7 iconic vistas of northwestern Ontario

Ontario Parks is fortunate to be able to both protect and showcase an abundance of natural vistas across the province.

While some locations are relatively easy to access, others will challenge you before rewarding you with their amazing views.

Here are seven iconic vistas to discover and explore this season.

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Help us fill Breeding Bird Atlas gaps!

In today’s post, Ontario Parks Northeast Zone Ecologist Anna Sheppard is asking for your helping hands (actually, eyes. And ears.)

Planning to visit any of these northwestern parks this summer?

If so, and you’re a fan of birds, then I have a favour to ask!

These parks are especially important to the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas, and the atlas needs your help.

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Why driftwood matters

Today’s post comes from Laura Myers, Past Senior Park Interpreter of Neys Provincial Park.

Driftwood – it makes a great bench to watch the sunset, a balancing beam to play on, or that perfect element to your photograph.

There’s something about driftwood that gives beaches that rugged beauty factor. Walking on a beach, listening to the waves and the birds, and looking at the different pieces of driftwood can be wondrous and relaxing.

Has a piece of driftwood ever caught your eye and made you wonder where it originally came from? How it got that far up the beach? The size of the wave that put it there? What species of tree or how old it is?

Each piece of driftwood has its own journey and its own story. But its story isn’t over when it washes up on the beach.

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Ecological integrity at Neys Provincial Park

Today’s post comes from Jake Guggenheimer, past Discovery staff at Neys Provincial Park.

Imagine you’re in a forest.

What do you hear?

The rustling of the trees in the wind. The birds chirping to each other. The flowing of a creek.

What do you see?

A flower starting to bloom. A chipmunk scurrying along the ground. The sun shining through scattered clouds.

If you imagined yourself in Neys Provincial Park, the animals and plants you pictured are some of the most interesting flora and fauna around.

That’s because Neys is a protected natural area with a high level of ecological integrity.

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80 years of change in Neys’ sand dunes

Today’s post comes from Micaela Lewis, a Discovery Program student at Neys Provincial Park.

Gazing through Neys’ iconic forested dune system is an awe-inspiring experience that park visitors cherish.

With the soft sand, lichen-covered trees, and colourful wildflowers, the forest appears almost enchanted.

But the landscape didn’t always look this way.

The dunes have been present for thousands of years, as the Little Pic River has deposited sand along the banks of the river and into Ashburton Bay.

The bay is hugged by a long stretch of beach that the park is well known for. Waves created by the winds over Lake Superior move the sand ashore, forming the dunes.

The dunes of Neys have seen years of change. Come with us on a journey through history to explore this unique ecosystem.

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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.

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Studying Coaster Brook Trout at Neys Provincial Park

Today’s post comes from Mitch Kostecki, Assistant Superintendent at White Lake Provincial Park.

If you have ever visited Neys Provincial Park, you know that it’s a gem found along the northern shore of Lake Superior.

Neys is known for its beautiful scenery along Superior’s rugged coastline, home to Lawren Harris’ famous painting “Pic Island,” and even has a history of being one of several POW camps located throughout northwestern Ontario during World War II.

What Neys isn’t quite as well known for? The excellent fishing opportunities found along that same rugged coastline.

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Hot spots to have a cup of tea in Ontario Parks’ northwest

Today’s post comes from Laura Myers, a tea lover and Marketing Specialist with Ontario Parks.

This blog is dedicated to all of those who love tea and nature.

Whether it’s a cool summer evening, or a chilly winter day, it’s always a good time for tea time. There’s something about having a cup of tea that ignites a sense of stillness and calmness. It reminds you to take a step back, and really take in a moment.

Ontario’s northwest provincial parks provide some stellar backdrops for the most perfect outdoor tea parties. Make a cup of tea, and read on to discover six tea hot spots!

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