The Ontario Parks Discovery team is working hard to find creative ways to connect visitors to the special stories and values protected in our parks.
If you visit any of the parks that offer Discovery programming, you can connect with Discovery staff along a trail, while touring the campground, at a drop-in program, at a Visitor Center, or at a scheduled program.
What is a Discovery program?
Discovery programs come in many different forms and levels of experience.
Whether you’re visiting a park for the first time or a lifelong camper, Discovery’s programs and staff are there to help you foster a deeper connection to our parks.
The programs give you the opportunity to explore a new area of the park, understand the value of the park, and appreciate the diversity of living things that make the park beautiful.
This can be done along a trail on a guided walk, at an Exploration Station, or in a moment of peace during an Art in the Park program.
Discovery staff provide the tools and knowledge to guide you on your own learning journey.
We know that learning, exploring and discovering is not a one-size-fits-all solution. That’s why we offer many different types of Discovery programs across the province.
It’s time to start exploring!
Some parks offer exploration stations during the months of July/August.
These Discovery programs are drop-in programs that are often combined with a Discovery Book activity (available for free) and other props or tools to help spark curiosity and exploration. The exploration stations are designed for children and their guardians to explore nature and discover the park.
Many parks that offer these programs also offer free Discovery rental kits to help you continue exploring on your own. Ask a park staff member what kits are available to borrow.
Some parks have Discovery Cubes with nets and other logout tools available!
Our Discovery programs: improved!
Enhanced Discovery parks (marked below with an asterisk) have at least one experienced naturalist on staff.
These parks offer a variety of interpretive programs, from guided hikes to children’s programs and evening performances!
Be sure to check each park’s events page on our website before your trip to see upcoming programs.
Once you arrive at the park, you can learn about upcoming park programs and facilities by speaking with staff or checking the park’s event listings, usually posted at comfort stations, main beaches, and office buildings.
This season, Discovery encourages guests to take a hike!
On August 9, you can join Discovery staff on a guided hike, explore the Take a Hike Exploration station, hike a storybook trail, or choose your favorite trail or a new place to hike on your own.
Guided hikes have a long tradition in the Ontario Parks Discovery program. Credited as the first interpretive program offered in parks, they are the catalyst behind the Discovery program, which has introduced millions of visitors to the stories of Ontario’s natural and cultural heritage.
Say hello to our Discovery team!
Whether you see Discovery staff walking a trail, clearing invasive species, or monitoring species, be sure to say hello and take the opportunity to ask questions.
There’s no better way to connect with the many park stories we have to tell than to see them happen firsthand.
Many parks have other Discovery products available to help you explore and discover, including:
- trail guides
- interpretive signs
- Adventure Labs Geocaches
- Visitor centers
- and more!
These parks are offering staff-led Discovery programs this summer:
(* = Enhanced Discovery Programs)
Some upgraded Discovery parks also offer staff-led programs during the fall and winter, including school programs.