial parks by delighting in the sights and sounds of nature, and living in the moment.

We do not, however, recommend getting actually lost.

Park visitors get lost more often than you’d think. It can be a scary, stressful, and dangerous situation. It can also result in complicated and expensive search-and-rescue operations.

While we know no one sets out to get lost, there are steps you can take to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

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