We somehow managed to convince my younger sister and her boyfriend how much fun it is to canoe to your campsite and rough it in the wild. Given that C & E aren't avid campers (or canoers), we planned a route that wasn't particularly ambitious. We were secretly hoping they'd have such a great time that they'd want to go backcountry camping with us again.
Algonquin has become an annual tradition for us. For some reason we are quick to forget the (literal and figurative) blood, sweat and tears from our past trips, and are eager for more. More paddling, more portages, and more pain. The forecast was calling for nice weather over the August long weekend, which was great because we planned quite an ambitious route to Misty Lake.
Presqu'ile is the French word for peninsula. It is situated along the north shore of Lake Ontario near Brighton and features one of the larger wetlands along the lake. It contains forests, marshes and sand dunes, leading to diverse vegetation, ecosystems and habitats for the flora and fauna in the park. It also features a long sandy beach making this an ideal spot to swim, hike, and camp.
Charleston Lake is located in South Eastern Ontario, just north of the St. Lawrence River. The rocky lake and surrounding forest area are an extension of the Canadian Shield, one of the largest and oldest geologic continental shields in the world. The shores as well as the islands of this lake are a mix between private property and the provincial park. Nevertheless, it is one of the best provincial parks in Ontario that is relatively close to Toronto for fishing, swimming, boating and camping.
Point Pelee National Park is the southernmost point of the mainland in Canada. Despite being the second smallest national park (after Georgian Bay Islands, also located in Ontario), it boasts of being the most ecologically diverse national parks in the country. Point Pelee mainly consists of beaches, marshes, and woodlands. It is home to over 390 species of birds and is part of a bird and butterfly migration corridor over Lake Erie.
In light of a recent snow storm (or rather storms), we decided to take advantage of the abundance of fresh snow and head up north to spend our Family Day long weekend here in Ontario. We visited Arrowhead Provincial Park and the neighbouring Algonquin Provincial Park, which both boast of hosting a variety of winter activities, including: skating, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.
Bon Echo Provincial Park is located in southeastern Ontario and is situated along several lakes, including Mazinaw Lake - the seventh deepest lake in the province. For years we've been saying we'd like to visit Bon Echo, in large part because it's located close by K's family cabin. So this year we finally made it happen. While there are just over 500 car camping sites to choose from in this provincial park, we booked one of the 25 coveted canoe-in campsites located in the backcountry on Joe Perry Lake.
The Fathom Five National Marine Park is located right off the rocky shores of Tobermory and boasts of being one of best fresh water dive sites in the world. This underwater playground consists of 22 shipwrecks and a variety of neat geological features such as caves, cliffs and overhangs. While the pristine turquoise waters of Georgian Bay offers phenomenal visibility for fresh water diving, the only catch is that the water is cold. Very cold.
Niagara is referred to the honeymoon capital of the world. It is perhaps best known for it's waterfall that shares the same name as its city - Niagara Falls. Although technically Niagara Falls refers to three waterfalls: Bridal Veil Falls, American Falls, and (the most famous of the three) Horseshoe Falls. Collectively they form one of the largest waterfall networks on the planet.
Every winter Ottawa hosts Winterlude - a three-week festival to celebrate winter. The city is transformed into a winter wonderland with ice and snow sculptures scattered around the downtown core. But its main draw is the Rideau Canal Skateway. At 7.8 kilometres long, when completely frozen, it forms the largest skating rink the world. We visited Ottawa during Winterlude two years ago. But due to an extreme cold warning (we're talking -42°C with the windchill) we were unable to spend much time outdoors let alone skate on the canal. So this year we were ready for a second chance.