It’s International Forest Day!
Ontario Parks protect a collection of incredibly beautiful forests across the province. Each will be filled with signs of life as the snow melts and temperatures rise.
Let’s take a look at five unique forests you can visit this spring.
1. Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Forest in Arrowhead Provincial Park
Open all year long
Arrowhead is located just north of Huntsville and is situated in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Forest Region.
The main species of trees that you will find in this forest are:
- sugar maple
- yellow birch
- american beech
- White Pine
- Eastern Hemlock
- Balm for men
- white spruce
From mid to late May, the forest floor is beautifully covered in White Trilliums.
Visit Arrowhead in mid to late May to see blankets of trilliums along Stubb Falls Trail.
Take this 2km loop to Stubb’s Falls and stop to enjoy the incredible views of trilliums and the sounds of songbirds.
Watch the forest come to life from Great Bend Viewpointwhere you will enjoy a view of the forest and surrounding landscape, including the beautiful Big East River delta.
Big Bend Lookout is just a short walk from the parking lot on Roe Campground Road.
2. Carolinian forest in Rondeau Provincial Park
Open all year long
Rondeau is located in southwestern Ontario on Lake Erie and is known for protecting old-growth Carolina forests.
Located in the southern tip of Ontario, this forest ecosystem experiences warmer temperatures year-round, supporting a high level of biodiversity.
Almost a quarter of Canada’s human population lives in the Carolina belt, which encompasses the area from Windsor, north to Pinery Provincial Park, and east to Toronto.
Most of the habitat in this area has been lost to agriculture and other development, meaning Rondeau’s forests are especially valuable.
Take the Rondeau Tulip Tree Trail walk through the Carolinian forest.
This 1.2 km barrier-free loop features a boardwalk and the opportunity to see many species of Carolina trees, including tulip, sassafras, and Shagbark Hickory.
These species are rare in Ontario due to the limited distribution of the Carolinian forest and habitat loss. Keep your eyes peeled for the large, beautiful yellow-green flowers that grow on tulips from late May to early June!
Spot wildflowers and migratory birds as you explore this forest.
3. Red and white pine forest in Caliper Lake Provincial Park
Open May 20, 2022
Located within a mature pine forest, Caliper Lake is located in northwestern Ontario, between Fort Frances and Kenora.
Located within a transition zone between Great Lakes-St. Lawrence and boreal forests, and Caliper Lake’s towering stands of red pine and white pine are estimated to have originated more than 180 years ago.
Camp under tall pine trees and starry skies during your visit.
Explore the transitional forest species that can be found in both the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence and the boreal forests.
4. Mixed deciduous forest in Pancake Bay Provincial Park
Open May 6, 2022
Pancake Bay is located on the east shore of Lake Superior, north of Sault Ste. Mary.
The park is located in the northern part of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Forest Region.
Pancake Bay’s lush forests are dominated primarily by sugar maple and yellow birch.
Take the park Observation trail For the best views of the surrounding forest and Pancake Bay!
The Lookout Trail is a moderate 7km hike to the lookout and back, with two excellent viewing platforms along the way.
From early to mid-May, look out into the forest below and note the pinkish-red hues of blooming sugar maple flowers.
5. Frontenac axis in Frontenac Provincial Park
Open all year long
Frontenac is located in southeastern Ontario, north of Kingston.
This park is located within Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Forest Region, located within the Frontenac axis.
The Frontenac Axis is a southwestern projection of the Canadian Shield that connects the northern shield environment of Algonquin Provincial Park with the southern deciduous forests of the Adirondack Mountains.
The geology of the Frontenac Axis creates a unique region for a wide range of habitats, plants and animals. Frontenac’s frequent forests, rocky moors and bodies of water form a stunning landscape.
Frontenac offers more than 100 km of hiking and backpacking trails in interconnected circuits. Choose from a variety of trails to explore Frontenac’s diverse and spectacular ecosystems.
the 3 kilometers Doe Lake Loop Trail It’s a great introduction to the park. The trail begins at the park office and passes through forests, wetlands and lakes.
Be sure to enjoy the stunning views from the Doe Lake Overlook.
Arrest! Don’t forget these forestry tips
Here are some things to keep in mind when visiting any forest:
- plan ahead and come prepared
- Pack what you pack, please don’t litter.
- take only photos and memories, leave only footprints
- stay on the trails
- Keep your dogs on a leash and clean up after them.
- Brush your hiking shoes and boots before and after hiking to prevent the spread of invasive species.