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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

New this summer at Ontario Parks

Summer is just around the corner. Here's what's new at Ontario Parks for 2012:

New roofed accommodation
Charleston Lake and Windy Lake Provincial Parks have new yurts. They're the latest parks to add roofed accommodation. Yurts, rustic cabins, backcountry cabins, cottages, lodges and a heritage farmhouse are found in sixteen other parks across the province. More accommodation information and photos can be found on the Ontario Parks website at  http://www.ontarioparks.com/english/roofed.html New lookouts, trails and other park amenities have also been added to provincial parks this year. For a round up, see this Park Blog post, http://www.parkreports.com/parksblog/?p=2717
New visitor centres and exhibits
Ontario Parks officially opens its Wasaga Beach Welcome Centre at Wasaga Beach Provincial Park this season. The opening is tied to War of 1812 Bicentennial events planned in the park. Over four hundred costumed re-enactors will camp at Nancy Island and restage a battle fought here in 1814. http://bit.ly/IuQVtG  At The Pinery Provincial Park on Lake Huron, the visitor centre has been refurbished and a new Dynamic by Nature exhibit has been added. It combines interactive technology with a cross-section of the park's Ausable River that includes rare Pinery turtles and fish. East of North Bay, the Mattawa River Visitor Centre in Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park has also been transformed to include a new River of Experiences exhibit hall. The exhibit celebrates the canoe, Canada's river highways, and the country's earliest paddlers including First Nations, French explorers and missionaries, fur traders and voyageurs. 
Expanded Learn to Camp
Based on a successful pilot year, Ontario Parks' Learn to Camp program will expand across the province in 2012.  In northern Ontario, a travelling Learn to Camp will visit seven Ontario Parks. In southern Ontario, Learn to Camp is expanding beyond Toronto area parks. The one night - two day sessions teach participants how to pitch a tent, cook on a campstove, and manage a campfire safely. Most of the camping equipment required is supplied.  For details, see http://www.ontarioparks.com/learntocamp/
Park events attract new park visitors
Major events take place throughout the year at Ontario Parks. These are a fun way to explore a new park. At Murphys Point Provincial Park in eastern Ontario, the Heritage Mica Festival will offer events all summer long. Explore the Silver Queen Mica Mine which once operated here. Join "Cookie" who maintains law and order at the bunkhouse and take your place at the trestle table for an evening of traditional fare and live theatre. More details on this festival and other events are included in this Park Blog post, http://www.parkreports.com/parksblog/?p=2728

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