5 fantastic forests to visit this spring

It’s International Day of Forests!

Ontario Parks protects a collection of breathtakingly beautiful forests from across the province. Each will be brimming with signs of life as the snow melts and temperatures warm.

Let’s take a look at five unique forests you can visit this spring.

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Is that lichen killing those trees?

Today’s post comes from Cara Freitag, a past Park Naturalist at Neys Provincial Park.

There are many misconceptions about nature: climb a tree to escape bears,  moose are friendly, coolers are strong enough to prevent bears getting your food.

Before I became a naturalist, I thought that all insects were bugs, not just the Hemiptera order. My cousins in Germany thought that every Canadian had a pet Polar Bear!

None of these things are true.

Big mammals tend to get most of the attention, but there are misconceptions about smaller organisms too.

We have many visitors at the Neys Visitor Centre wondering: “Is that lichen killing those trees?” (Don’t worry, the answer is no.)

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Celebrating the 30th anniversary of Breaking the Barrier

Thirty years ago, Atikokan resident and paralympic gold medalist Tom Hainey historically swam across the entire length of Quetico Provincial Park in the Breaking the Barrier Swim.

This swim honoured Tom Hainey’s mother and long-time Quetico employee, Sheila Hainey, who had recently passed away in a car crash.

This year on August 12, a gathering will be held at Quetico’s Dawson Trail Campground to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Tom Hainey’s swim and the dedication of a barrier-free boardwalk to his mother Sheila.

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Hitting the trails? Know the etiquette before you go

Matt Cunliffe started at Ontario Parks in 2006 and has spent over a decade working as a park interpreter and an assistant park planner, and is now a Discovery Leader at MacGregor Provincial Park. An avid trail user and self-proclaimed nature geek, when he’s not on the clock, you’re likely to find him onto a new discovery somewhere in one of our parks.

Spring has sprung and I, like many Ontarians, cannot wait hike and bike as many trails as I can.

While you’re getting your gear ready for the next adventure, here are some tips to help you prepare and minimize impacts while you are out enjoying the trails.

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Sleeping Giant’s new and improved Nanabosho Lookout Trail

Today’s post is from Christian Carl, Park Superintendent at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.

I first noticed the prominent buttress on the northeast face of the Sleeping Giant’s chest while hiking the Kabeyun Trail in the spring of 2003.

More specifically, as I enjoyed a break on the sunny, south-facing shoreline of Sawyer Bay, my attention was drawn to a natural lookout on top of an arête (the point where two cliff faces meet).

I immediately imagined the stunning landscapes that would be revealed to hikers who ventured to this natural lookout on the chest of the towering Giant and contemplated how I might make my way up there to take a look for myself.

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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!

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Take your run to the trails

Ready to ditch the treadmill or pavement for somewhere a little more scenic?

Trail running opens a whole new world for you beyond paved surfaces. And as with road running, it’s a healthy, simple activity with few gear requirements.

We’ve partnered with our friends at Merrell to share the health benefits of trail running, as well as what you need to know to get started!

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