By Guest Blogger Theresa Ogurian
Despite appearances this January, winter is the coldest season of the year. It is the time of the year when the temperature drops and snow falls. It is the time when some animals hibernate and some birds migrate to warmer climates. With the warm jackets and big boots needed in winter, some people may feel like hibernating or migrating too. But instead of staying indoors, or going on a vacation to a tropical town, why not embrace winter in the city and explore High Park in winter!
Going to a park may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of winter, but spending time in nature in a beautiful park can be rewarding in any season. To get you motivated, here are the top 5 things to do in High Park this winter.
Family Nature Walks – Attend a drop-in Family Nature Walk at the High Park Nature Centre. Upcoming winter topics include Trekking and Tracking, Amazing Animal Adaptions, Know Your Nature and more. It is always fascinating to learn something new about nature. You can find the full schedule of walks here: http://ow.ly/VPnw308lvPR.
Birding – Several species of birds are still very active in High Park, such as Northern Cardinals, Blue Jays, Black-capped Chickadees, Downy Woodpeckers, and American Robins. There have even been sightings of Bald Eagles in the park this winter! Be sure to check out several habitats to see the greatest variety of birds, including the Black-Oak Savannahs and Grenadier Pond.
Tracking – Want to be a nature detective? A fun activity for the whole family is looking for animal tracks in the snow or mud! Common tracks found in High Park are from grey squirrels, raccoons, and dogs. If you are lucky you may even find coyote tracks! Once you’re on the trail, see how far the tracks take you and enjoy a day of curious exploration in the park.
Ice Skating – Another popular winter activity in High Park is skating on Grenadier Pond – but only if the flag is yellow! If you want to learn how to skate, you can also check out the outdoor rink near the tennis courts during public skating hours, or register to learn to skate with Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation. . You can learn more about their skating program here: http://ow.ly/KxyV308lz5L.
Hiking and Photography – High Park is a huge place! Did you know there’s a bird sanctuary? What about an outdoor amphitheatre? Have you seen the sculptures surrounding the Forest School? Strap on your boots (or snowshoes!) and take photos of the hidden gems in High Park. If you have a photo you would like featured in our #photooftheweek, send your best shot to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are many things to do at High Park in winter that will get you outside, discovering this beautiful place. We challenge you to try at least one of these adventures this winter, so embrace the brisk air, learn about nature, and have fun!
High Park Nature Centre: https://www.highparknaturecentre.com/adult-workshops/
High Park Nature Centre: https://www.highparknaturecentre.com/2017/01/birds-keeping-warm-this-winter/
Toronto: http://www1.toronto.ca/parks/prd/facilities/complex/77/index.htm City of Toronto: http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=5e5c2271635af310VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD