Planning to visit us during fall colours? Start here.

The crisp air and morning frost that September brings get many Ontarians excited for the arrival of fall colours.

And who can blame us? We would argue that Ontario is the most breathtaking place to enjoy autumn in all its stunning glory.

If you’re planning a trip to take in the colours of the season, here’s everything you’ll need to know before you go!

Continue reading Planning to visit us during fall colours? Start here.

Fall paddling safety

Fall is the perfect time to paddle.

As the temperatures cool there are no bugs and the lakes become less crowded. Plus you can catch some of our beautiful fall colours!

But fall weather can be fickle. Hitting the lake too late, 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 fall paddling safety:

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Bark if you love nature!

Today’s blog comes from Ontario Barks’ Activities Director. 

We all know the excitement that builds in your chest when you feel the car pull off the highway, gently rolling up to the gatehouse of your favourite park.

As your person navigates parking, a dance takes over the back half of your body, with your tail bopping out a lively beat.

But I’m here today to talk about what happens next, when the car shuts off and they turn to you and ask, “Are you ready to go?” 

As Activities Director of Ontario Barks, it is my job to ensure you are on your leash when your adventure begins.

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Are you an ethical wildlife photographer?

You’ve recently unwrapped the latest iphone or a shiny new digital camera, perhaps an SLR with some fancy lenses.

Now you have itchy shutter fingers. You’re ready to point our camera at something spectacular and capture a beautiful memory forever. But where to go?

Not to brag, but Ontario Parks are beautiful, iconic places. Covering nearly 10% of the province and protecting some of Ontario’s most rare and scenic habitats, our parks are home to a variety of wildlife, from fascinating insects to enormous moose.

Basically, they’re a photographer’s dreamscape.

We’re animal lovers too. We know how exhilarating wildlife encounters can be. We understand how badly you want that perfect photo.

But before you hit the road, ask yourself: is taking the perfect photograph worth risking an animal’s life or an ecosystem’s health?

If your answer is “no,” check out our list of seven common photography infractions to ensure you’re keeping our parks safe and healthy.

Continue reading Are you an ethical wildlife photographer?

Why backcountry campers should share their equipment details

When making a reservation for a backcountry camping trip, you will be asked to describe your camping equipment in detail.

In the rush to confirm your booking, it can be easy to ignore this request, or to give a quick answer.

But have you ever considered why we ask this question?

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7 tips to stay cool this summer

If you’ve set foot outside this summer, you know that temperatures have been hitting record-highs!

While the heat can mean beautiful beach days, sunset picnics, and other summer adventures, it also brings an increased risk for heat-related emergencies.

Stay safe, cool, and comfortable outside with these six tips:

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Why do I see empty campsites at busy parks?

We get this question a lot: “Why do I see empty campsites but there are so few campsites available when I’m making a reservation?”

In recent years, our parks have seen a big increase in reservations. We’re so glad that so many people want to spend time in our wonderful parks, but the increased interest can also make it more competitive to book a campsite, especially at busy parks and on popular dates.

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Say “no” to axe-idents

You’ve just paddled your heart out to get to your campsite. You put on your flannel and grab your axe to prepare your campfire.

Something about being in the wilderness that brings out our inner woodsperson.

We know the feeling.

However, for the preservation of your toes, please read this before you swing that axe!

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Staying safe around hydroelectric facilities

From streams and ponds to rushing rivers and the expansive Great Lakes: Ontario Parks are home to a network of over one million hectares of lakes and rivers. So it’s no wonder that spending time near or on the water is an integral experience at most provincial parks across the province.

We want to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience in our parks and practicing proper water safety is a key component in that.

Continue reading Staying safe around hydroelectric facilities