Friday, August 21, 2009

Lake Ontario Sandbanks Provincial Park ,Canada

Sandbanks, the name says it all. An extensive dunes system with endless sandy beaches. Of course, the whole region is well know for its birding and unusual flora and fauna, but it's still the beaches that are the main attraction. A nice bonus is that the East Lake section, being almost completely enclosed warms up earlier in the season than the rest of the areas waters, allowing you to hit the beaches a little earlier than usual. This is a great campers park for families and anybody who loves the water.

The park is located on the shores of Lake Ontario on Quinte Isle. The area is well known as a vacation destination, quaint villages, an interesting history and exceptional nature observationl are all a big part of the attraction. Of course, its the beaches of Sandbanks along with the excellent camping, which provide people with a great reason for returning year after year.
If you can haul yourself out of the water for a while you'll find there is a lot more to the park than just sand castles. The park has great canoeing and sea kayaking, the latter only now being developed. There are bicycle paths and cycling routes along the nearby country roads as well as an excellent mountain biking area just a short distance away at Macaulay Mountain. You can also hike the trails at Beaver Meadow, Little Bluff and Massassaga Point Conservation Areas, Macaulay Mountain or choose from one of the trails within the park .

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lake Ontario East Lake,Canada

If you're looking for some easy paddling your first choice might be East Lake and Outlet River (watch out for motor boats). These protected areas are perfect for a newcomer to the art of canoeing. The West Lake and Lake Ontario are more challenging (when the winds up, give up the idea of canoeing on the big lake). Sea Kayakers will love the opportunities presented by the shorelines along the dunes. There are a lot of other possibilities in Prince Edward County many of them as yet undeveloped. The nearby Thousand Islands National Park offers the opportunity for extended sea kayaking trips out to one of many island campsites.

Monday, August 17, 2009

lake ontario west lake ,canada

Paddlers should be aware that this lake becomes very busy in the summer with speedboats and personal watercraft. However, if one stays near shore, there should be no problems.

West Lake is separated from Lake Ontario by the beautiful dunes of Sandbanks Provincial Park. Stretching for 8 km from the Sandbanks parking lot to Wellington, these dunes were once used as a seasonal fishing station by the St. Lawrence Iroquois during 1300 to 1600 AD . Numerous pottery shards, mindens (fish dumps) and stone net sinkers have been found as evidence.

If accessing West Lake from the Wellington end, a suggested route would be to follow the north shore of West Lake toward the Bloomfield Marsh and explore the area around Garrett Island, an extremely scenic part of the lake. Garrett Island is the home of Camp Trillium, a special summer retreat for kids with terminal illnesses.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Alonquin provincial park ,Canada

One park with a lifetime of canoe trip possibilities...
...Most of Algonquin Park is only accessible by canoe. With 2000 km of canoe routes following lakes, streams and portage trails through the vast forested interior, a canoe tripper could spend a lifetime exploring Algonquin. Campsites and portages are marked and maintained. Fly-in canoe trips are prohibited and motorboats are restricted to only a few lakes. Road access to the park is limited to the Hwy 60 "corridor" and 29 designated interior access points. Backpacking and day hiking trails allow travel on foot. In the winter the park is open to travel by ski, snowshoe and dog sled.
Canoe Trip Access Points
interior canoe trips must start from one of the 29 official access points in Algonquin Park. Some are easier to get to than others but all are accessible by road and have parking. See the Algonquin Canoe Routes map for details. Fishing licenses are available at all permit stations and at the East and West Gates on Hwy 60.

Algonquin Provincial Park is a provincial park located between Georgian Bay and the Ottawa River in Central Ontario, Canada, mostly within the Unorganized South Part of Nipissing District. It is the first provincial park in Canada having been established in 1893. It covers about 7 653 square kilometres. Its size, combined with its proximity to the major urban centres of Toronto and Ottawa make it one of the most popular Provincial parks in the province and the entire country. Highway 60 runs through the south of the park, while the Trans-Canada Highway bypasses it to the north. Over 2400 lakes and 1200 kilometres of streams and rivers are located within the park, including Canoe Lake and the Petawawa, Nipissing, Amable du Fond, Madawaska, and Tim rivers. These were formed by the retreat of the glaciers during the last ice age. The park is considered part of the "border" between Northern Ontario and Southern Ontario.
Algonquin Park was named a national historic site in 1992 in recognition of several heritage values, including: its role in the development of park management; pioneering visitor interpretation programs later adopted by national and provincial parks across the country; its role in inspiring artists, which in turn gave Canadians a greater sense of their country; and historic structures such as lodges, hotels, cottages, camps, entrance gates, a railroad station, and administration and museum buildings.
The park is in an area of transition between northern coniferous forest and southern deciduous forest. This unique mixture of forest types, and the wide variety of environments in the park, allows the park to support an uncommonly wide variety of plant and animal species. It is also an important site for wildlife research. As well, Algonquin Park is the only designated park within the province of Ontario to allow industrial logging to take place within its borders.

Dark Day fire
When a fire does not kill a tree and the tree later grows, scar marks are left in the growth rings.[1] This makes it possible to approximate the date of a past fire. Researchers examining scar damage found evidence of a large fire in the area that is today occupied by the park, to which they attribute New England's Dark Day of May 19, 1780.[2] The likely cause of the Dark Day was smoke from these fires

Balsam Fir, Tamarack, White Spruce, Red Spruce, Black Spruce, Jack Pine, Red Pine, White Pine, White Cedar, Eastern Hemlock, Balsam Poplar, Largetooth Aspen, Trembling Aspen, Speckled Alder, Yellow Birch, White Birch, Blue-beech, Ironwood, American Beech, Bur Oak, Red Oak, American Elm, Pin Cherry, Black Cherry, Choke Cherry, Striped Maple, Silver Maple, Red Maple, Sugar Maple, Mountain Maple, Basswood, White Ash, Black Ash and Red Ash

Algonquin Park is covered with over 2000 named lakes, comprising about 10% of the total area of the Park. This number of lakes may not seem impressive but any Algonquin hiker or canoeist knows that you don't have to travel very far in Algonquin to find water. Lakes and rivers dot and crisscross the Park's 7,725 km2 with five major watersheds beginning inside the Park's boundaries.
Algonquin's lakes are typically cold, clear, and relatively nutrient poor compared to areas outside the Park's boundaries. The reason for this is the type of rocks that surround Algonquin's water bodies. These rocks are part of the vast Canadian Shield which is made up of very hard igneous and metamorphic rock. These very hard rocks erode extremely slow releasing only small amounts of nutrients into water bodies each year. This in turn provides few nutrients like phosphorous, potassium, and nitrogen needed by many aquatic plants. With a limited amount of nutrients in the water, few green plants can survive, and in return restrict the amount of food and cover for aquatic animals. As a result, Algonquin's waters are less productive than areas off the Canadian Shield based on softer and more nutrient rich rock types.


Female moose on the Amable du Fond River in Algonquin
Common Shrew, Smoky Shrew, Water Shrew, Pigmy Shrew, Short-tailed Shrew, Hairy-tailed Mole, Star-nosed Mole, Little Brown Bat, Northern Long-eared Bat, Silver-haired Bat, Hoary Bat, Snowshoe Hare, Eastern Chipmunk, Least Chipmunk, Woodchuck, Grey Squirrel, American Red Squirrel, Northern Flying Squirrel, American Beaver, Deer Mouse, White-footed Mouse, Gapper’s Red-backed Vole, Southern Bog Lemming, Muskrat, Meadow Vole, Rock Vole, House Mouse, Meadow Jumping Mouse, Woodland Jumping Mouse, Porcupine, Red Fox, American Black Bear, Raccoon, American Marten, Fisher, Ermine, Long-tailed Weasel, American Mink, Striped Skunk, Northern River Otter, Lynx, White-tailed Deer, Moose and Eastern Wolf

Lake Opeongo – Ice-out Fun Facts
Lake Opeongo is Algonquin's largest lake, and the ice-out date has varied since official record-keeping began in 1964.Official ice-out is determined by the safe navigation by a vessel (usually a fisheries research boat or a water taxi) from the Lake Opeongo Access Point (#11) to the Proulx Lake portage and return.Lake Opeongo is typically one of the last lakes in Algonquin Park to become ice-free. There are two main reasons for a late ice-out:
the lake's relatively high elevation (404 metres above sea level) compared to more northern lakes in the Park, and
the lake's enormous volume of 791,360,000 cubic metres (or enough water to fill about 316,629 Olympic-sized swimming pools).
The earliest documented ice-out of Lake Opeongo was April 12, 1981 and the latest was May 16, 1972. Overall, the trend from 1964 to 2007 is for earlier ice-out dates as shown by the dotted line in the linked graph (28k PDF), but ice-out is determined by numerous environmental variables including ice thickness and condition, spring temperatures, wind conditions, and precipitation. This combination of variables contributes to the range of different ice-out dates observed over the years.


A Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) in the park
Over 230 different species of birds have been observed in the park. 128 have been know to breed there, and 89 are considered common. A partial list is: Common Loon, Great Blue Heron, American Bittern, American Black Duck, Wood Duck, Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Broad-winged Hawk, Ruffed Grouse, American Woodcock, Common Snipe, Spotted Sandpiper, Herring Gull, Barred Owl, Saw-whet Owl, Whip-poor-will, Common Nighthawk, Chimney Swift, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Belted Kingfisher, Tree Swallow, Bank Swallow, Barn Swallow, Northern Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Hairy Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Eastern Kingbird, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Alder Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, Eastern Wood Pewee, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Grey Jay, Blue Jay, Common Raven, Common Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Boreal Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Winter Wren, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, American Robin, Wood Thrush, Hermit Thrush, Swainson's Thrush, Veery, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Cedar Waxwing, Common Starling, Red-eyed Vireo, Warblers(15), Red-winged Blackbird, Rusty Blackbird, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Evening Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, , Purple Finch, American Goldfinch, Dark-eyed Junco, Chipping Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow and Song Sparrow

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