Spring is always an exciting time of the year as new growth starts to appear and the days get longer. We’ve had to wait a bit longer than usual this year for our flowers to bloom and trees to bud. But once that happens, it’s only a matter of time until the bugs come out with a vengeance. So, with nice weather on the forecast for the weekend, we decided to visit the cabin before the bugs take over for the next few months.
Algonquin Provincial Park is the oldest provincial park in Ontario and is open all year-round. In the winter the Highway 60 corridor, which travels 56 kilometres across the southwestern corner of the park, is regularly plowed. Along this stretch there are plenty of opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, skating and even winter camping.
Arrowhead Provincial Park is located in the heart of cottage country near Huntsville. It is an extremely popular destination in the winter and offers a variety of outdoor activities and attractions including an ice skating trail, 6km of snowshoe trails and 28km of classic cross-country ski trails. It also holds Fire and Ice nights every Friday and Saturday night where the skating trail is lit with hundreds of tiki torches for an evening skate.
Pinery Provincial Park is located along the sandy shores of Lake Huron. It is open year-round and is reputed to be one of the best places in Ontario to watch the sunset. It also protects the largest remaining tract of Oak Savanna and one of the longest freshwater coastal dune ecosystems in Ontario. In the winter, Pinery offers 38 km of cross-country skiing, two trails for snowshoeing, an outdoor skating rink and a hill for tobogganing.
At the beginning of 2021 we decided to set an ambitious goal for ourselves. Ontario was in a strict province-wide lockdown and travelling abroad was not looking promising. So we created the Ontario Parks Challenge where our goal was to visit as many provincial parks as we could.
Killarney Provincial Park is located along the rugged shores of Georgian Bay. It is open year-round and provides a variety of activities depending on the season. In the winter the park features a few trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Killarney also offers walk-in winter camping, six heated yurts and two heated camp cabins.
North Beach Provincial Park is situated along the sandy shores of Lake Ontario in Prince Edward County. It is a day-use park so there is no overnight camping. It is only open during the summer and its main draw is its beautiful sandy beach. North Beach also offers picnic facilities and has change rooms and washrooms.
Forks of the Credit Provincial Park is located in Caledon. It is a day-use park that features a few trails, including the Bruce Trail which extends from Niagara to Tobermory. It is especially scenic in the fall when all the leaves are changing colour.
Algonquin Provincial Park is the first provincial park that was created in Ontario. It contains a series of interconnected lakes, rivers and creeks that create the perfect conditions to canoe or just enjoy the water. It is also reputed to be one of the best places in the province to enjoy the fall foliage. While every summer we plan a backcountry canoe trip into the interior, this year we decided to return in the fall to see whether the fall colours lived up to the hype.
Oastler Lake Provincial Park is located along the rocky shore of the Boyne River near Georgian Bay and Parry Sound. It’s a relatively small park and its main draw is the lake and its water-based recreational activities such as swimming, boating and fishing.