Thu. Dec 7th, 2023
a phenomenon found in animals and in ourselves

Today’s post comes from Jazmin Gall, a Discovery student at Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park.

Have you been lucky enough to find your favorite park in Ontario?

What about your favorite campsite?

That specific place you return to every summer, your personal home away from home.

If so, you are one of the many visitors to our parks who practice site loyalty.

We don’t blame you… it’s natural!

Site fidelity is a phenomenon most commonly observed in animals, such as salmon and many bird species.

These animals return to the exact same area year after year.

eagle in the nestBald eagles return to the same nest every year

As park staff, we are starting to see this same trend more and more in campers.

What attracts us to our favorite places is very similar to what attracts animals to their favorite nesting, breeding and resting areas.

staff holding ice cream

Things like proximity to resources are very important to all of us. For animals, it may be proximity to sources of food and shelter. For us, it might be proximity to comfort stations, water taps, and the park store for afternoon ice cream.

It’s not life or death

With more visitors than ever coming to explore Ontario’s parks, you may have noticed that it’s started to get harder to book those favorite campgrounds.

camping near the beachLake Superior Provincial Park

This can be a difficult experience when someone books his site before you can!

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Fortunately, as humans, we don’t rely on these sites in the same way that our animal friends do. For us it is our preference; For them, it is their survival.

Variety is the spice of life

This summer, if you’re experiencing the nuances of site fidelity and the frustrations that more crowded parks can bring, try a new park!

two people sitting on chairs looking at the waterSamuel de Champlain Provincial Park

Ontario Parks has a total of 340 provincial parks, 113 are operational parks and 222 are non-operational parks (to learn the difference between the two and terms of other parks, click here).

With all of these options spread throughout the province, there is certainly something and a place for everyone to enjoy!

It is understandable that there is hesitation when it comes to branching out and trying a new park. Nobody likes change.

tent in front of the seaRushing River Provincial Park

Salmon and birds are also unlikely to appreciate their native streams and favorite nesting sites being occupied by others. Or worse yet, when those places disappear and they are forced to find new spaces to live.

But for us, this can be an opportunity to start new traditions!

Traveling to a new park once a year can be fun and exciting, and a great way to see everything Ontario has to offer.

family camping

Broaden your horizons this summer and take a more nomadic approach to camping.

You never know where or what you will discover!

Find your new favorite spot with our park locator!